Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy involves evaluating and treating individuals whose mobility and quality of life are limited due to injury, surgery, aging or disease.

Image of a rehabilitation patient during pool therapy
The goal of physical therapy is to maximize individuals' function and comfort, provide emotional/psychological support and educate the patient and their family members in how to continue progress after therapy is completed.

Physical therapy is performed by either a physical therapist (PT) or a physical therapy assistant (PTA) acting under a physical therapist's direction, using knowledge and skills unique to physical therapists, on a one-to-one basis with the patient.

The following services are provided at El Camino Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Departments:

Spine Care Programs: Our back and neck care programs are custom-tailored for each patient based on his or her specific needs. We provide expertise in the rehabilitation of patients recovering from spine surgery. In addition to a variety of exercises, modalities or hands-on care, programs may include Pilates training (Los Gatos only), aquatic therapy (Los Gatos only) and core stabilization.

Aquatic Therapy (Los Gatos only): Aquatic therapy helps speed recovery by using water to reduce compressive forces on joints while allowing early resistance on all planes of motion. Patients are able to begin regaining functional strength and flexibility in a warm water environment performing exercises that they might not be able to do comfortably on land. This eventually allows patients to progress their strengthening to an “all land” based therapy program and ultimately to an independent program on their own at home or at a gym.

Post Orthopedic Surgery/Total Joint Replacement Rehabilitation: We provide clinical expertise in the rehabilitation of a wide variety of orthopedic surgeries, including total knees, total hips and rotator cuff surgeries, to name a few. We address range of motion, strength and function, as well as pain management, muscle spasm, and swelling.

Image of a rehabilitaiton patient using a Reformer

Sports Injury Rehabilitation: Our therapists provide expert care to allow our patients a safe and successful return to sport. We utilize therapeutic modalities and soft tissue and joint mobilization along with appropriate exercise progression and sport-specific training using our top-quality gym equipment, including the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill (Los Gatos only). We also provide our patient with the tools necessary to further enhance their return to sports with a progressive home exercise program.

Image of a rehabilitation patient on an Alteg treadmill

Anti-Gravity Treadmill Training Los Gatos only): The AlterG is a state-of-the-art, advanced-technology treadmill that comfortably supports and lifts the patient to varying degrees of partial weight bearing, allowing the patient recovering from surgery or injury to regain normal walking skills and optimize strength and function in a safe manner. For the patient returning to sports, they can be progressed to jogging and running, on level or inclined terrain.

Balance and Gait Training: As part of the total care of our patients, we address the problems of gait and balance, whether they are part of the primary diagnosis or secondary to another problem. Patient safety and fall prevention are of primary concern for all of our patients.

Posture and Body Mechanics Training: Posture and body mechanics are often issues associated with other primary diagnoses. We address these problems in our total care of our patients for their safe return to work and function.

Neurological Rehabilitation: Our multidisciplinary team, which consists of a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist, provides a quality continuum of care, including Neuro-Developmental Training (NDT) for the patient recovering from neurological injuries such as stroke, Parkinson's Disease, brain injuries and other neurological conditions.

Ergonomic Training: Patients can receive proper ergonomic training from a certified ergonomist (Los Gatos only) for the implementation of safe work practices, whether it be office work, laboratory work or industrial/manual work.

Manual Therapy: Our staff is trained through post-graduate course work to provide excellent manual therapy care, including joint mobilization or soft tissue mobilization, for regaining motion and decreasing pain in the spine or extremities.

Therapeutic Modalities: All of our staff is trained in the proper and appropriate use of a variety of therapeutic modalities to help address pain, strength or swelling issues. Modalities provided include ultrasound, electric stimulation, muscle stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), moist heat, paraffin heat and ice.

Home Exercise Programs: For each of our patients, we provide ongoing and updated home exercise programs for their eventual discharge from therapy to an independent program for furthering their progress in their process of rehabilitation.

Lymphedema Program: The lymphedema program is designed to meet patients’ needs including early management, education, intensive daily therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy and self-management techniques. Our licensed physical therapists and certified lymphedema therapists provide effective treatment for lymphedema disorders through decongestive therapy, a non-invasive and painless technique. Physician referral is required.

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