Spinal Rehabilitation

Back injuries are among the most common injuries in the United States. These injuries may stem from on the job injuries, car accidents, congenital defects, muscle imbalances, posture or a variety of other conditions. Many of these injuries can be successfully treated with physical therapy. As with other conditions, our physical therapists begin your recovery with a thorough assessment of your condition.  Then, a treatment plan is devised for your specific needs. Treatments will initially focus on your most urgent needs such as controlling inflammation, reducing muscle spasm, and providing your tissues with the proper environment they need to heal. Typically, this phase of your recovery requires a very hands-on approach by your physical therapist.

As your condition improves we will increasingly focus on your long-term well-being. We will teach you what you need to do to improve the function of your back and guide you through a program tailored to you. Generally, an exercise program specific to your body’s needs is an integral part of this phase of treatment. Our goal is to get you feeling better as quickly as possible and condition your body so that you can avoid problems in the future.

Surgical Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy plays an important role in your rehabilitation following surgery. Some of the most common surgeries requiring physical therapy include joint replacements, ligament or tendon repairs, fracture fixation, and joint arthroscopies. Although all of these surgical procedures continue to improve with time and are now less invasive, patients usually require early and comprehensive physical therapy for the best possible outcomes to be achieved. In general, post-surgical physical therapy can be divided into 3 phases:

Phase 1 is usually 0-2 weeks after surgery and the primary goal is pain and inflammation control. Exercises may be initiated depending on the surgical procedure but are gentle and focus on increasing range of motion and improving circulation. Your therapist may manually move the surgical body part to help restore joint mobility. Ice and electrical stimulation are often helpful during this time frame to control pain levels.

Phase 2 is generally from 2-6 weeks after surgery and the primary goal at this point is to increase range of motion to normal levels and improve overall strength. This is usually accomplished with more advanced manual stretching and progression of an exercise program. Patient education is a big part of this phase as home exercises play a critical role.

Phase 3 is generally from 6-12 weeks after surgery. The main goal of this phase is the return to function and includes continued progression of exercises. It also includes a gradual return to your normal activity level.

The overall time spent in physical therapy following surgery varies a great deal depending on the surgical procedure and your body’s healing response. Additionally, your fitness level prior to surgery can impact the rate of your recovery. We treat each patient individually and will work closely with you to determine the right goals for you and ensure the best recovery possible, no matter what the procedure.

Work Conditioning/Work Hardening

Physical Therapy plays an important role in your rehabilitation following surgery. Some of the most common surgeries requiring physical therapy include joint replacements, ligament or tendon repairs, fracture fixation, and joint arthroscopies. Although all of these surgical procedures continue to improve with time and are now less invasive, patients usually require early and comprehensive physical therapy for the best possible outcomes to be achieved. In general, post-surgical physical therapy can be divided into 3 phases:

Phase 1 is usually 0-2 weeks after surgery and the primary goal is pain and inflammation control. Exercises may be initiated depending on the surgical procedure but are gentle and focus on increasing range of motion and improving circulation. Your therapist may manually move the surgical body part to help restore joint mobility. Ice and electrical stimulation are often helpful during this time frame to control pain levels.

Phase 2 is generally from 2-6 weeks after surgery and the primary goal at this point is to increase range of motion to normal levels and improve overall strength. This is usually accomplished with more advanced manual stretching and progression of an exercise program. Patient education is a big part of this phase as home exercises play a critical role.

Phase 3 is generally from 6-12 weeks after surgery. The main goal of this phase is the return to function and includes continued progression of exercises. It also includes a gradual return to your normal activity level.

The overall time spent in physical therapy following surgery varies a great deal depending on the surgical procedure and your body’s healing response. Additionally, your fitness level prior to surgery can impact the rate of your recovery. We treat each patient individually and will work closely with you to determine the right goals for you and ensure the best recovery possible, no matter what the procedure.

Balance/Gait Training

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Balance Training: Balance problems, dizziness, and vertigo can interrupt daily life and put you at an increased risk for falls. Among the services we offer are treatments to improve your balance, increase your independence and safety, and treat vertigo (if needed). A key the principle of balance training is challenging your balance in a safe environment. We offer a variety of activities designed to improve your stability on your feet and increase your confidence for daily living. As always, you will be assisted by a licensed physical therapist in progressing your activities and learning a home program to improve your balance and safety. We also provide treatment for vertigo. This treatment, done by a physical therapist, can be highly effective in just 1 or 2 treatments.

Gait Training: Difficulty walking is a common problem with many ailments. Additionally, after lower extremity surgeries or injuries many people require some assistance to regain function for walking activities. Our physical therapists can assess your walking ability and determine the true cause of your limitations if there are any. They will teach proper walking mechanics and will work with you using the appropriate exercises you need to ensure you have the strength and flexibility necessary to optimize your walking.

Sport Injury Prevention

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Prevention of sports-related injuries is just as important to the competitive athlete as it is to the weekend warrior. You want to be able to perform your best and avoid an injury in the process. Many sports-related injuries are due to lack of preparation and can be avoided. Our physical therapists have had extensive training and we can assist you in developing a training program specifically geared to your goals. This will not only reduce your risk of injury but improve your speed, power, and agility, which will ultimately improve your overall performance. So whether you are preparing for an upcoming marathon, want to bulk up before football season, would like to increase your vertical leap to get more rebounds, or would just like to lose a few pounds; let our physical therapists set up the perfect training and injury prevention program just for you.

Unfortunately, however, sports injuries do occur, and when they do, we’ve got you covered. We understand your competitive drive and your desire to get back to your activity or into the game as soon as possible. Our highly skilled physical therapists will provide you state of the art treatment and exercise programs, in a kind and compassionate environment, to promote the most rapid recovery possible and to prevent further injury. We will get you prepared for a prompt and safe return to your activity or sport.

So stay active and keep playing hard. Be sure you prepare for activity and include an ounce of prevention. However, if you do get injured, come see us right away so we can help you get right back into the game.

Hand Therapy

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Our hands allow us to hold the hand of a child, to plant beautiful gardens, to perform activities which support our communities and our families, to make a living and enjoy life. When injuries occur, we quickly realize how often we take our hands for granted. Work injuries, sports injuries, arthritis, post surgery or repetitive injuries (i.e. carpal tunnel, trigger finger, etc.) often cause us to lose flexibility, strength/grip, and sensation (numbness and tingling). They can also cause severe pain and decrease our ability to care for ourselves or our families. It becomes more difficult to do the things we need to do during the day or to do what we enjoy.

During your physical therapy treatment, you will receive the highest quality of care through one-on-one treatment to help you regain joint mobility, strengthen your muscles/grip, and decrease your pain level. You will be taught how to protect your hands to help avoid injuries in the future. Our hand rehabilitation program will help you get back to the life you enjoy.

Ergonomics Assessment

Ergonomics means designing the work environment and specific job tasks to fit the worker’s need for comfort, health, and safety. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.

Ergonomic hazards are workplace conditions that pose the risk of injury to an employee. They include repetitive and forceful movements, vibration, temperature extremes, and static and awkward postures that arise from improper work methods and improperly designed workstations, tools and equipment. The main ergonomic risk factors in the office are:

  • Repetition: Tasks or body movements carried out over and over again.
  • Awkward postures: Body positions that deviate from neutral, such as twisting the neck to view a monitor or reaching to use a mouse.
  • Static forces: Maintaining a position for a prolonged period of time (e.g., prolonged sitting, viewing the monitor with a bent neck, or reaching for the keyboard).

At Columbia Physical Therapy, we will visit on site to assess the fit between the worker and the workstation and ensure proper workstation set up to avoid potential hazards. Workers will be educated to understand how to adjust their workstations to suit their individual needs.

Functional Capacities Evaluation

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A functional capacities evaluation is a comprehensive four-hour test used to determine a person’s current working abilities. Years of experience and extensive continuing education in this area help to ensure that our evaluations are comprehensive and useful. We use the latest methods to determine consistency of effort and validity in testing.