Orthopedic physical therapy deals with treating disorders affecting the musculoskeletal network, which consists of your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Orthopedic disorders and injuries can include: A strain to a ligament, joint, muscle, or tendon can cause pain, limitation of movement, and loss of flexibility or range of motion; muscle or ligament injuries cause inflammation, swelling, or bruising, which can be painful and hinder function. Trauma or bone surgery may also lead to orthopedic problems. Conditions that affect the musculoskeletal network are classified as either neurological or autoimmune.
Therapeutic exercises to help patients increase their strength and range of motion, as well as reducing pain. Exercises used in orthopedic physical therapy (OT) typically stretch and strengthen the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. The purpose of stretching the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments is to increase mobility and decrease pain. Stretching helps to reduce friction between tissues. When muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments are stretched, they become limber and will not cause pain when moving.
Patients usually receive orthopedic physical therapy on an outpatient basis. This means seeing a therapist one time, and then returning to their homes or offices on days when they do not have pain. You may need several treatments depending on the nature of your injuries and the severity of them. Some common orthopedic treatments may need to be repeated multiple times, while others may only need to be done once. Your treatment plan should include recommendations about how to prevent future injuries, how to handle pain, how to improve muscle strength, bone density, flexibility, and range of motion, as well as advice about any health conditions you may have that may affect your ability to move freely.
During an appointment with an orthopedic physical therapist, your primary doctor or primary care physician will review your medical history, work with you to set up a treatment plan, perform a physical examination, listen to your reactions to the physical therapist, discuss symptoms you are experiencing, diagnose the problem, discuss treatment methods such as exercise, therapy, surgery, physical rehabilitation, and monitor you during your treatments. Orthopedic PT is an important part of the overall medical regimen for people with orthopedic injuries. Often, a patient will undergo one procedure and be treated for another, if there are multiple injuries. Your primary care physician and physical therapist will work together to determine the best course of treatment for your particular situation.
Many people suffering from orthopedic physical therapy find that exercises, stretches, and massage help restore range of movement and balance to their lives after an injury. Stretching exercises help to increase the flexibility of the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Muscle strengthening and stretching help to rebuild the strength in those same muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Exercise is an important part of orthopedic PT. This helps to restore strength and mobility to your body after an injury has occurred. If you continue to do regular activities without further aggravating your injury, you will achieve best results. Even after you have achieved your best results, you may need a little help from your PT during and after your recovery period. Swelling and bruising are common after a PT procedure. You may experience cramps, hot flashes, dizziness, cold hands, numbness, and restricted range of movement.