Types of Physical Therapy

Physical therapists treat a large variety of conditions. Therefore, there are many specialties within the field of physical therapy.

Orthopedic physical therapy includes any musculoskeletal condition due to overuse, injury, accidents or poor body mechanics. This includes post-operative conditions from hip and knee replacements to surgeries on the shoulder, ankle, knee, neck or back. This category also includes any type of acute or chronic pain which have no apparent cause.

Neurological physical therapy includes working with patients that have Alzheimer’s, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and strokes.

Women’s health physical therapy includes treating women with incontinence, pelvic pain, weakened pelvic floor muscles, and conditions related to pregnancy.

Geriatric physical therapy includes cardiovascular training, balance training, post-operative treatment, and acute/chronic pain conditions. This therapy can take place in outpatient orthopedic facilities, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy rehabilitates patients who have recently had heart or pulmonary surgery and need to regain their strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Harbor Physical Therapy is an outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation facility. Therefore, we fall under the orthopedic category. We also treat patients that might fall in some of the other categories listed above. If you are unsure what type of physical therapy facility you need, please contact us for more information.

Muscle Stiffness

Muscle Stiffness

Many people suffer from muscle stiffness in the morning.  There are many reasons for morning muscle stiffness such as; poor sleeping positions, arthritis, obesity, poor diet, dehydration and having a sedentary lifestyle.

Listed below are examples of ways to decrease muscle stiffness:

  1. Applying heat
  2. Stretching throughout the day
  3. Improve sleeping position- such as, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.
  4. Taking a shower/bath in the morning followed by stretching
  5. Being active throughout the day

To learn specific exercises that can help decrease your morning muscle stiffness, make an appointment at Harbor Physical Therapy. The physical therapist will create a home exercise program and educate you on specific ways to help reduce your discomfort.

What is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is a specific spot on a tight band of muscle that is hyperirritable. Usually you can feel a nodule or knot in the muscle. When you put pressure on the trigger point, it will feel tender and possibly radiate pain to another area.

Trigger points are most commonly located in the postural muscles of the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Trigger points can manifest themselves in tension headaches, ringing in the ear, and jaw pain.

Lack of exercise, sitting at a computer with poor posture, vitamin deficiencies, lack of sleep and micro trauma that occurs with sports and repetitive activities can all contribute to trigger points.

Physical therapists are trained to help inactivate these trigger points. Physical therapists will use modalities such as heat or ice, soft tissue massage, ultrasound and stretching to help reduce pain and tightness at the site of the trigger point.