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Physical Therapy Maple Grove MN is used to treat a variety of injuries and health conditions. It involves hands-on care and education. Licensed physical therapists (PT) are movement experts who evaluate and treat people of all ages.
The evaluation process is a critical step for patients who are seeking physical therapy treatment. It’s an opportunity for the patient to explain their pain and problems with their physical therapist and determine whether or not the issue is within the scope of physical therapy. It’s also a time for the PT to choose a plan of action.
The physical therapist’s initial evaluation will include various tests that measure your range of motion, strength, and other functions. Your therapist will assess your movement and determine the underlying causes of your symptoms, like muscle weakness or improper movement patterns. Your therapist will also likely conduct special tests for your condition, like joint mobilization or the EMG, to test the electrical activity of your muscles. A good therapist will adjust the type of exam they conduct based on their client’s needs so they don’t waste time or worsen the patient’s condition with unnecessary or painful movements.
Once the examination is complete, your therapist will document their findings in a written evaluation. This will include the date and time of the physical examination and your professional assessment of the patient’s needs. The written evaluation must be as thorough and accurate as possible. It will be part of the medical record used by other therapists and doctors treating the patient. The written evaluation also serves as a guide for coding the examination under Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, which determines the level of reimbursement.
Your therapist will then diagnose your injury or problem and create a treatment plan for you. They will also discuss the frequency of your return visits and what they expect to accomplish during those sessions.
It’s important for patients to feel that they’re getting value for their visit and that their time is being well spent. The best way to achieve that is to give the patient a sense of control over their recovery. By establishing an initial goal for their recovery and setting expectations of progress, the patient will feel they’re not wasting their time.
Many people seek physical therapy to help with an injury or to manage a medical condition. Patients might need short-term therapy after an accident or surgery or long-term treatment for conditions like arthritis. In either case, physical therapy aims to improve a patient’s quality of life through pain relief and increased range of motion in joints and muscles.
A patient may see several different physical therapists during their treatment. One therapist often needs more patients in large physical therapy offices to care for them adequately. Generally, the therapist will try to work in groups of three to four patients to ensure that each person gets adequate time and attention from the therapist.
During the first session, the physical therapist will evaluate to determine what is causing the patient’s pain or discomfort. The therapist will ask the patient questions about their symptoms and the events that have led to their current situation. This Q&A-based discussion helps the therapist understand how to approach treatment best and give the patient undivided attention.
Once the therapist understands the patient’s condition, they will begin treatment. This will include modalities, manual therapies, and exercises specific to the patient’s condition. Some common modalities used for pain relief are thermal therapy (hot or cold packs), electrical stimulation, and traction. Traction uses horizontal or vertical pulling techniques to relieve pressure, pain, and inflammation in the spine. Electrical stimulation involves placing electrodes on the body, which can help reduce pain and muscle spasms.
The therapist may also introduce massage techniques into the treatment, which can help relax tight muscles. Another common therapy method is wound care, which focuses on improving oxygen and blood flow to a healing wound.
The therapist will create an individualized plan for the patient to help them return to normal movement patterns. This can involve strengthening and stretching exercises or fitting patients with medical devices like canes to help them move easily. The therapist will also teach the patient techniques they can practice at home to prevent recurring problems.
If you are a medical professional who would like to work with patients to help them recover from injury, consider becoming a physical therapist. While the educational requirements vary from state to state, most require a bachelor’s degree and an accredited doctoral program in physical therapy. Many schools now offer online programs to accommodate students with busy schedules.
Most graduate PT programs include a blend of classroom lectures, hands-on labs, and clinical rotations at nearby hospitals and clinics. You can find an example of a blended PT program at the University of Delaware, which combines online classes and real-time interactions with faculty.
The coursework typically covers human anatomy, biomechanics, movement science, medical screening, evaluation, therapeutic interventions, patient outcomes assessment, and practice management. Some PT schools provide their students with a simulation component to allow them to practice with mock patients before entering the clinic.
As part of the education, you are also taught how to communicate with doctors about your patients and collaborate with them on treatment plans. Your professors will be physical therapists with advanced clinical experience in orthopedic, sports, neurologic, and geriatric patient care. You’ll also be able to work side by side on professional research and have opportunities to present your findings at national conferences.
In some cases, physical therapists may pursue a residency or fellowship. A residency provides more training in a specific area of clinical practice, such as orthopedics or geriatrics, and is usually completed after you have been licensed to practice.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but most require you to complete a doctoral program in physical therapy and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Other requirements, such as compliance training, background checks, and continuing education courses, vary by jurisdiction. Check with your state’s licensing board to learn more about the requirements in your jurisdiction.
A physical therapist can help you manage your pain and discomfort from an injury or chronic medical condition. The goal is to provide hands-on care, prescribe exercises, and help you learn ways to prevent future injuries. Unlike surgery and medication, physical therapy has fewer risks and offers more benefits.
Physical therapy can be done in various settings, from private practices to hospitals. The therapist can also consult with other specialists to ensure the best possible treatment for you. Your health insurance provider may require a referral from your physician before you receive physical therapy. Still, direct access laws in many states allow patients to seek out a physical therapist without a referral from their doctor.
During your initial evaluation, the physical therapist will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a thorough exam. The therapist will then perform some basic treatments on your first visit, and they’ll likely schedule follow-up appointments for you. Sessions vary in length but generally last between 45 and 60 minutes.
In between sessions, the therapist will give you assignments of stretches and exercises to do at home. Sticking with this part of the program is important, as it can speed your recovery. Your therapist will help you set realistic goals for yourself, and they’ll provide you with tips on how to be consistent with your “homework.”
If you need additional help managing your pain and discomfort in between physical therapy sessions, ask your therapist about prescription medication. They can also recommend or provide you with equipment such as ice packs and compression wraps, and they might advise you on how to make your home environment safer in case you fall at home.
Suppose a patient returns to therapy for the same issue after discharge. In that case, it’s considered a new episode of care, and your physical therapist will most likely perform an initial evaluation using CPT codes 97161-97163. Your therapist will then discuss the case with you and recommend a treatment plan. The therapist will continue to use the same treatment techniques as before, but they’ll also reevaluate your progress and see how you’ve responded to the treatment.
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