Physical Therapy

Therapist working on a man’s leg rehabilitation in a physical therapy session | Muir Orthopaedic Specialists | SF Bay Area CA

Physical therapy is performed by our physical therapists (PTs), who are experts in body movement and addressing the restrictions to natural mobility and associated pain. The goal of physical therapy is to maximize the individual’s quality of life after injury, manage a chronic condition, recover from orthopedic surgery, and prevent re-injury.

This form of therapy involves:

  • Collaborative approach by PTs and orthopedists.
  • Hands-on patient care.
  • Prescribed exercises.
  • Patient education and emotional support.

The Muir Ortho physical therapy advantage

Most physical therapy facilities are owned by an independent business. But Muir Orthopaedic Specialists (MOS) owns its physical therapy facilities, resulting in considerable benefit for the patient.

Our rehabilitation team utilizes the latest therapy techniques and technologies to optimize recovery. We take a team approach that emphasizes one-on-one communication between our therapists and our physicians, which often occurs daily. This results in:

  • Better therapist understanding of the patient’s specific condition, such as important details about the injury, the corrective surgery and the condition of a patient’s tissue afterward.
  • Physical therapists know each surgeon’s particular methods, techniques and devices used, adapting rehabilitation accordingly.
  • Regular dialog on patient condition and progress enables the physical therapist to know when to be more aggressive and when to be more reserved in treatment.
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The plan, exercises, pain management & patient participation

Orthopedic physical therapy differs from other types as it addresses musculoskeletal issues (see below section on conditions we treat).

The plan

Our therapy for patients can often help them avoid several kinds of orthopedic surgery. MOS physicians always try less invasive treatments than surgery, and physical therapy is often the first-line treatment. Our approach promotes recovery by initially incorporating range of motion therapy that progresses into a combination of supervised, in-clinic and at-home exercise regimens.

Working with our orthopedists and other providers, our physical therapists devise an individualized treatment plan for the patient to get back to normal activity, work and independence. As the plan progresses, the PT can adjust it according to the person’s improvement or other issues that may come up.

Exercises & activities

Therapy can involve various combinations of activities, including the following.

  • Hands-on therapy.
  • Strength conditioning.
  • Stretching exercises.
  • Mobility and flexibility exercises.
  • Exercises to increase range of motion.
  • Joint manipulation.
  • Endurance conditioning.
  • Jumping and rebounding exercises.

Therapy for pain management

Orthopedic conditions requiring physical therapy also frequently involve pain, and managing this pain is an important aspect of reconditioning. The exercises, education and hands-on care help a patient deal with such pain, rather than relying on pain medications. The American Physical Therapy Association and Muir Ortho support this use of physical therapy as a safe alternative to opioids and other pain medications.

Promoting patient participation

The patient must be an active participant in his or her program for physical therapy to be successful. We customize therapy to each person’s challenges, needs and goals. And we do everything we can to encourage people to work for their own improvement. This involves trusting the physical therapist, being motivated to do some physical work, and possibly changing daily habits.

Our physical therapist team, facilities & tools of the trade

Muir Orthopaedic Specialists’ rehabilitation team consists of physical therapists, an occupational therapist and a supporting staff of physical therapy assistants, exercise physiologists and certified athletic trainers. The team provides varying levels of treatment services at our San Ramon and Brentwood locations, with our main rehabilitation center at the Walnut Creek location.

We utilize the latest techniques and technologies to provide our patients with personalized care that optimizes recovery. Our program features:

  • Certified hand specialists.
  • An occupational therapist helping patients recover the ability to perform normal daily activities.
  • Sports physical therapy.
  • Work conditioning.
  • Concussion rehabilitation. 
  • Vestibular rehabilitation for balance and dizziness issues.
  • Custom splinting and bracing.
  • 6,000-square-foot rehabilitation center on the first floor of the Walnut Creek office.
  • An indoor, warm water therapeutic pool.

Tools of the PT trade

Our physical therapists stays abreast of the latest techniques, and also the latest advances in equipment. These tools start with the therapist’s highly skilled hands and include old standbys like heating pads, ice, assistive devices (cane, walker), resistance rubber bands, weights, exercise equipment and other familiar devices.

Muir Ortho therapists also use other tools of the trade, including:

  • Ultrasound.
  • Assessment devices.
  • Massage and mobilization instruments.
  • Orthotics to assist a limb.
  • Prosthetics if a replacement is needed.
  • Electrical stimulation, such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation).
  • AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.
  • GameReady vasopneumatic (hot & cold compression) therapy.

Conditions we treat, from sports physical therapy to hand therapy

Virtually every injury and condition our providers treat can utilize this therapy as an element of a patient’s recovery. This is certainly the case with many orthopedic surgeries, and Muir Ortho schedules surgery patients for physical therapy as soon as the physician’s protocol allows it.

Conditions we treat:

Our therapists and physicians monitor each patient’s progress with an eye toward graduating the person from coming to us for physical therapy sessions. This can involve the patient continuing to do prescribed exercises at home. It may also involve a reconditioning program, which is a step in between physical therapy and self-care.