Physical Rehabilitation Center in Hiram
Physical therapy is used to treat a number of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, including back pain, neck pain, other joint pain, and muscle or nerve issues. Optimum Health Rehab often uses it in conjunction with other therapies, such as chiropractic care, regenerative medicine, and neurology services. These treatments may overlap, as many patients benefit from having more than one therapy to treat their pain.
How Do Hiram Physical Rehabilitation Services Work?
The first step in physical rehabilitation is diagnosing the patient. Our physical therapists are frequently indispensable to the diagnostic process. In many cases, a physical therapist can make a diagnosis by asking the patient to perform simple activities or movements and assessing the results. We also use imaging, including X-rays and CT scans, to get a better look at the internal issues causing your pain or symptoms. Additionally, we may do a nerve conduction study to identify any neurological problems. For some patients, more than one issue contributes to their pain.
After reaching a diagnosis, we will establish a treatment plan to address the root cause or causes of all your symptoms. In many cases, physical therapy is included for its many benefits. Physical rehabilitation may include heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, soft tissue massage, neuromuscular reeducation, myofascial release, joint or soft tissue manipulation, proprioceptive stretching, core stabilization exercises, and regenerative medicine.
Recovery After an Injury
Even minor injuries like a strained muscle or tendon can cause chronic pain if they aren’t treated properly. Many athletes often have repeated issues with the same joint or muscle. Sometimes rest and over-the-counter pain relievers help temporarily, but when you return to your sport or other activities, you may aggravate the injury again.
In other situations, you could have a more severe injury, like a broken bone or torn ligament, that requires surgery or being in a cast and otherwise unable to use the affected area. This kind of inactivity leads to muscle atrophy and may cause you to pick up new patterns of movement or posture that encourage future injuries or pain. This is not your fault, but physical therapy can help you reclaim your strength.
A physical rehabilitation specialist will assist you in recovering from these situations in several ways. First, they will assess how much function you’ve lost so far, if any. Next, they will ask about your pain and, if it’s significant, make a plan to reduce it. Afterward, the therapist will plan exercises to reduce pain and advance your strength and flexibility. At first, you may start stretching, lifting light weights, or attempting small movements with the injured area. Your therapist will provide advice, support, and safety equipment, so you don’t risk hurting yourself as you work on these goals.
Over time, as your sessions continue and you get stronger, your therapist will likely prescribe more complex exercises and help you work toward regaining all the functions you had before your injury. They will also assign you homework on your off days to help you recover faster. Sometimes, patients struggle with recovery because they haven’t kept up with home exercises as much as recommended. If you’re having trouble with the exercises for any reason, please let your therapist know so they can offer alternatives or address your concerns.
By the time your physical rehabilitation is completed, you should either be back to your previous level of function or as close to it as possible.
Sometimes people think of physical rehabilitation as causing pain, and it’s true that pushing your body to get better can indeed leave you sore. Our therapists understand this contradiction and make plans to diminish your post-rehabilitation pain as much as possible. In many cases, we use cold therapy after each session to curtail inflammation, lower nerve activity, and cut down on pain and swelling.
On the other hand, some patients may benefit from heat therapy if they have a difficult time getting started with their workout. The placement of a heat source on the injured area helps to relax the muscles, making them easier to move during therapy. It is possible to have heat therapy before a session and cold therapy after for the best results.
If you still have so much pain that you struggle to do even small exercises, we may give you pain relief injections to drastically reduce inflammation and pain. These are a temporary solution, but they allow you to do the work that will provide lasting results.
It’s also helpful to know that while physical therapy often focuses on regaining lost function, it can also reduce pain in many cases. Your therapist may recommend exercises or posture adjustments that place less strain on an injured joint, muscle, or nerve. People with frequently misaligned vertebrae, especially those without an acute injury, may also benefit from physical therapy. The therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen specific muscles that help support the spine, or they may suggest changes in movement to promote better spinal alignment. For example, repetitive movements or even sitting in certain positions can encourage spinal misalignment, leading to pain.
Types of Physical Rehabilitation
There are many different methods we might use depending on your unique situation.
Here are some of our most popular physical rehabilitation treatments:
Core Stabilization Exercises
These are often used to help patients with back, neck, hip, or shoulder pain. Targeting the core muscles supports the trunk and helps reduce the risk of further injury or misalignment. It can also be beneficial if you’re working to improve your posture. Additionally, these exercises encourage the muscles of the hips, shoulders, and spine to work in concert, reducing tension and discomfort.
If you’re recovering from an injury or ailment that limited your movement, you may find that you now have a reduced range of motion, even if you’re no longer in as much pain. When we don’t use certain muscles due to injury, they eventually weaken, reducing flexibility and making it harder to do the usual activities.
Proprioceptive stretching helps patients regain their flexibility and over time, their ability to do typical tasks. First, the physical therapist will ask you to stretch a muscle group, such as your leg, then they will instruct you to contract the muscles. Finally, you’ll be asked to stretch again. Sometimes the therapist will add resistance to strengthen the muscles further.
An injury or recovery period can sometimes interfere with the connection between your nerves and muscles. You may find that your muscles or joints don’t respond as they used to when you move or that controlled movements are more complex. Many patients have difficulty with gait, while others might struggle with gripping objects or fine motor control. A loss of sensation is also possible.
When you have these symptoms, neuromuscular reeducation can be advantageous. Your therapist will instruct you on specific movements to help you reestablish the connections between nerves and muscles. You should go slowly at first and give your body time to adjust. The therapist may advise you on improving your form, which will help make the therapy more successful. In most cases, you will work with the therapist in our office a few times a week, and they will give you exercises to do at home on the other days. This will speed up your progress, but it can still take a few weeks to see significant results.
Sometimes you may try to do the exercises, but your body doesn’t respond. When this happens, our therapist may use electrical stimulation on muscles that aren’t functioning well. This stimulation is a low-voltage current that forces the muscle to contract, enhancing blood flow and circulation. After a few sessions, your therapist may ask you to try the exercises again.
Electrical stimulation can also help with pain management. If other treatments aren’t helping enough with your pain, we can connect electrodes to the area of discomfort. These electrodes run into a TENS unit or similar device, which sends a low-voltage current into the muscles. The current mimics signals between the nerves and muscles, interrupting the flow of information that tells the brain you’re in pain. As a result, it can reduce your pain without any medication.
Get More Information About Hiram Physical Rehabilitation
You may benefit from physical rehabilitation if you’re struggling to recover from an injury or a painful condition. Please make an appointment for an evaluation, so we can find the cause of your pain and treat it. If physical rehabilitation is the right solution, you can have sessions right here in our local Hiram office, so you won’t need to make a long trip. Call us at (770) 439-6997 or contact us online today.