The overall success of physical therapy treatment can depend on the rapport between the clinical staff and the physical therapist. At Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, physicians, nurses, and physical therapists work collaboratively to help restore a patient's function, improve mobility, and relieve pain.
Physical therapy starts with an examination of the patient's medical history and subsequent test and measurement of the patient's strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration, and motor function. The physical therapist then works to develop a comprehensive treatment plan with the goal of improving how an individual functions at work and at home.
Treatment often includes exercise for patients who have been immobilized and who lack flexibility, strength, or endurance. Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush physical therapists use electrical stimulation, hot packs or cold compresses, traction, deep tissue massage, and ultrasound to relieve pain and reduce swelling. They also encourage patients to use their own muscles to increase their flexibility and range of motion before finally advancing to other exercises that improve strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. During the course of treatment, physical therapists document the patient's progress, conduct periodic examinations, and modify treatments when necessary.