Physical Therapists are professionals who understand movement and function. Physioflow Physical Therapy in Vancouver and Camas is skilled at assessing and managing a range of conditions including:
- Physical conditions such as back pain, arthritis and repetitive strain injury
- Sports injuries
- Paediatric conditions such as developmental delay, fractures and cardio respiratory conditions
- Post surgery recovery
- Physical complications of cancer and its treatment
- Mobility problems related to neurological disorders such as stroke, spinal cord injury or Parkinson’s disease
- Pre- and post-natal problems and other women’s health conditions
- Neck and back pain and other joint injuries
- Respiratory and cardiac conditions
- Dizziness and vestibular dysfunction
These are some things you may consider when looking for a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapy clinic:
- The Physical Therapist should be licensed in the state or province.
- The first visit should include a thorough medical history and physical examination before any treatment is rendered.
- The patient goals should be discussed in detail during the first visit.
- The Physical Therapist should be open and willing to discuss any questions you have about your problem on an ongoing basis.
- Care should generally include a variety of techniques which might include hands-on techniques, soft tissue work, and therapeutic exercises and in some cases heat, cold, electrical stimulation or ultrasound.
- The Physical Therapist should provide the majority of treatment. Physical Therapy aides or other types of therapists, if present, should be used as assistants in relation to the main treatment provided.
- Does the clinic have any Physical Therapists with special training or experience that can address your unique problem area? (e.g. vestibular rehab, urinary incontinence, post-stroke)
During your first visit you can expect the following:
- Arrive at your appointment with your Physical Therapy prescription.
- A Physical Therapist at Physioflow Physical Therapy in Vancouver and Camas will conduct your initial evaluation and discuss the following:
- Your current condition and cause of the injury.
- Your past medical history including medications, tests, and procedures related to your health and current problem.
- The intensity of your pain – for example, when and what aggravates the pain and what you currently do to ease the pain.
- How your condition/pain is impacting your daily activities. What are your functional limitations?
- What you hope to achieve from Physical Therapy i.e.: setting your individual goals.
You will be evaluated by one of our licensed and highly trained Physical Therapists at Physioflow Physical Therapy. The therapist will perform an objective evaluation which may include some of the following:
- Palpation – touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for tenderness, possible swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, or deformity.
- Range of Motion (ROM) – the therapist may move certain joints, to check for the quality of movement and to assess for any abnormalities of these joints as well as the ligaments, muscles, and tendons that surround them.
- Active Movement and Strength – the therapist may check for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded.
- Neurological Screening – the therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
- Special Tests – the therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
- Posture Assessment – the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.
The Physical Therapist at Physioflow Physical Therapy will review your symptoms and objective findings from their examination and discuss the findings with you. Together you will plan your treatment. The therapist will continually evaluate the effect of treatment on your condition and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. Your plan will also help you manage your condition at home and educate you on how to prevent reoccurrence of problems.
Bring your Physical Therapy prescription and a copy of your completed paperwork, as well as your insurance card, if applicable. In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. For Workers’ Compensation, bring your claim number and your case manager’s contact information. If you are covered by auto insurance or an attorney lien, make sure you bring this information.
You should wear loose fitting clothing so that your Physioflow Physical Therapy *physiotherap%ists can easily move your joints and entire body as that helps us perform a thorough examination. You should be able to expose the area that we will be evaluating and treating. For example, if you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a sleeveless tank top is a good choice. For low back problems, wear loose fitting shirt and shorts.
This is highly variable and depends on several factors including your type of injury, your personal medical history, and how well your condition responds to the treatment. You may need only one visit or you may require several visits and many months of care. Your Physical Therapist at Physioflow Physical Therapy will discuss with you how many visits you may require. Your progress will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis and will assist your Physical Therapist in adjusting your frequency of treatment as needed.
Usually one of the primary objectives of Physical Therapy treatment is pain relief and most patients feel better after treatment. However, in some cases, Physical Therapy techniques can cause pain. For example, it may be painful recovering knee range of motion after total knee replacement or shoulder range of motion after shoulder surgery.
Other techniques such as deep massage can sometimes feel painful and even repetitive prescribed exercises may cause some pain to a recovering body part. Some patients feel sore immediately after a treatment but then feel great relief by that evening or next day. NO PAIN CAUSED EITHER DURING TREATMENT OR THAT YOU FEEL AFTER TREATMENT SHOULD BE UNBEARABLE OR EXCEED YOUR COMFORT LIMITS.
Since each patient has a different pain tolerance, if you do experience pain it is of utmost importance that you communicate the intensity, frequency, and duration of pain frequently to your Physioflow Physical Therapy Physical Therapist both during your treatment and on subsequent visits. Without this information, it is difficult for the Physical Therapist to adjust the treatment techniques and treatment plan to provide the individual care that each patient requires.
Massage may be part of your treatment however; Physical Therapists are trained in a wide variety of techniques that assist recovery (including massage) so generally several different techniques are used even in one treatment session. Massage, if used, is typically done for three reasons 1) to facilitate venous return from a swollen area, 2) to relax a tight muscle, or 3) to relieve pain.
‘Flare ups’ (exacerbations) of managed pain or a recurrence of a problem can occur for a variety of reasons. If this happens you should either call or return to see your Physical Therapist at Physioflow Physical Therapy. You may need to return to Physical Therapy for further assessment or treatment, may need to see your doctor, or may simply need to modify your daily activities or exercise routine until the flare up subsides or the problem resolves.
Your Physical Therapist in Vancouver and Camas will be very specific regarding what you need to do independently once you have stopped your Physical Therapy sessions. Some patients will need to continue with home exercises to manage their injury or avoid a recurrence. Some may be asked to return for a follow-up several months later. Others will complete their rehabilitation and return to normal daily activities without an ongoing home-program or need for further follow-up. It is important that you ask your Physical Therapist specifically about what you should do once you are no longer attending regular Physical Therapy treatments, and that you clearly communicate your goals to your therapist, so he/she can develop a custom home program tailored just for you.