Physical Therapy Treatments in Kansas City: What is Physical Therapy and Do I Need It?
01 April 2020 — Physical Therapy
After implementing initial physical therapy treatments with a first-time patient, we frequently hear: “I always wondered what a physical therapist actually did!”
Physical therapy, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is therapy for the preservation, enhancement, or restoration of movement and physical function impaired or threatened by disease, injury, or disability that utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities, assistive devices, and patient education and training.
However, to us at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic, physical therapy simply means decreasing pain, optimizing movement, improving strength and range of motion, and helping you meet your goals. Physical therapy is completed in many different settings—from the hospital to your home to outpatient rehab centers.
F.I.T. is an outpatient physical therapy clinic with varying weights, resistance bands, balance equipment, and other tools needed to complete your exercise program.
Physical therapy treatments at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint
The doctors at F.I.T. have quite the “tool box” to effectively and efficiently decrease pain, including:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Manual therapy
- Dry needling
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Blood flow restriction (BFR)
- Active release techniques (ART).
Below is a brief overview of each of our physical therapy treatments and the part they play in rehabilitation:
Each person has a unique pain experience, meaning that their sources of pain are different and specific only to them. Typically, initial exercises focus on building a stable foundation with progression into sport/work specific functional movements while maintaining optimal body mechanics. Therapeutic exercise is performed in the clinic and progressed when appropriate. However, it is vital that patients are compliant with their home exercise program to ensure lasting pain reduction and improvement in performance.
Dry needling utilizes a microfilament that is placed into the muscle. When a physical therapist treats a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point with dry needling, it can decrease excessive muscular stiffness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain. Dry needling is a favorite, as it is highly effective.
F.I.T. utilizes RockTape and leukotape when completing therapeutic taping. This type of taping can be utilized in many different ways, including reducing localized swelling, providing support for injured tissue, providing constant tactile feedback, and postural training, just to name a few.
Active Release Technique (ART)
Active Release Technique is a very sought after treatment for patients across the board. ART is performed to break up adhesions that form when muscles and connective tissues are injured. The manipulation of the soft tissues through ART breaks up the adhesions so your muscles, joints, and nerves can move freely again.
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)
Following a specific protocol, Blood Flow Restriction utilizes a cuff that we inflate to a specific pressure depending on a patient’s injury. BFR is effective for tendinous overuse injuries, but we also frequently use it after surgery to increase exercise intensity while maintaining set weight precautions. BFR has been shown to reduce atrophy initially following surgery and promotes hypertrophy during the strengthening phase of rehabilitation.
The purpose of physical therapy treatments in Kansas City
With our physical therapy treatments, we aim to help our patients across the Kansas City metro optimize movement in order to prevent future injuries and/or combat present issues.
The entire body works together like a well-oiled machine to allow us to move throughout our daily lives freely and efficiently. Our bodies are incredibly smart, but in the case of injury or pain, this can backfire. Our bodies are so smart, we compensate for injuries, whether we are aware of it or not.
These compensations can appear in the form of movement dysfunction and cause pain in areas that are not the source of the problem. For example, if we injure our left knee or overuse our back muscles when lifting weights (along with weak abdominal muscles), we may put more weight on our right leg when we run.
Additionally, since different body parts work together to help us move, the cause of one person’s pain could be completely different than the cause of someone else’s. Think about it this way. One person may come to us with knee pain that may be caused by hip weakness while another person’s shoulder pain could be caused by an issue at the elbow.
Fortunately, physical therapists are musculoskeletal and movement experts trained to assess your current movement patterns to determine the source of your pain and areas that may need a “tune up.”
We take a hands on approach with exercise to ensure that our patients are moving with proper form and using the right muscles to perform specific movements in the clinic. Our goal is that you will take these corrections with you back to the gym, court, field, or studio in order to prevent injuries and move without pain.
F.I.T. takes pride in its uniqueness in the current climate of healthcare. When you come into one of our clinics, you can expect to be warmly welcomed exactly as you are. When you find yourself needing to seek out a physical therapist, typically you are experiencing some sort of pain or frustration, and we understand that.
Your initial appointment will be 60 minutes. During that hour, we will complete a thorough evaluation followed by a full physical therapy treatment session. Our goal is that you walk out the door with a full understanding of your specific injury/deficits, your set care plan for your personalized rehabilitation program, and the initial effects of pain relief.
Follow up appointments are typically 30 minutes. All appointments are one-on-one. You can expect the undivided attention of your therapist for the entirety of every session with ongoing reevaluation and evolution of treatment to ensure you gain the highest level of treatment possible. We will review and progress your exercises when warranted.
How is F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic different and why should I choose them over other clinics?
Another comment we usually get after completing a patient’s initial physical therapy treatment is, “Wow, this is much different and better than I expected!” Our clinics have been one-on-one since day one and will continue to remain that way through whatever healthcare changes come and go. Each clinician has their own treatment room to ensure patient privacy and comfort.
Our clinics utilize manual therapy at every session in correlation with corrective exercises. This can be very different from many other clinics which utilize solely therapeutic exercise.
We strive toward building a continuity of care by ensuring each patient sees the same clinician each visit.
Our clinics are in regular contact with many doctors and surgeons in the surrounding Kansas City area to further promote that continuity of patient care. F.I.T.’s clinicians also complete regular continuing education in order to stay up to date with research and techniques.
F.I.T. sees a wide array of patients from pre- or post-surgical to preventative or maintenance care. The goal of rehabilitation is to lead you out of pain and dysfunctional movement as quickly and safely as possible. Following completion of a physical therapy plan of care, we often recommend regular check-ins or “maintenance” to avoid flare ups or re-injury.
We also want you to feel like you have your own personal physical therapist so if a flare up or unrelated injury does occur, you can call in and get scheduled quickly. Above all, F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic puts the patients first with the ultimate goal of helping all patients achieve their goals.
Get started with our physical therapy treatments in Kansas City and the metro area by using our virtual consultation tool or scheduling an appointment.