A physical therapist (PT) is a specialist trained to work with you to restore your activity, strength, and motion following an injury or surgery. Physical therapists can teach specific exercises, stretches, and techniques and use specialized equipment to address problems you might be experiencing. Pemi-Baker Community Health’s compassionate, experienced PT’s will come to your home for your therapy and once you are able, you can transition to Outpatient Physical Therapy(OPT), where you travel to them at their clinic in Plymouth, NH.
Physical therapy care may be provided in a variety of different settings. Obviously, if you are hospitalized, your therapy may be provided by a physical therapist who works at the hospital. If you require sports therapy, you may go to an OPT clinic. Some patients have difficulty leaving the house to go to physical therapy. In-home physical therapy is the perfect solution.
So what is in-home physical therapy, and how might you benefit from PT in your home?
Physical therapists are trained to identify deficiencies in the bio-mechanics of the body. Working with a physical therapist can target specific areas of weakness in the way our bodies work. They can relieve stress and help the body function without pain.
Physical therapists are knowledgeable about surgical procedures and treatment goals and can tailor their efforts to improve your well-being. After surgical procedures, it is important that therapy is guided by the surgical procedure. Physical therapists are knowledgeable about your body’s limitations after surgery and can help ensure a successful outcome.
Stretching Tight Muscles and Joints: Stretching is vital in maintaining a good range of motion with joints and the flexibility of muscles. If you have stiff joints or tight muscles, normal activities, such as climbing stairs or reaching overhead, can be severely affected. With proper stretching, these functions can be preserved.
After an injury or surgery, scar tissue forms and soft tissue contracts. It is important to regularly stretch in these situations to ensure that scar formation does not get in the way of your rehabilitation.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Body: Strengthening exercises are performed to help you improve the function of your muscles. The goal is to improve strength, increase endurance and maintain or improve range of motion. Post-operative exercises should always be guided by your doctor and physical therapist, as there may be specific restrictions for your injury. One of the most recent developments in physical therapy is the emphasis on core strengthening and stability. The core of your body is like the foundation of your house. If you were to build your house on a weak foundation, you could risk damage and collapse. Similarly, bodies with a weak core are susceptible to acute injury and chronic overuse syndromes.
Who Benefits from In-home PT?
- Knee injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries, and neck injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Any cardiac event like a heart attack
- Trauma such as fracture.
Is In-Home PT Effective?
Many people wonder if home-care physical therapy is effective. Why? Because many believe that you need expensive, heavy equipment and exercise tools to engage in an effective rehab program. This is not necessarily true. Your home-care physical therapist is trained to utilize available resources to maximize your rehab experience. He or she can also bring light equipment to your home to ensure you get the most out of your physical therapy.
How Do You Get Home care PT?
Most patients who receive home-care physical therapy are referred to the service by their physician. Your doctor can make the referral to a local visiting nurse service that offers physical therapy, and he or she can attest that home services are medically necessary. This medical necessity report will likely also state that home-care physical therapy is needed because you are unable to leave the house due to your condition or circumstances. Patients can choose who they go to for services, they just need to mention the organization to their physician. (Keep in mind if you have insurance you should always check to confirm what providers are included).
If you feel you may benefit from physical therapy at home, you can also call your local physical therapy clinic or visiting nurse association like Pemi-Baker Community Health. Those organizations can help you navigate the pathway to receiving home-care PT.
~written by Anna Swanson