Because of injury or illness, you may struggle to perform everyday tasks, an experience that can be frustrating and even painful. When injury or illness causes you to be less independent, you'll want the team at your side be committed to help you resume your daily activities. We offer comprehensive services, programs and therapies designed to meet your specific goals.
Musculoskeletal injuries – those involving the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments – represent some of the most common reasons why people seek care from a healthcare provider. The burden of musculoskeletal disorders is increasing, and will likely continue to rise; in fact, some estimates have found that 3 out of 4 Americans over age 65 suffer from some type of musculoskeletal (also known as “orthopedic”) problem.
When it comes to managing musculoskeletal disorders, orthopedic physical therapy can be extremely beneficial. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends physical therapy over prescription pain medications when it comes to addressing orthopedic injuries and chronic pain conditions.
The rahbilitation services at Lompoc Health - North H Center is a type of physical therapy that deals with the orthopedic, or musculoskeletal, system. Orthopedic physical therapists work with patients both inside a hospital or rehabilitation facility (“inpatient”) and in outpatient clinics. Other types of physical therapy you may be familiar with include neurological, pediatric, cardiovascular/pulmonary, geriatric, and women’s health.
Our staff are trained to work with you to help with conditions relating to your bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Orthopedic physical therapists work closely with other medical providers in order to help you achieve the following movement goals:
- Improving how you move around your environment
- Increasing your strength
- Enhancing your range of motion and coordination
- Improving your stability and reducing your risk of falls
- Expanding your flexibility, particularly if you have had an injury
If you are suffering from chronic pain—from arthritis, an old injury, or otherwise—an orthopedic physical therapist can also help you find ways to reduce your discomfort. All of these specific aims point toward a larger goal of orthopedic physical therapists: Helping you improve your quality of life and increase your independence.
What Kinds of Conditions Can Be Addressed?
Any condition involving the musculoskeletal system can be addressed by our physical therapists. These include, but are not limited to, the following orthopedic problems:
- Tendon or ligament tears
- Muscle tears
- Joint or soft tissue inflammation
- Joint stiffness
- Joint pain
- Post-fracture or other post-surgical care
You can use this interactive guide created by the American Physical Therapy Association to learn more about specific conditions and how you or your loved ones may benefit from orthopedic physical therapy.
What Techniques Are Used?
Staff are highly skilled at many techniques that can help you with your movement goals. Some of these techniques include:
- Mobilization exercises
- Strength and endurance exercises
- Stretching (both patient- and PT-directed)
- Joint or soft tissue mobilization
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Hot and cold packs
- Kinesiology taping
Often, a physical therapy regimen can be so successful that it can help you avoid more invasive treatments, such as surgery.
What Happens at an Appointment?
You will generally be referred to an physical therapy clinic from your primary healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist. Depending on your insurance and other preferences, you may also be able to seek out a physical therapist on your own.
At your initial visit, you will have a comprehensive evaluation of your particular musculoskeletal concern. Your physical therapist will discuss with you his or her findings and recommend a treatment plan. This treatment plan will be carried out over a specific time course, either in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Some parts of the physical therapy plan may be completed at home, as well.
Your physical therapist will make sure that you feel safe and comfortable carrying out the treatment plan, and you will have the opportunity to try out new exercises or techniques under your PT’s guidance. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and participate in making the treatment plan, based on your healthcare history and needs.
What to do Next
We aim to partner with you to reach your mobility goals. If you think you or a loved one may benefit from orthopedic physical therapy, make an appointment to discuss this with your primary care provider or any of our orthopedic specialists to learn more.