Many of our UMass Memorial physical therapists
have advanced skills in the treatment of orthopedic conditions and sports
injuries. Therapy programs are individually designed to provide recovery of
motion, alleviation of pain and quick return to an active lifestyle. Therapists
use specific techniques to promote sports-specific strengthening, conditioning
and training. In addition to providing consultation during orthopedic and sports
clinics, therapists collaborate regularly with physicians to assure
comprehensive and well-coordinated care. An athletic trainer consults with
injured athletes in developing strategies for the return to sporting activities.
A therapy pool is used for aquatic therapy, which is
beneficial for patients needing reduced resistance to complete exercises. Jets
in the pool can also be used to increase resistance as the patient progresses.
Whirlpools are also available for treatment of wounds.
Patients suffering from dizziness receive specialized
interventions in the Vestibular Rehab Program to help reduce or eliminate
symptoms, and also receive education on coping strategies for safety and
Incontinence is a common problem that is shared by many women
and men throughout their lives. Patients may benefit from physical therapy
management of several different types of incontinence, including stress, urge
and fecal incontinence. A skilled therapist performs an evaluation and assesses
the pelvic floor musculature. Based on the assessment, the therapist may use
biofeedback and/or electrical stimulation to help re-educate the muscles. A
customized exercise and bladder retraining program is designed to expedite
Children benefit from physical therapy for sports
injuries and other orthopedic problems, as well as for developmental therapy.
Children who are not reaching developmental milestones, such as walking, running
and jumping, can be helped by therapists who use techniques to improve skills in
these areas. A large pediatric room is equipped with therapy balls, balance
beams and special games that help with the rehabilitation process.
The Work Conditioning Program is designed to help patients
perform their job tasks safely. Patients learn how to use correct body mechanics
and pain control techniques to help increase their activity level without
increasing their pain. By the time patients enter the Work Conditioning Program
it may be determined that they will continue to have some level of pain,
therefore the goal of the program is not to eliminate pain, but to achieve the
ability to safely perform the job tasks without increasing pain.
The Work Conditioning Program is housed in a unique factory-style section of
our Rehab Group building, and has equipment that can be set up for any number of
job roles. An 18-wheeler driving simulator is available, as well as
wheelbarrows, hospital-room setups, computer workstations and whatever else
might be needed to best simulate the actual job to which patients will be
returning. The program is customized for each patient and is typically scheduled
for four hours per day, four days per week, for four to six weeks.
Evaluations and the Work Conditioning Program must have pre-approval from a
workers' compensation insurance carrier; these specialty programs are not
covered by private health insurance plans.