National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month.

Since October is National Physical Therapy Month, let’s talk about Physical Therapy.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy is a “hands-on” profession with the therapist working directly with the patient doing their therapeutic exercise. However, in addition to this “hands-on” treatment, Physical Therapists may use as an adjunct equipment called modalities that our therapists use in the therapy departments at Waters Edge Lodge & Elders Inn.

Ultrasound is literally a high frequency sound wave produced from a vibrating crystal inside a sound head. The sound wave causes a vibrational heating of the soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Ultrasound causes a much deeper heating than hot packs or heating pads and so promotes blood flow and healing in the deeper soft tissues like muscles and tendons close to the bone.

Moist Hot Packs are packs containing a gelatinous material that absorbs the hot water that the packs soak in. When placed on a patient, this mist heat is transferred to the patient. Hot packs are primarily  used for muscle relaxation and pain relief and are a more superficial form of heat. Heat causes the blood vessels to dilate so hot packs are also used to promote healing by increasing circulation to an area.

Cold Packs use cold to decrease pain & muscle spasms, and to treat acute injuries such as sprains and strains. Cold tends to cause the blood vessels to constrict and therefore is often used to decrease swelling after an injury.

H Wave is a form of electrical stimulation used to decrease pain and muscle spasm, increase blood flow, increase ROM, and train muscles. H Wave is often used in conjunction with hot or cold packs.

Light Therapy uses infrared light to decrease pain and muscle spasm & to increase blood flow. Because of its ability to increase local blood flow, light therapy is often used to promote healing in wounds such as decubitus ulcers.

Paraffin Bath is hot wax dip used primarily for arthritic and/or painful hands.

If you’re interested in learning more about Physical Therapy and what it could do for you, please call us at 510-748-0158.