When you need a rehabilitation specialist, Southlake Orthopaedics offers a highly trained staff of occupational and physical therapists that stand ready to provide you with the highest quality of care. Our therapists specialize in manual therapy, upper extremity and hand rehabilitation, sports medicine, back and neck, as well as custom splinting.
Unique to our practice, we work closely in the same office with all of our physicians during your entire scope of care. We also accept outside referral sources from physicians not in our practice. You can have confidence in our rehab programs to get you back to all activities you enjoy as soon as possible.
Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy. When you experience an injury or illness that impacts your ability to move and perform daily activities, physical therapy (PT) may be the answer. Physical therapy can also be an effective alternative or addition to medication and surgery for relieving musculoskeletal pain.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists are evidence-based health care professionals who offer cost-effective treatment that helps improve motion and relieve pain. Highly educated, physical therapists practicing today must have a graduate degree--either a master's or a clinical doctorate from an accredited physical therapy program--before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to treat patients.
What to Expect from a Physical Therapist?
Your physical therapist will teach you how to prevent or manage a health condition and help motivate you during your treatment so you can function optimally, helping you understand your body so you will achieve long-term health benefits.
Each patient is unique and requires a unique plan of care, custom tailored to their particular needs. Some of the potential goals of PT include:
- Reducing the need for long-term use of pain medicine
- Avoiding invasive surgical procedures
- Preparing for surgery and recovering after surgery
- Training for active lifestyles
- Improving balance and preventing falls
- Managing obesity and its related symptoms
The following are health conditions commonly addressed by physical therapists:
- Back Pain
- Knee Pain
- Overuse Injuries
- Shoulder Pain
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Bone fractures and dislocations
- Balance and gait
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You can think of occupational therapy (OT) as focusing on the typical day-to-day tasks that "occupy" our time, helping patients develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills. Occupational therapists often help clients improve their basic motor functions. They are also qualified to instruct those with permanent disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, in the use of adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs, orthotics, and aids for eating and dressing.
Occupational Hand Therapy
Hand therapy is a specialized area of occupational therapy. Hand therapy primarily focuses on the treatment of upper extremity injuries including the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. In order to become a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), your therapist must perform an additional 4,000 hours of clinical practice treating hand, wrist and elbow injuries and successfully pass a national certification exam; this is above and beyond the master's level program and state licensure exam they complete in order to become an occupational therapist.
At Southlake Orthopaedics, our CHTs and hand therapists work closely with our physicians to partner with you through the rehabilitation process. Having the physicians on-site allows our therapists to have direct access to your physician to best understand and evaluate your treatment options. This enables us to provide you with guidance and practical education on your specific injury, to collaborate with you to set mutual goals, and to act as your advocate with the physicians and insurance companies.
Whether you are recovering from surgery or simply needing to regain movement to improve your quality of life, occupational hand therapy can help get you back to your normal lifestyle. Treatments may include the use of physical agent modalities such as variations of heat and cold, ultra-sound, and electric stimulation. As soon as healing tissues tolerate exercises to improve movement, normalize sensation, and increase strength, coordination and agility will be added.
The following are health conditions commonly seen by the hand therapists:
- Fractures, Dislocations, and Amputations
- Sports injuries
- Tennis elbow and other types of tendonitis
- Carpal tunnel and other nerve entrapment disorders
- Trigger Finger
- Dupuytren's contracture
- Complex regional pain syndrome (RSD)
Orthotics is a specialty focusing on the design, manufacture and application of devices that are externally applied to the body in order to adjust the structure and function of muscles, bones and joints. The specialty of orthotics relies on the principles of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and engineering. Any orthotic device recommended by your doctor will depend on your symptoms, the underlying cause for those symptoms, and the shape of your body.
One specialized skill of our therapists is the fabrication of any necessary orthotics and splints. Due to advancements in technology and materials, custom made splints are often used in place of casts. Benefits of a custom splint include personal fit, superior stabilization, reduced bulk and the ability to remove the splint for skin and wound care.
Typically, an orthotic device may be used to:
- Control, guide, limit and/or immobilize an extremity, joint or body segment
- To assist general movement
- To reduce weight bearing forces for a particular purpose
- To aid rehabilitation from fractures after the removal of a cast
- To otherwise correct the shape and/or function of the body, to provide easier movement capability or reduce pain