Orthopedic therapy is a branch of physical therapy that specifically addresses problems related to the musculoskeletal system. Physical therapists of this kind specialize in diagnosing, treating, and managing both disorders and specific injuries to this system. They handle the type of rehabilitation services that patients with this type of disease and injuries must undergo in addition to providing care after orthopedic surgeries. Therapists working in this capacity are typically found in clinical, out-patient settings. They go through extensive training that includes experience with post-operative procedures and treatments for conditions such as:
- neck and back injuries
- sprains and strains
- spinal conditions
- acute sports-related injuries
The Medicine in Action
Within this specialized form of therapy, rehab in the recovery process can involve a large number of approaches. These methods of healing include dry needling, specially-targeted exercises, mobilization techniques related to the spine and surrounding tissue, electric muscle stimulation, and neuromuscular re-education. These modalities of treatment are the most common, primarily due to their effectiveness in increasing the rapidity of the healing process.
The Advances Continue
This form of physical therapy is a growing field that is constantly experiencing advances on the medicinal and technological front. Recent improvements in healing techniques have included the use of sonograms in treatments. This well-established technology is making improvements possible when it comes to diagnosis and muscle-retraining procedures. Although this area of medicine is highly specialized, a large number of individuals can benefit from visiting an orthopedic therapist. Anyone who is suffering from disease or injury to ligaments, tendons, bones, or muscles can benefit from the tools that these therapists make available. All of these elements of the body are key components of the musculoskeletal system itself, making addressing individual problems an important part of discovering comprehensive solutions for pain, injury, and illness.
The Clinical Setting
Facilities where orthopedic therapists work with patients are widely available throughout the country. Such treatment centers usually operate on an out-patient basis and house specialized equipment that can allow practitioners to pinpoint and address problems based on the individualized needs of patients. These licensed healthcare professionals can work with patients for varying lengths of time depending on the nature of the injury and the extent of damage. Some people taking advantage of this type of medicine only need treatment for a matter of weeks or months. Individuals with more serious injuries may need to use these services for years in order to make a full recovery.