Evidence-based Practice – Treatment Approach
- The role of the physical therapist is to identify and treat physical dysfunction.
- The source of the majority of physical complaints is dysfunction.
- The key to effective treatment is thorough physical examination and corroboration with any diagnostic evidence to determine the causative dysfunction(s).
- Treatments are directed specifically at restoring normal function.
- If we restore normal function, we reduce disability and often reduce or eliminate pain.
The core physical therapy treatments employed at Ascension Genesys Ambulatory Physical Therapy have the primary goal of correcting dysfunctional conditions that lead to disability. The corrective interventions employed have been shown in the medical and rehabilitation literature to be efficacious for the conditions being treated.
PIPT also recognizes the value of certain palliative modalities that can help to ease pain and suffering for individuals who may not yet tolerate corrective interventions due to the level of their pain or the reactivity of the effected tissues. As such, palliative modalities may be employed in preparation for corrective interventions that are supported by the current medical literature.
Following is a brief categorization of interventions provided:
- Palliative/Preparatory Interventions: The goal of these interventions is to reduce severity of symptoms or patient reactivity to allow the patient to tolerate corrective interventions
- Thermal agents, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, positional distraction, manual joint oscillations
- Corrective Interventions: The goal of these interventions is to make mechanical changes to the joints, muscles, and other soft tissues to improve and restore normal function
- Manual techniques, joint mobilization, myofascial techniques, stretching, strengthening, stabilization, proprioception, balance, agility, etc.
- Supportive Interventions: The goal of these interventions is to maintain the gains made with physical therapy through:
- Home exercise programs, back school, body mechanics instruction, postural re-education, behavioral modification, sports technique instruction, work space change, ergonomics, etc.
For additional information regarding the treatment approach of Ascension Genesys Ambulatory Physical Therapy, please reference our "Standards of Patient Care."
Degree Program-Trained Staff
At Ascension Genesys Ambulatory Physical Therapy, all professional treatment staff members are graduates of accredited Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant programs. As such, we do not employ physical therapy aides for direct patient care. The reason for not employing aides is that aides do not have the education necessary to recognize subtleties in patient exercise prescription and treatment that ultimately affect patient safety and functional outcomes.
At Ascension Genesys Ambulatory Physical Therapy, the physical therapists work collaboratively with the referring physician in order to maximize functional outcomes for every patient. The ultimate emphasis of an integrated approach, therefore, is regular and consistent communication between the treating physical therapist and the referring physician.
Communication is maintained primarily through timely reporting via the Initial Evaluation and Plan of Care, regular Progress Summaries, and finally Discharge Summaries. The treating physical therapist will also contact the referring physician regarding any extraordinary factors involved in the care of the patient, including the need for further medical evaluation or referral to another discipline. Referring physicians are invited to contact the treating physical therapist at any time and for any reason.
Goal of Intervention
The ultimate goal of treatment provided by Ascension Genesys Ambulatory Physical Therapy is the meaningful improvement in the patient’s function in order to allow him or her to lead a more active and productive lifestyle. Measures used to determine success of treatment may include, but are not limited to, pain level, strength, functional mobility, flexibility, range-of-motion, balance, agility, and core stability.
To ensure that our treatment practices continue to result in functional improvement, we track functional outcomes for every patient through the use of peer-reviewed functional scales including: visual analog scale, Oswestry Back Disability Index, Oswestry Neck Disability Index, Lower Extremity Functional Scale, Penn Shoulder Scale, the Headache Impact Test, Disabilities of the Arm Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scale, the Patient Specific Functional Scale, the Dizziness Handicap Inventory, and others.