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Rehab Therapy FAQ's
Minor aches and pains tend to take care of themselves with rest. But if you have a symptom that recurs more than once, and/or limits you from doing what you enjoy or your daily activities, it's time to see a rehab therapist. As the years go by, an accumulation of small "incidents" can create a significant problem For example, a certain manner of walking due to a "fallen arch" may produce back pain, especially if the walking intensifies in time and speed.
A rehab therapist can help you identify whether the pain, soreness and/or stiffness requires treatment or is something that will run its course shortly.
You and others may be referred to rehab therapy because of a movement dysfunction associated with pain. Your difficulty with moving parts of your body (like bending at the low back or difficulty sleeping on your shoulder, etc.) very likely results in limitations with your daily activities (e.g. difficulty getting out of a chair, an inability to play sports, or trouble with walking, etc.). Rehab therapists treat these movement dysfunctions and their associated pains and restore your body's ability to move in a normal manner.
You may need one visit or you may need several months of treatment depending upon your condition. Your rehab therapist and your doctor will help you decide how long you will be treated.
Lateral (outer) elbow pain over or near the bony protuberance is frequently labeled "tennis elbow" and may be diagnosed as lateral epicondylitis. This condition, when associated with tennis may be due to poor backhand technique, improperly strung tennis racket, and/or excessive playing time or frequency. However, this condition may also occur following a blunt traumatic injury to this area of the elbow, improper weight training/lifting technique, or any repetitive over use of the wrist and hand muscles on a daily basis. An example of an overuse type of activity might be the use of a computer at the office for several hours and then again on the computer at home the same day.
It is important to note that "tennis elbow" or lateral epicondylitis, is frequently the cause of lateral elbow pain, but this is not always the case. Thorough examination and differential diagnosing is imperative to rule out other possibilities, e.g., localized entrapment of a nerve at or near the elbow, or referral from nerve entrapment at the neck.
Your first visit will last approximately 60-90 minutes and will include evaluation, and treatment. Subsequent visits will take about 60 minutes or so depending on what your rehab therapist has planned for your treatment session. You will be re-assessed at least weekly to determine if your plan of treatment needs to be modified based on your rate of progress, and remaining problems.
During your initial evaluation, problems are identified that affect your pain level, mobility, strength and function. Goals are then established to help measure your progress as treatment progresses. These goals are functionally based and may include measurements of your pain, strength, mobility, and tolerances for movements or positions as they relate to your ability to function at home, work, school, or in recreation. You will be re-assessed at least weekly to determine your rate of progress compared to the goals established on your initial evaluation. Your rehab therapist will then make modifications in your treatment plan accordingly. Progress summaries are provided to your physician every two weeks, or more often as needed.
If you have a problem that you think can be helped with rehab therapy, feel free to give us a call. The rehab therapist will ask you specific questions in order to gain a better understanding of your problem or dysfunction. He or she will then discuss possible treatment interventions with you, and give you a better idea if it is something that is manageable with rehab therapy.
Although most insurance companies do cover rehab therapy, what they cover specifically varies greatly. Feel free to call us with any questions pertaining to your coverage.
The interventions you receive will depend on what the rehab therapist finds in the examination/evaluation. Our intervention programs include coordination among all people involved in your care (other health care professionals, family, friends, caregivers, and others), communication to ensure a good exchange of information, thorough documentation of the care and services provided, and instruction to you and others involved in your care to promote and optimize our services. Most rehab therapy plans of care will include three categories of interventions: therapeutic exercise, functional training in self-care and home management, and functional training in work or school, community, and leisure environments. Other interventions might include manual therapy techniques; use of equipment such as supports, orthotics, or prosthetics; skin repair and protection techniques; electrotherapeutic modalities; and mechanical modalities. Your education regarding your specific problems is also very important to us.
That depends entirely on the rehab therapist's examination/evaluation to determine your diagnosis and prognosis.
In general, wear comfortable clothing to rehab therapy. If you are presenting with a problem of your cervical spine, upper back or shoulders, the therapist can provide you with a gown as needed to expose these areas. If you are coming for a knee-leg-ankle-foot problem, shorts are important. You can bring clothing with you if you need to change here.
You are our partner in your recovery. Your rehab therapist cannot do it without you! We ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions, as this is extremely important in expediting your recovery. Please help us to help you.