Physical Therapy Programs and Treatments

ACL Injury Prevention Program

For the past two decades, ACL injury prevention programs have been a strong focus in the field of sports medicine. Various programs have been created as a way to encourage and promote proper techniques for athletes who may be at high risk of sustaining an ACL injury.

ACL prevention programs include targeted exercises that address muscle strengthening, muscle recruitment patterns, landing and deceleration patterns, proprioception, and plyometrics.

Most ACL injury prevention program sessions last approximately 20-30 minutes, making it very easy to incorporate into a practice setting. If you are an athlete, you should strongly consider participating in an ACL injury prevention program, due to the overwhelmingly positive statistical evidence supporting its effectiveness.

In a study examining the effect of ACL injury prevention programs, female athletes demonstrated a reduced ACL injury risk of 52% after incorporating the program into their fitness regimens.

Even better, male athletes demonstrated a reduced ACL injury risk of 85% after incorporating the program into their fitness regimens. With odds so good, why not start your prevention regiment today?!

ACL prevention programs have been proven to work, helping athletes not only while they are on the field, but also while they are training. Our Fayetteville physical therapy practice is dedicated to helping athletes recover from ACL injuries, in addition to preventing further injury in the future.

If you are interested in our ACL injury prevention program, contact RDL Therapeutic Outpatient Therapy, Health & Wellness today to find out how it can benefit you. Our dedicated physical therapists will get you started on your journey to reaching your optimum physical function!

For more information, contact us at Fayetteville, NC center.

Electrical Stimulation

What is electrical stimulation?

While it may sound a bit intimidating, electrical stimulation really isn’t at all!

When used correctly and provided under the guidance of a licensed and skilled physical therapist, electrical stimulation is a safe and efficacious modality that can be used to treat a variety of conditions.

While individual units and modes of delivery can vary, the standard electrical stimulation device utilizes self-adhesive electrodes placed around the target treatment area on the body.

These electrodes are connected via wire leads to the unit, through which electricity can pass and ultimately interact with sensory and/or motor nerves (depending on the type of current utilized).

What is electrical stimulation used for in physical therapy?

There are several electrical stimulation modes that use different types of currents intended to stimulate different nerves in a variety of specific ways.

These include modes such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), interferential, pre-modulated, Russian, and symmetrical or asymmetrical bi-phasic. Don’t let the words confuse you, though. Your physical therapist will decide the right one to meet your unique needs.

Our clinic frequently utilizes electrical stimulation in order to provide a variety of beneficial healing effects, including:

  • Reduce, Eliminate, and/or Control Pain (both acute and&nbspchronic)
  • Increase Local Circulation
  • Decrease Swelling
  • Improve Range of Motion
  • Reduce Muscle Spasm
  • Provide Biofeedback (aka improve body awareness)
  • Improve Motor Coordination
  • Provide Neuromuscular Re-Education
  • Prevent or Reverse Muscle Atrophy (especially after prolonged immobilization, such as a limb being cast as a fracture heals)

Pain control and reduction is probably the most frequent indication of electrical stimulation usage.

Specifically, this modality can trigger an innate and completely natural analgesic effect by stimulating specific sensory nerve fibers (including A-beta, A-delta, and C fibers) which both disrupt or decrease the sensation of pain and also elicit the release of certain neurotransmitters which can prolong the pain-relieving effects.

While it’s not for everyone (including people with deep vein thrombosis, people who are pregnant, people with pacemakers, and people with impaired cognition) or safe to use on every body area (including on the anterior neck, eyes, or over areas with damaged skin or decreased sensation), electrical stimulation can be used for a wide variety of conditions as indicated, including acute sports-related or auto accident-related injuries, repetitive stress injuries, muscle strains, ligament sprains, and even neurological conditions including stroke.

Does electrical muscle stimulation hurt?

No! The intensity of the electrical muscle stimulation or sensory nerve stimulation is easily modifiable and ultimately will only be as much as you, the patient, can tolerate.

Typically, electrical stimulation will feel tingly or prickly (some patients describe it as a comforting “pins and needles” sensation). Sometimes, as in the case when used for muscle strengthening, the intensity level can be high and somewhat uncomfortable, but it should never cause pain.

What should I expect during an electrical stimulation session?

Our patients’ comfort, safety, and dignity are the number one priority. For this reason, we’ll ask you to come in comfortable loose-fitting clothes and sturdy shoes when you come to see us for an appointment.

At your initial consultation, expect to be taken through a thorough patient history questionnaire (we’ll ask questions about your current, past, and family medical history) and physical examination. Your physical therapist will be able to diagnose your condition and then devise an appropriate treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

If your physical therapist decides that electrical stimulation is an appropriate part of your plan of care, he or she will first educate you about the specific modality. You’ll be asked to sit or lie in a comfortable position, your skin in the target treatment area will be cleaned and prepped, and your PT will guide you step-by-step through the entire treatment.

therapist

Expect great results!

Are you interested in trying electrical stimulation? Wondering if it can help your pain or dysfunction? Our physical therapy services, including electrical stimulation and other modalities, are evidenced-based, state-of-the-art, effective, and have minimal to no risk of side effects.

Come experience the difference and contact RDL Therapeutic Outpatient Therapy, Health & Wellness today to schedule an initial appointment.

Joint Mobilization

What is joint mobilization?

You have hundreds of joints in your body, which come in a variety of types and sizes (such as a “hinge joint” in your elbow, a “ball and socket joint” in your hip, or a “saddle joint” in your thumb).

Joints, formed by the articulating surfaces of two or more bones, depend on a combination of both stability and mobility in order to help you function efficiently and comfortably.

Importantly, joints are supported by a wide variety of physiological structures including capsules, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscle fibers, all of which can become injured and potentially benefit from physical therapy services, including a service known as joint mobilization.

Joint mobilization is a type of manual therapy performed here at our physical therapy clinic. It involves the passive movement of specific joints using the skilled application of force, direction, and technique.

A physical therapist can use his or her hands to mobilize an affected joint or may elect to use certain tools, including straps, to help deliver the desired treatment effect.

The specific type, magnitude, speed, and frequency of joint mobilization performed depends on several factors, including the goal of treatment, the type of joint being targeted, and even your own unique anatomy.

The primary effects of joint mobilizations include pain reduction, improved range of motion, and improved quality of joint movement itself (known as arthrokinematics).

What conditions can benefit from joint mobilization?

Sometimes, a joint can become irritated, swollen, or misaligned as a result of injury, stress, poor posture, repetitive movement, or even as a result of age-related wear and tear. When this happens, the joint may not move correctly and become stiff and painful.

Nearby structures, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments, may become tense or injured as a compensatory effect of trying to support or stabilize the injured joint. This can lead to muscle weakness or even impingement and damage to nearby nerves.

Joint mobilization isn’t appropriate for all patients, and our skilled and experienced physical therapists can determine if it’s right for you or a loved one.

Specific conditions that our physical therapy team successfully manages with joint mobilizations include:

  1. Arthritis (especially of the shoulder, spine, elbow, hip, and knee)
  2. Rotator cuff tears and sprains
  3. Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  4. Medial or lateral epicondylitis (golfer’s or tennis elbow, respectively)
  5. Ankle sprains
  6. Sciatica and other types of nerve impingement syndromes
  7. Facet joint locking and other types of spinal misalignments
  8. Whiplash

Joint issues are often the hidden underlying factors driving other types of injuries and ailments including muscle strains, ligament damage, and bursitis, so this is why we strongly encourage you to consult with a physical therapist with any type of acute or chronic dysfunction.

Your joints could be contributing to your pain without you even realizing it!

What should I expect during a joint mobilization treatment with a physical therapist?

If you come to see a physical therapist at our clinic with acute or chronic joint pain, then you can first expect to be thoroughly examined on an initial examination.

We’ll be assessing and evaluating everything from your range of motion, strength, coordination, pain level, posture, and even relative tissue tension and feel in order to help us devise an accurate diagnosis.

Based on our exam findings, as well as the information we glean from questioning you about your current and past medical history, we’ll be able to devise a customized treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

Since joint mobilization techniques have been shown to be effective for a variety of conditions, we very well may decide to implement this type of manual therapy in your plan of care.

To prepare for a physical therapy session with joint mobilization, be sure to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. Your therapist will need to be able to see, or at least easily palpate (feel), the specific joint he or she is mobilizing (keeping in mind, of course, that your privacy and comfort are of utmost concern to our staff).

Your physical therapist will be sure to offer you clear details on how to sit or lie during the session, what you should expect to feel, as well as what to do following your session in order to maximize effects and prevent recurring pain or dysfunction.

To complement and optimize the effects of joint mobilizations, we’ll also instruct you in additional services which may include therapeutic exercises for strengthening and range of motion, modalities, and postural and neuromuscular retraining.

Are you wondering if joint mobilization is right for you? Contact our clinic today at Fayetteville, NC center. Our friendly staff is happy to answer your questions, help you schedule an appointment, and educate you about the wide range of physical therapy services we offer.

Drug-free relief from your joint or muscle pain is possible, so contact us to get your healing journey started today.