Physical Therapy in post-acute care

Following a hospitalization for injury or illness, patients may require continued medical care, either at home or in a specialized facility.  Post-acute care refers to those medical care services that support continued recovery from illness or management of a chronic illness or disability.

Physical therapy treatment consists of the application of a variety of interventions that help restore function and mobility to the body, reduce pain, and help reduce the risk of future injury. After an initial physical therapy examination and evaluation, the licensed Physical Therapist, the patient, and, when appropriate, the family will work together to determine an individualized treatment plan that will help the patient return to the highest achievable level of function.

As an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and movement disorders, the physical therapist, working sometimes with a licensed assistant, provides interventions that may include exercise, neurological rehabilitation techniques, balance and coordination techniques, aquatic therapy, ambulation and mobility training, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, as well as specialized orthopedic manual therapy and other interventions that help manage pain and musculoskeletal inflammatory conditions.

Physical therapists work with patients and, when needed, their caregivers to design home exercise programs and give instructions to continue the improvements achieved through physical therapy. Often a therapist recommends wellness and post-rehab programs to continue the overall health and fitness benefits that are realized through the physical therapy program.

Therapists develop individualized treatment plans to address strength and flexibility, pain relief, post-surgical recovery, functional mobility, balance and endurance. Methods such as heat/cold, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and manual techniques, in combination with exercise equipment and a variety of exercises, are used to improve movement patterns and return individuals to home, work and community as safely and quickly as possible.

Physical therapy programs include:

  • Orthopedic rehabilitation, a form of therapy that treats a large variety of conditions that affect the skeletal and muscular systems;
  • Neuromuscular rehabilitation, which treats pinched nerves in the neck or low back, neck or low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and tendonitis, pain or numbness, limited mobility;
  • Physical therapy for incontinence and pelvic pain, an approach thatemphasizes exercise, biofeedback training, diet education, daily habits, pain management techniques, and if needed, muscle stimulation to aid strengthening.
  • Aquatic therapy, which, simply put, is physical therapy in an aquatic environment.  It includes but is not limited to treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness and fitness of patients in an aquatic environment with or without the use of assistive or supportive devices and equipment.
  • Lymphedema therapy, the first-line treatment for lymphedema. This complex treatment is aimed at improving lymphedema with manual lymphatic drainage, massage, and exercise. It advocates the use of compression stockings,multilayer bandaging, or pneumatic pumps.

Ambulation and balance training, offered to patients with central nervous system disorders who may require physical therapy to improve balance and ambulation. Current practice largely emphasizes management of the motor and sensory impairments affecting balance and ambulation, however some patients may also demonstrate mobility impairment.

We at Blue Sky Therapy are ready to assist your therapy – we’re the experts!

Blue Sky Therapy has a continued commitment to patient-driven quality, excellence, integrity and innovation in everything that we do. That’s why we are scrupulous about planning the treatment of each and every client, and carefully documenting the outcome!

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Blue Sky disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

University of Cincinnati Healthcare Services

California Hospital Association