Understanding Physical Therapy Method

From any aches, pain, joint stiffness or other musculo skeletal problem physical therapist has knack to assess and treat them.  Physical therapist can really understand bio mechanics of your joints and muscles.  You can always see a physical therapist for any of your needs with aches and pain.

First Step— The Assessment

The first step in physical therapy treatment is assessment.  Patient has to be evaluated in detail to understand their problem and underlying causes.  It is very important that they go the root of the problem to treat patient effectively.

Second Step- The treatment Plan

Although patient may come to see physical therapist for many different reason.  It could be neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, ankle pain, therapist has to lay out a treatment plan.  Most of the treatment plans may include Ice, Heat, Electrical stimulation, Ultrasound, Manual therapy, Therapeutic exercises.   Manual therapy is very important part of physical therapy it could be stretching, Soft tissue manipulations, neural mobilization, and joint mobilization.

Third Step- The treatment


It helps to reduce swelling and temporary relief from pain.  Ice usually applied first 48-72 hours of injury or in some cases even after if it inflammatory condition and swelling is on/off.  Ice helps decreasing swelling by constricting blood vessels.  Therapist will decide whether ice is good for your condition or not after the evaluation.


It helps to relieve muscular spasms, tightness and joint stiffness.  Heat helps to reduce pain, spasm and stiffness by dilating blood vessels.  Therapist may use heat to aid other treatment like stretching, joint mobilization.

Electrical Stimulation

There are different kind of current therapist used to treat patient’s pain.  Electrical stimulation helps to relieve pain temporary.  It can be used along with hot/cold packs.  It blocks pain at spinal level by releasing endorphin and encephalin.


It helps in promoting healing, increase metabolism and improve microcirculation in the area which is being treated.  It is kind of deep heat which penetrates deeper then conventional hot packs and it is very useful modalities for localized pain in conditions like tendinitis, sprains.

Manual Therapy

Working hands on patient cannot be emphasized enough in patient’s physical therapy treatment.  Any orthopedic conditions for which patient is going for physical therapy needs manual physical therapy.  Manual therapy may include stretching, neural mobilization, joint mobilization, joint traction, soft tissue manipulations.  Manual therapy should be part and backbone of any physical therapy treatment.

Therapeutic Exercise

It is very important in any rehabilitation that patient goes through series of exercises to reach their goal.  Range of motion exercises are to restore full range.  Flexibility exercise will be to keep flexibility across particular muscle.  Patient will be given particular exercise to regain strength and it will be tailored to targeted muscle and it will be part of patient’s recovery.