Physical Therapy - When & Where?

February 27, 2017


Rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries and surgery is critical to get you back to maximum function, and prevent the chance of recurrence.  Orthopedic surgeons rely on developing a treatment plan after making an accurate diagnosis.  Successful orthopedic surgeons use an integrative approach that includes physical therapy. Over the years much research has proven the benefits of physical therapy in helping with speedier healing and less chance of recurrence.


Physical therapists are professionally trained well beyond their college degree. Those health care providers who have been in the field for years, like our team, also bring their first-hand experience to provide successful therapy to you.  They understand the science behind healing and know how to safely and efficiently achieve your goals.  A collaborate effort between your physician and therapy team can provide you with the best treatment plan. That can be most easily be achieved if they work in the same office. 


Successful therapists know how to combine modalities such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and massage, with stretching- and most importantly, when to safely add strengthening exercises.  That cannot happen at the gym or at home.  For each orthopedic condition, there are treatments and exercises that are beneficial.  When and how to use the available therapies depends on a proper diagnosis, along with considering the patient’s unique strengths and weaknesses.  Trying to overcome most orthopedic conditions with exercise alone at the gym or home often results in further injury or slower healing, and can lead to surgery.  


Physical therapy cannot be safely done at the gym or with a personal trainer.  In fact, exercise alone may be one way to worsen your condition that may lead to surgery.  A good example is shoulder pain from partial rotator cuff degeneration. Improper exercise will most likely result to further damage to that tendon, often resulting in a complete tear and surgery.  Most partial rotator cuff injuries can be successfully treated with an integrative approach utilizing an experienced physical therapist.


Degenerate conditions such as arthritis can be more successfully managed if a therapist is utilized to help decrease the inflammation prior to determining which stretching and strengthening techniques can best help protect your unique painful joint.  The longevity and function of a degenerating joint can be improved by first calming down the inflammation, learning the appropriate stretching and strengthening, and then continuing that program at home or at the gym.  At our center, we stress the importance of getting started in a home program after your first visit.  These exercises will change as you progress.  We emphasize the importance of a long-term fitness plan including proper exercises for maintenance of your health. 


Some simple problems that arise for the first time, such as tennis elbow, often result in chronic recurrent conditions if not treated thoroughly at the initial presentation.

Physical therapy may cost you money.  However, investing early in a quicker, more efficient recovery, with less chance of recurrence, will save you money in the long run.  Surgery or time off work due to re-aggravation of your condition will be more costly.  At Blanda Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we understand the value of your hard earned dollars, and we do our best to get you better quicker, with less chance of recurrence or a need for surgery. 


Joseph Blanda, MD

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Akron, OH 44319


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