Physical Therapy Services

Physical Therapy is a branch of rehabilitative medicine that uses specifically designed exercises, manual techniques and equipment to help patients regain or improve their physical abilities. A typical treatment program will consist of an evaluation of your condition, hands-on treatment, education regarding your condition, instruction in a home program, possibly some use of modalities for pain control, and recommendations for continued progress following the therapy program.

Common injuries/conditions helped by our physical therapists:

  • Headaches
  • Back Pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Fracture recovery
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Hip & Knee pain
  • Foot & ankle pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Runner’s knee
  • Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Generalized weakness
  • Sprains & Strains
  • Elbow Pain
Injuries to the wrist and hand are treated by our Hand Therapist, see Occupational/Hand Therapy.

Treatment Techniques

Manual Therapy Techniques – Various soft tissue mobilization techniques are utilized to gain motion and reduce pain in the upper extremities. Some of the manual therapy techniques utilized in our clinic include: Sound assisted soft tissue mobilization (SASTYM) tools, muscle energy techniques, strain-counterstrain, active release techniques, myofascial release techniques, joint mobilization, and manual stretching techniques. Your therapist will explain the specific approach and benefits to the techniques being used in your rehabilitation.

Therapeutic Exercises – Our therapists are experienced with developing exercise programs to achieve greater strength, range of motion, and function. We provide verbal and written instruction for exercises that will help facilitate recovery from injuries and various disorders affecting functional use of the upper extremities. We feel it is important to know how to continue your recovery through proper exercise. Our written exercise instructions have pictures and text, and can be printed in English or Spanish.

Neuromuscular Retraining – Neuromuscular retraining (NMR) is a very specific type of rehabilitation that seeks to identify and treat the underlying neuromuscular firing abnormalities. With NMR we look not just at how strong you are, but also the sequence in which your muscles are contracting. This critical piece of rehabilitation is often overlooked. NMR therapy involves very subtle—but critically important—movement retraining exercises to teach and train your body to begin using its muscles more effectively and efficiently.

Foot Orthotics – A foot orthotic is a soft, semi-rigid, or rigid support to help correct abnormal or irregular foot structure that may be altering proper gait biomechanics. Injuries resulting from faulty gait patterns can include foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain or back pain. At Harmony Hand and PT Center we use a pre-fabricated semi-rigid orthotic that is heat moldable with the ability to post the forefoot or rearfoot, which essentially makes it “custom made”.

Active Release Techniques (ART) – ART is a patented, soft-tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Each treatment is a combination of examination and treatment as the ART provider uses his/her hands to evaluate the textures, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendon, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. The training to become certified in this technique is extensive. Jennifer Wiley, MPT is A.R.T. certified in upper extremity, lower extremity, spine and long nerve entrapment. She is finding this technique very successful in resolving musculoskeletal injuries.

Spine Rehabilitation – The primary goal in spine rehabilitation is to reduce or control pain, strengthen the supporting structures of the spine, and to educate the patient on ways to avoid future injury through functional training such as posture, body mechanics and ergonomics. At Harmony Hand and PT Center we use a variety of manual therapy techniques , modalities, patient education and therapeutic exercises to return patients to a functional level. Teaching proper body mechanics while performing activities of daily living is an integral part of our spine rehabilitation program.

Sports Injury Rehabilitation – Sports injury rehabilitation covers a wide range of treatments for various injuries. Injuries may vary from overuse injuries to traumatic injuries. A few examples of common sports related injuries that we treat are: plantar fasciitis, heel bruise, shin splints, runner’s knee, hip pain, low back pain, sciatica, shoulder injuries, elbow pain or wrist strain. We realize the importance for an athlete to return to their sport as soon as possible. Our treatment focuses on function and education to return an athlete to their pre-injury state.

KinesioTaping – KinesioTaping is a non-restrictive taping technique which allows for full range of motion used for preventative maintenance, edema and pain control. The technique is based on the body’s own natural healing process, being applied over muscles to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles in movement on a 24hr/day basis. It can be used for a variety of injuries from headaches to foot problems. Some examples include: carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, low back strain, knee pain, shoulder issues, plantar fasciitis or as injury prevention. KinesioTape is widely used by professional athletes around the world. The taping techniques can be taught to the patient or family member and thus used independent of the physical therapy treatment.

Trigger Point Dry Needling (TPDN) – TPDN is an extremely effective technique that uses a very fine acupuncture needle to release painful or knotted areas in your muscles. Many of us have areas in our body that feel tense all the time or feel like a hard ball in the muscle. By inserting fine needles into these tight areas, we elicit a twitch response or a brief contraction followed by an immediate and long lasting relaxation.

Modalities

Ultrasound – Ultrasound is a treatment modality used by physical and occupational therapists that utilizes high or low frequency sound waves. These sound waves are transmitted to the surrounding tissue via a round headed probe. The sound waves penetrate the muscles to cause deep tissue/muscle warming. This promotes tissue relaxation and is useful in treating muscle tightness and spasms. The warming effect of the sound waves also cause vessel vasodilatation and increases circulation to the area which assists in healing. The frequency can be adjusted to assist with decreasing inflammation. Medication can be mixed with the ultrasound gel and applied to the area which is referred to as Phonophoresis. The ultrasonic sound waves force the medication to migrate into the tissues reducing inflammation.

Electric Stimulation – Electrical stimulation uses an electrical current to cause a muscle or a group of muscles to contract. Your therapist can change the settings to allow for a forceful or gentle muscle contraction depending on your condition or what the goal of your therapy might be. Along with increasing muscle strength, the contraction of the muscle also promotes blood supply to the area that assists in healing as well as calming and relaxing the targeted muscle upon conclusion of the treatment. There are many various types of electrical stimulation that have differing treatment benefits including TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulator) which is used in pain therapy, our therapists are able to teach you how to use the TENS unit as a home device.

Low Level Laser – Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a light source that generates pure light of a single wavelength. The effect produced by laser therapy is not thermal (heat)—instead, it has to do with photochemical reactions in cells. LLLT reduces musculoskeletal pain and inflammation as well as promoting tissue repair wherever the laser beam is applied. One of the primary actions is on mitochondrial production of ATP, therefore potentially affecting any eukaryotic cell in the body.

Fluidotherapy – Fluidotherapy is a high intensity heat modality consisting of a dry whirlpool of finely divided solid particles suspended in a heated air stream. Studies comparing its effective heating with that of a paraffin bath and whirlpool have found them to be similar. Use of fluidotherapy’s dry heat and fine particles is an excellent alternative to other heat therapy modalities especially when the goal involves desensitizing an area.

Paraffin Bath – Paraffin wax is a mineral wax derived from petroleum. Unlike normal candle waxes, which is viscous and sticky to bond to hair and skin, paraffin wax is a soft wax with a low melting point. This means that it melts at a temperature cool enough to safely immerse your skin. Paraffin therapy is one of the most effective methods of applying deep heat to relieve pain and stiffness. The warm paraffin also moisturizes for healthier looking, softer skin.

Shock Wave Therapy (SWT) – S.W.T treats a variety of conditions using shock waves outside the body. The treatment is non-surgical and non-invasive. This quick, effective procedure harnesses intense but very short energy waves to heal many chronic and painful orthopedic conditions.

Iontophoresis - Iontophoresis is a technique which uses an electric current to deliver a medicine or other chemical through the skin. A positively charged medicine is applied to the positively charged side of a iontophoresis pad and a negatively charged ion is applied to the negatively charged side of the pad. Putting positive with positive and negative with negative, the charges will repel from each other, pushing the medicine into your skin.

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