Individualized treatment plans are developed for each patient based on the results of their evaluation to address both the symptom of pain as well as the underlying cause. Treatment plans typically consist of pain control initially with stretching as tolerated, progressing into more strenuous exercise as pain levels and activity tolerance allows. Our goal is always to return you to your prior level of function, to what you identify as important factors in your life.
Research shows that early treatment can speed recovery from sprains, as faster decreases in pain and swelling. Treatments may consist of pain control, compression for swelling, gentle stretching to maintain range of motion while healing. Strengthening exercises and balance activities are initiated when pain has resolved.
Immediate rehab after injury will help get you back to 100% faster. We have treatments that can speed recovery from pain and swelling, allowing for faster progression to strengthening. WWH also offers personal training services as a component of our post rehabilitation programming to continue your return to sport journey.
We believe that chronic pain impacts the whole person and have designed our treatment plans based on this research-based philosophy. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients and though our hope is pain will resolve as well, realistically that is not always the case with chronic pain. We partner with the Simple Health program to treat not only the original pain, but also the other limitations that often occur the longer chronic pain goes on. We work closely with Dr. Santos as well as our integrative therapies to offer patients the most comprehensive treatment plan possible.
Cognitive Evaluations/Memory Concerns
Consider referrals for patients who may be experiencing cognitive impairments, have experienced a concussion or acquired brain injury, experiencing side effects of cancer treatment, or have safety judgement concerns. Cognitive changes or problems with memory, attention, and problem-solving are comprehensively addressed through the partnership of OT and ST. OT addresses cognition at every level in the context of function. ST addresses cognitive linguistic concerns (such as verbal fluency and word finding) and cognition in multiple contexts. Both OT and ST have comprehensive cognitive assessments and screens across cognitive levels.
Daily Activity Impairments: Consider OT for patients who may have impairments in their ability to complete necessary daily activities. This includes ADLs/IADLs, leisure, and productive (work, school) activities, and other meaningful activities.
Driving Assessment: Consider referring to OT for an off-road assessment battery to determine fitness to drive related to vision, cognition, and musculoskeletal concerns. This can also be a way to screen if a formal on-road driving assessment is recommended.
Myofascial/musculoskeletal deficits: Consider referring for pain or weakness of muscular origin. Please note: strain, counter-strain, or tool assisted manual treatment requests in order comments.
We perform evaluations on all patients, which shows us the exact muscle groups that need focused work to improve. Initially, exercises focus on specific muscle groups. As strength and endurance progresses, exercises focus on muscle groups that work together in functional movements needed in daily life.
Poor balance is concerning, as it can lead to falls and far more serious injuries. Balance can be impacted by neurological conditions, but often is simply due to strength problems or lack of use causing the brain to not respond as quickly as it should. Treatment combines strengthening exercises with retraining the brain to respond to a balance challenge in an appropriate manner. We also may recommend an assistive device for safety.
This is a large category of diagnoses, with the common theme of changes occurring to the brain or nerves that affect how people think and move. These types of patients frequently are treated by combination of PT, OT and speech therapies.
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Typical symptoms include:
- Decreased balance, often progressing to falls
- Difficulty with daily tasks due to decreased strength, endurance and balance
- Difficulty swallowing
- Slurred speaking or difficulty with enunciation
- Difficulty with verbal expression or not being able to understand what is said
- Changes in how people walk; slower, touching furniture or walls, shuffling
- Cognitive changes
Back pain is by far the most common diagnosis seen by physical therapists, but it is not just low back pain. Mid back(thoracic), neck(cervical) and headaches are all diagnoses commonly seen relating to the spinal column. At WWH, each treatment plan is individualized based on your specific problems and goals for return to activity. Treatments focus on strengthening all the muscle groups of the core as well as stretching tight muscles that can cause symptoms.
Patients who have difficulty swallowing are at a higher risk for aspiration, which means what is being swallowed ends up in the lungs rather than the stomach. Aspiration can lead to repeated bouts of pneumonia, which is why a video swallow study may be recommended. If aspiration is occurring, recommendations may be made for thickened liquids as these are easier to swallow. Treatments focus on strategies for sequencing swallowing correctly for patients to use long term to prevent future occurrences of aspiration, as well as strengthening of muscles.
- Pain with swallowing
- Feeling a lump in your throat (globus sensation)
- Wet vocal quality with food, liquid or pills
- Recurrent pneumonia
Vestibular & Vision
There are 3 systems that work together to help us stay balanced; the inner ear, visual(eyes) and proprioception (your body’s ability to know where it is in space). Different vestibular conditions can start in different systems, but the symptoms generally include dizziness and poor balance. Depending on the diagnosis, treatments will correct the cause of the dizziness or focus on retraining your brain to not be as impacted by the dizziness.
Vision and vestibular overlap in many ways, but vision therapy can also include recommendations for adaptions for permanent vision changes (home assessment, assistive devices, strategies for daily activities to maintain safety).
Speech therapy for voice disturbances is often related to Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS or anatomical dysfunction/abnormality of airway/vocal folds but not always. Speech therapy will work on exercises to help strength muscles and retrain the brain to improve clarity of speech. When symptoms are noticed, discuss with your provider and if they feel appropriate, will refer you to an ENT specialist (ear nose and throat). The ENT must order speech therapy for insurance to cover treatment.
- Reduced loudness
- Talking too rapidly
- Monotone speech
- Rough/scratchy voice
- Hoarse or harsh voice