• What To Expect

  • Welcome to Synaptic Physical Therapy!  We can help improve your mobility and quality of life.  Here are some important things to know.

  • Who are Physical Therapists?

    Physical Therapists are licensed health care professionals who have received a degree from an accredited PT program and passed the state licensing examination.  They have in-depth knowledge about the human body.  They are trusted health care professionals with extensive clinical experience who can perform examinations and treatments in order to improve your level of activity and community participation.

    What is the goal of physical therapy treatment?

    The goal of physical therapy is to improve or restore function and help people return to the activities they love doing to the best of their ability.  Remember, there may be limitations to overall recovery, but each person has the opportunity to be the best they can be.

    What about wellness?

    Wellness activities promote lifestyle changes including increased physical activity and mindfulness.  This can often lead to positive health benefits, reduced physical inactivity, increased quality of life, and prevention or management of a number of chronic diseases.

    What do I wear during my sessions?

    Wearing comfortable clothing that can move freely will allow you to get the most out of your physical therapy session.  Examples include sweat pants, yoga pants, and t-shirts.  Comfortable and supportive footwear is a must.  Examples include sneakers or tennis shoes.  Please do not wear sandals or shoes with a heel (unless medically necessary). 

    How long will I need to see my therapist?

    Your physical therapist will work with you to set goals and a time frame to achieve those goals.  Session frequency and duration is unique for every person and is adjusted based on your physical activity tolerance, level of mobility, willingness to participate, and your goals.  We also recommend checking in with your physical therapist at a minimum of every 6 months after you have achieved your goals to make sure you are still on the right track.

    What should I expect during my sessions?

    Expect to work hard!  Remember, exercise is not something that is done to you.  Instead, it is something you do.  Keep in mind that your physical therapist will design your program based on your initial session and the goals that you establish together.  You may receive instruction in exercise, stretching, body mechanics, posture, fitness, wellness, and prevention.  Your physical therapist may also make recommendations on assistive devices and adaptive equipment.  And, most importantly, expect a home exercise program in addition to the exercises you do during your sessions.

    Why do I need a home exercise program?

    • In order to promote brain change, it takes thousands of repetitions doing a task. It is very important that you practice tasks at home so that you are getting the repetition you need to improve. Remember, USE IT OR LOSE IT and REPETITION MATTERS
    • To get better at a task, you have to practice it over and over. Remember, USE IT AND IMPROVE IT.
    • Practicing in a variety of settings adds meaningfulness to a task. If a task is meaningful, it is more likely to make brain changes. 
    • Practicing in a setting that you live in makes the task specific to your needs, which helps lead to changes in the brain. 
    • Sometimes people have difficulty moving and therefore are not as active as they used to be.  Doing exercises at home is important for you to improve your endurance, strength, and cardiovascular system.

     

    References:
    1) Kleim JA, Jones TA. Principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity: Implications for rehabilitation after brain damage. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 2008;51:S225-S239.
    2) Improve Mobility & Motion. Move Forward website. Available at http://www.moveforwardpt.com/WhyTherapy/Mobility.aspx.  Accessed August 17,2012
    3) Preparing for Your Visit with a Physical Therapist.  Move Forward website. Available at http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Prepare.aspx.  Accessed on August 17, 2012.
    4) Schenkman M, Deutsch JE, Gill-Body KM. An integrated framework for decision making in neurologic physical therapist practice. Phys Ther. 2006;86(12):1681-702.
    5) APTA Policies on Health, Wellness, and Fitness.  APTA website.  Available at: http://www.apta.org/PreventionWellness/Policies/.  Accessed on 4/20/2015.