Physical Therapists in Broomfield CO help patients with musculoskeletal problems regain or improve their movement abilities. They may require treatment for a variety of conditions, from infants born with musculoskeletal birth defects to elderly post-stroke patients.
Among the most common treatments are pain relief techniques and therapeutic exercises. PT can also provide modalities such as heat or cold, electrical stimulation and traction.
The physical examination is the cornerstone of diagnosis and therapy. It is often the only opportunity for a patient to interact directly with a healthcare provider.
During this time, the physician records medical history, identifies symptoms and their duration, asks about medications, supplements and herbs, and checks for signs of disease such as a rash or an unusual mole.
The doctor also feels the abdomen and genitals for a lump, enlarged organs or other abnormalities. Inquires are made about the presence of spontaneous resting tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease, for example. The doctor observes the patient’s speech, gestures and habits. The examination of the skin takes into account its color, texture and the presence or absence of lesions. Observation of a patient’s gait and the way he or she sits, moves and carries himself is important as well.
Injuries, accidents or simply aging can lead to loss of the full range of motion of your joints. This makes movement painful and limits the ability to perform daily activities such as climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or walking.
Range of motion exercises can help to restore your joint’s full spectrum of movement. They are designed to improve the way your body moves by activating opposing muscles to stretch and move the joint. They include passive ROM exercise, active ROM exercise and active assistive ROM exercise.
For example, a physical therapist may stretch your leg and knee to help you bend it more than you can on your own. Then, the therapist can help you continue this motion over time. This helps keep flexibility, mobility and prevents stiffness from developing.
People who spend long periods in wheelchairs can experience muscle atrophy, joint deterioration and other complications. However, with regular body-exercises conducted by physical therapists, most of these issues can be avoided.
The therapists will perform active-assistive range-of-motion exercises to prevent contractures (the permanent stiffening of muscles that occurs from lack of movement) and strengthening exercises for the lower extremities. They may also use different stretching techniques and specialized strength equipment to improve the flexibility, endurance and performance of the muscles.
The therapists will help improve balance and gait. Normal balance relies on the interplay between what you see, how your inner ear helps you orient yourself and how your feet sense the ground beneath them. A therapist can help you develop a program that will improve your balance and help prevent falls.
Physical therapists may administer medications to ease pain and swelling. They can also give patients prescriptions for alternative therapies such as herbal remedies and acupuncture. Before giving any medication, it’s a good idea to consult with the patient’s doctor to see if it is safe for him or her to take. Also, be careful not to overdose or give a child the wrong amount. Always write the name of the drug and its dosage clearly on a preprinted prescription pad or use a pill container that includes teaspoon measurements.
Pacific students have an excellent pass rate on the national licensure exam, and many graduates find meaningful employment in their fields immediately following graduation. Our students can earn a bachelor’s degree in health science and a master’s of physical therapy on an accelerated schedule.
Your physical therapist will give you a series of exercises to perform at home, between sessions. These at-home exercises, also called your home exercise program, will help you reach the goals that you and your physical therapist established at your evaluation.
These exercises may make you feel sore in the short term, but they will improve your strength and flexibility. This will help you get back to your regular activities faster and avoid future injuries and pain.
It is important to complete your at-home exercises exactly as your physical therapist has instructed you. If you skip your exercises or do them incorrectly, you could re-injure yourself and set your recovery back. There are apps for tracking adherence to your HEP, such as this one that appears to be up to date.