The physical therapy department at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center (OFAC) in Falls Church and Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, offers an interdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation.
The physicians and physical therapists work together as a team to ensure you achieve your rehabilitation goals in the safest and most effective manner. To find out how physical therapy can help you, call or request an appointment online today.
Physical Therapy Q & A
What is physical therapy? Back to top
Physical therapy is a branch of rehabilitative health care that focuses on relieving pain and improving joint function after a musculoskeletal injury or surgery. The physical therapy team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center consists of licensed physical therapists, athletic trainers, and physical therapy technicians.
With the personalized physical therapy treatment plan they create for you, your recovery from an injury or surgery can occur faster.
What foot problems can physical therapy treat? Back to top
The physical therapy team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center specializes in foot and ankle conditions, but they welcome all orthopaedic patients. They provide comprehensive evaluations and treatment for a broad range of musculoskeletal issues, including:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ankle sprains
- Ankle fractures
- Gait deviations
You may also need physical therapy to facilitate recovery after a foot or ankle surgery, such as:
- Total ankle replacement
- Achilles tendon repair
- Posterior tibialis tendon repair
- Peroneus tendon repair
The dedicated team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center helps you achieve optimal physical performance, both at work and at play.
What orthopaedic issues can physical therapy treat? Back to top
The experienced physical therapy team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center provides therapy for general orthopaedic conditions as well. Some of the orthopaedic issues the team provides treatment for includes:
- Low back and cervical pain
- Shoulder injuries
- Total joint replacement
- Knee injuries
- Hip and sacroiliac joint issues
The physical therapists also offer post-surgical rehabilitation, such as following shoulder or knee surgery.
What should I expect from a physical therapy session? Back to top
The physical therapy team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center works closely with your physician to develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
During your initial evaluation, your therapist assesses your condition and reviews your symptoms and medical history. Then, together you develop an individualized treatment program to increase your mobility, range of motion, strength, flexibility, balance, stability, and endurance to help you recover faster and prevent future injuries. Your therapist also provides you with a home exercise program so you can get started right away.
At your follow-up sessions, you work one on one with your physical therapist improving mobility, strength, and stability to meet your functional goals. Your therapist devises an individualized exercise program for you to complete in the clinic with guidance from the athletic trainer or physical therapy technician.
They use the most advanced techniques and equipment, as well as alternative therapies to further improve and restore your health, such as:
Dry needling is a therapeutic treatment to relieve chronic and acute pain and promote recovery from injuries.
It's called dry needling because the needles don't contain any medication or anesthetic. These needles are inserted into muscles that are producing pain and contain trigger points. The purpose of dry needling is to desensitize these trigger points in order to decrease pain as well as restore the normal length and function of the involved muscle.
Dry needling differs from acupuncture in that the needles are placed in trigger points on the affected muscles to decrease the muscle tension and dysfunction. With acupuncture, needles are placed on blocked qi points to restore energy flow along the body's meridians and bring the body back to its balanced healthy state.
Patients can typically see positive results within a session but this would depend on the cause and duration of the injury.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive technique to help reduce pain and inflammation. Lasers work by flooding the tissue with photons, which energizes cells resulting in increased circulation to the injured area and ultimately pain reduction. Laser therapy can be safely used as an adjunct or replacement for pharmaceutical drugs. Laser therapy treatments last between 5-10 minutes depending on the condition being treated. It is administered directly to the skin and elicits soothing warmth as the therapy is administered. Patients generally see results after 3-5 treatments.
What does laser do?
GENERAL: The laser effects metabolism at the cellular level. It helps injured cells/ tissue heal quicker by enabling oxidative phosphorylation to be restored at mitochondria.
PAIN: It has unique analgesic abilities that can help decrease pain TODAY.
INFLAMMATION: The laser decreases swelling around the nerve which promotes long term relief.
* Increases factors that impact pain perception
* Decreases inflammatory factors
ANALGESIA: Laser treatment causes slowing of afferent conduction of pain receptors.
* Primary reason you can change pain levels during initial treatment.
* Can benefit both Chronic and Acute pain.
JOINT HEALTH: The laser is able to act at the synovium to reduce pain and inflammation.
* Good for swollen joints, OA. Safe over total joints/ metal implants.
TISSUE HEALING: It helps increase fibroblastic, osteoblastic, tenocyte activity.
* Promotes the laying down of new collagen.
*Fibroblastic activity increases and number of fibroblasts is increased.
* Microcirculation and neovascularization both increase. Promotes tissue healing.
* Faster healing defends against chronic dysfunction.
Why should I (the patient) add it to my POC? Back to top
* It will help get the patient out of pain quickly and reduce the need for meds.
* Laser treatment will help reduce swelling and promote BETTER tissue healing.
* These factors will restore function faster.
* These factors are why professional and collegiate teams are using laser.
* Will likely reduce PT visits: save on Co-pays, additional tests, and time off work.
* Will enable treatment sessions to be progressed faster/be able to work more with less pain.
* Treatments are fast, safe, painless and most patients experience results after only a few sessions.
* Treatments are administered in as little as 4-10 mins and are performed in conjunction with your current physical therapy treatments.
Wii-Hab is rehabilitative therapy using the Nintendo® Wii. This is a fun and challenging way to regain strength and function after a surgical procedure.
The experienced team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center also utilize the Graston technique, which uses special instruments to aid in soft tissue mobilization for the treatment of fascial restrictions, as well as muscle and tendon dysfunctions. The therapists have specialized training in order to be able to provide this treatment for you.
Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center also has a YouTube channel where you can find most of their prescribed physical therapy exercises. This helps you maintain progress at home by exercising with proper form.
For the highest quality care in physical therapy, call Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center or request an appointment online today.