At C.O.A.S.T., we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive and informative atmosphere for our patients.
It begins with the initial evaluation, which lasts for approximately one hour. Here the physical therapist will take a ‘subjective’ history in which questions are asked of the patient to find out how the patient is feeling e.g. levels of pain or disability, and when/how the problem started.
The next step is the ‘objective’ evaluation, which consists of the therapist putting the patient through a battery of differential diagnostic tests to determine the structures at fault. At this time, baseline measurements for range of motion, strength and girth measurements may be taken.
Once the above steps have been completed the patient is instructed in the first phase of their home exercise program. The home exercise program usually consists of some sort of stretching, strengthening; advise on use of ice/heat/over-the-counter medications, and precautions in regards to their respective injury.
The end of the initial evaluation also consists of soft tissue mobilization/massage performed by either the therapist or our massage therapist that serves two purposes:
1) to identify the tissues at fault and
2) to help provide comfort through reduction of muscle spasms and/or correction of joint misalignments.
On subsequent visits the home exercise program is reviewed to ensure that the patient is compliant with the program and has no questions regarding the exercises. As certain milestones are achieved and the patient is deemed ready to progress then exercises are added, or subtracted, as appropriate. During each visit the patient will be re-measured for edema, range of motion, etc., to gauge the patient’s progress. Soft tissue mobilization/massage is also performed, more often than not, at each visit. Each physical therapy visit can last from a minimum of 45 minutes to as much as 2 hours though the mean time is approximately one hour.
One thing that makes our patient’s experience unique vs. other facilities is that at no time is our patient seen by an unlicensed health care practitioner e.g. physical therapy aide. We feel that the exercise phase of the rehabilitation process is an integral part and should be overseen by the therapist, who is most capable of modify and progressing the exercises and who is most adept at identifying improper compensatory patterns or addressing potential problems that may arise during the performance of the exercises. More than just the initial evaluating therapist can also see our patients. Each therapist has his or her unique areas of expertise and range in experience from 3 years to over 20 years. This leads to a more comprehensive and well-rounded approach to the treatment.
We pride ourselves on clearly illustrating to our patient’s the nature of their problem and answering any of their questions throughout the whole process. We also encourage our patients to ask questions if anything is unclear to them. We feel that a patient that is fully aware of what is going on with their body as well as the rationale for the rehabilitation program is better able to deal with their problem and leads to a more successful outcome.
So feel free to stop by our clinic or give us a call to find out if we are what you’re looking for when it comes to your physical therapy needs. We will be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.