When your doctor has recommended physical therapy, it’s important to understand the different types available so you make the right choice. Depending on your situation, finding an expert in orthopedic conditions may be critical to your successful recovery. Here’s what you need to know about orthopedic and manual treatment, as well as what to expect from an Escondido physical therapy professional who specializes in this area.
What Is Orthopedic/Manual Therapy?
Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on improving the quality of life of people with injuries, diseases, or disorders that impact the musculoskeletal system. Because this body system includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, nerves, tendons, and other connective tissues, orthopedic therapy is a far-reaching field.
Therapeutic treatment for orthopedic issues is almost as vast as the musculoskeletal system itself, as it includes targeted exercises, gait training, and the use of orthotic devices such as braces. Manual therapy is also a key feature of orthopedic care, with massage, stretching, joint manipulation, and other hands-on techniques being deployed as part of the treatment.
Who Benefits From Orthopedic/Manual Therapy?
Because of the breadth of the musculoskeletal system, it’s not surprising that a great many orthopedic problems occur. Here are just some of the issues that orthopedic physical therapy addresses:
- Acute injuries resulting from falls or accidents, such as dislocated joints or broken bones
- Pinched nerves and tendinitis due to injuries or overuse
- Atrophied muscles following inactivity
- Lupus, scleroderma, and other autoimmune disorders that affect bones, joints, and nerves
Although this list isn’t comprehensive, if you suffer from any of these conditions, launching a web search for “physical therapy near me” starts you on your journey toward healing and relief.
What Should I Expect From My First Therapy Visit?
Treat your first physical therapy visit as you would any encounter with a new medical provider. Bring your identification and insurance details, plus a list of all medications (including supplements) and the contact information for all doctors who are treating you.
At your initial orthopedic session, your therapist usually begins by reviewing your medical history and performing an examination. He or she uses this information to craft a treatment plan tailored to meet your goals. Your therapist should explain how long each appointment will last, how often you should return, and how many visits you will likely need.
Be sure you are comfortable communicating with your therapist, as open dialog is critical for successful treatment. From your first session onward, pain and discomfort should be reported right away so adjustments can be made. As noted above, many styles of therapy are available to treat orthopedic conditions, and your therapist will design a treatment plan to ensure you get the most benefit from your sessions.
Now that you understand more about orthopedic and manual therapy, it’s time to connect with a professional near you. Whether you’ve had an on-the-job injury and are starting your search for “occupational therapy near me,” or you’re dealing with another musculoskeletal issue, reaching out to a specialist trained to address your needs is a great first step toward feeling better.