Physical Therapy Treatment in Rhode Island
Physical therapists (PTs) expertly evaluate your movement system to create an integrated plan of care tailored to you. They use a range of treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, to reduce pain, to relieve edema (swelling caused by excess fluid), to restore function, and to prevent disability.
Lifespan has numerous Physical Therapy locations around Rhode Island that provide rehabilitation services near where you live and work. Some offer Saturday appointments.
What Is Physical Therapy (PT)?
Physical therapy (PT) is a specific type of treatment that aims to improve mobility, such as walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed; ease pain; and help patients develop, restore, and maintain maximum physical function and movement. Physical therapy can help individuals recover from an injury or surgery, relieve pain from a chronic condition, or even prevent future injury.
A physical therapist can create individualized plans based on a patient’s condition and location of pain or weakness. They use exercise, manual therapy, education, and modalities such as heat, cold, aquatic therapy, and electrical stimulation. Depending on the injury, disease, or condition, physical therapy may include work on flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, or balance.
Who Needs Physical Therapy?
Here are just a few examples of conditions physical therapists (PTs) treat.
- PTs work with total joint replacement patients during recovery to help them gain strength and increase their range of motion.
- PTs help patients who are dealing with lymphedema following surgery or radiation therapy to manage their condition.
- PTs assist patients diagnosed with conditions affecting the nervous system, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis, and work to improve or restore the mobility a patient needs to maximize independence.
- PTs provide therapy to patients who are recovering from injuries related to sports, accidents, or the workplace to regain strength and recover function.
How to Prepare for Physical Therapy
Before your appointment, make a list of any questions you may have. Write down any symptoms you have been experiencing, where you feel any pain and discomfort, and if there are any activities you find difficult to physically complete. You should also make a list of any prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to stretch and move with ease. If you have a specific part of the body that is in pain or injured, make sure that part can be exposed.
Your physical therapist will work with you to meet your individual goals, so let them know what you hope to achieve during therapy. If you don't understand any specific treatment or exercise during a session, make sure to ask to ensure you understand and can repeat it.
What to Expect During Physical Therapy
A patient’s first visit with the therapist is usually about one hour. Your therapist will take a thorough history and baseline measurements.
These measurements might include:
- Range of motion
- Mobility and movement patterns
Physical therapists use many different techniques to help decrease pain and stiffness, increase motion and strength, and improve mobility. They may use heat, ice, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation. Manual, hands-on techniques are often used. Exercises and stretching are a main tool of physical therapy. The types of exercises you do will depend on your condition and the location of your pain or injury. These exercises help patients gain a higher range of motion, and increase strength and function. You may be given exercises and stretches to do at home in addition to your PT sessions.
Our highly trained PTs use the most up-to-date techniques to help you achieve the best possible recovery. We use the latest equipment available, including Biodex Balance Master, BTE work simulator, stationary bikes, treadmills, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and thermal modalities, weights, assistive devices, and much more.
Patient education is another important aspect. Understanding your diagnosis and treatment plan, and how you can practice your therapy outside of the sessions, will help you achieve better long-term outcomes and prevent future injury.
How Do Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT) Differ?
Many people are not familiar with the distinction between physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT).
OT focuses on improving a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living, whether he or she is recovering from injuries or has developmental or cognitive challenges. OT aims to promote productivity and independence.
PT focuses on improving a patient’s capacity to move their body with optimum ease and functionality, through exercises, massage, using ultrasound or electrical stimulation, and more.
Physical Therapy Services Near Me
Lifespan has numerous locations around Rhode Island that provide convenient rehabilitation services near where you live and work. Some offer Saturday appointments.