Health Matters - "Physical Therapy Helps Restore Knee Function"

Physical Therapy Helps Restore Knee Function

By Jean Amodea

Physical Therapy Helps Restore Knee FunctionNormal knee function is typically taken for granted until you lose it. Knee pain due to injury, arthritis, or overuse can affect your daily routine and activities you enjoy. For those who suffer from knee pain, are contemplating surgery, or have undergone knee replacement surgery, physical therapy can help.

NCH is the preferred go-to spot for total joint replacement. Likewise, NCH Outpatient Rehabilitation Services consistently delivers clinically driven and proven results, according to Ingrid E. Gilbert, PT and Manager of NCH Outpatient Rehabilitation Services.

“Whether a patient needs pre or post-surgical care, joint preservation or restorative care, physical therapy offers one of the most conservative treatment strategies. We strive to make quality of life changes through therapeutic intervention, which in many cases minimizes the dependency on medication,” Gilbert said.

“In that way, we are an adjunct to the medical model,” she said. “For pre-surgical patients, therapists work to minimize fear of the unknown and prepare patients about what to expect in the post-operative recovery.”

A hallmark of physical therapy is the variety of treatment models and strategies provided.

Patients can use a large 92- to 94-degree aquatic pool in varying depths. Floating noodles provide a variety of exercises, and walking in water with ankle weights provides resistance training. The weightless aspect of the water affords minimal compression on joints. There is also a water bike available for knee range of motion.

Physical therapist, Christine Chase of Marco Island NCH Outpatient Rehabilitation, uses portable electrical stimulators to re-educate and strengthen weakened muscles. She often uses an electrical TENS unit at the joint for pain control. Both treatment modalities increase the effectiveness of the exercise program Chase develops for her patients.

Chase also ensures comprehensive ongoing care by encouraging patients to engage their respective family members and/or personal trainers to continue to exercise after therapy.

“I love my job as it is so rewarding to see our patients experience life changing results that restore their former quality of life,” Gilbert added. “While referrals are made by physicians, I encourage folks with knee pain to speak with their physicians and consider our services.”

For more information about NCH Outpatient Rehabilitation Services physical therapy, call (239) 624-1644.

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