Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist

Let’s talk about how a physical therapist decides/prescribes the exercises for a patient to make meaningful changes.  You may be wondering, exercise prescription??  We have heard about prescribing medication but not exercises, right?  Why do I bother to spread awareness that exercises, just like medications also have a prescription? Yes, you read that right.  We, physical therapists, don’t just come up with exercises and resistance that patients need to do.  Its also not just a guess when we say frequency and intensity of exercises like 10 repetitions for twice a week.  Exercise is a prescription; just not written on a prescription pad!  exercise prescription Continue reading “Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist”

Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation

As physical therapists, we prescribe wheelchair based on our patient’s needs. We look for things like ambulatory status, weight-bearing precautions, arm or leg injuries, cardiopulmonary problems, etc while prescribing an appropriate wheelchair.  Wheelchair evaluation can be very simple and straightforward when it is used for short-term use.  Contradictorily, it can be tricky for patients with neurological disorders. It starts with getting information regarding past history, checking muscle strength and balance, finding the cognitive abilities and the usage of the chair.   Yes, it is your full-fledged thorough physical or occupational therapy evaluation. And let me tell you, it does not end only an evaluation! A patient needs to be well trained to propel the manual chair or drive the power chair for the safety of himself and safety of others.  WheelChair evaluation Continue reading “Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation”

Types of Exercise – Definitions based on required level of assistance

Exercise is a common term used by people in the different spectrum. Some will say workout is the same as exercise.  While this topic can be a very basic for PTs, it is not so basic for other healthcare professionals.  I have been asked several times regarding the types of exercise.  Specifically,  what do they mean and what is the difference between each type.   So, let’s talk about what exercise is, and the different types based on the level of assistance required.

 exercise types Continue reading “Types of Exercise – Definitions based on required level of assistance”

Types of wheelchairs and a guide to selection

A proper wheelchair provides required comfort and necessary support.   Transport chair, Geri chair, and electric chair are just some varieties of wheelchairs.  With so many types of wheelchairs available in the market, it is crucial for people working in a hospital or a subacute care facility to find a proper wheelchair for thier patients.  It becomes more challenging if you work with neuro patients like I do. The reason being, patients with neurological disorders change their presentation frequently due to change in tone and tightness. That is why a proper wheelchair evaluation is important.   The aim of this article is to provide you with the basic information regarding different types of wheelchairs and their use. 

types of wheelchairs Continue reading “Types of wheelchairs and a guide to selection”

Seven Reasons to Consider Group Exercise as a Treatment Of Choice

Have you ever had a situation where you are actually working with one patient? While your patient is resting, she starts talking with other patients sitting in rehab gym. They become friends, start going to some activities together, go to dining room together and to stretch it a little further, they stay friends even after going home! Yes, I never thought about it, but socialization is very important and magical (to some extent!) for the majority of our patients. It gives them courage, positivity, and hope that they are not the only one in their fight. It motivates them to fight harder, achieve their goals and go home. 

group exercise

This brings me to our topic for today – Group exercise and its benefits in Physical Therapy.  Group therapy is not only cool from a patient’s perspective, it is also very efficient and productive from therapist’s side. What more as a therapist you can ask for when your patient is already motivated to come down to the gym happily and do all her exercises!! Happy patients and happy therapist, win-win on both ends. So let’s talk about benefits of group exercises. Continue reading “Seven Reasons to Consider Group Exercise as a Treatment Of Choice”

Physical Therapy Patient Evaluation Form – Format and Sample

I have developed this Physical Therapy evaluation form based on what I usually need to know from my patient.  It was designed mainly for sub-acute or inpatient setting,  but it can also be utilized in various other settings such as outpatient and home health.  The purpose of this article is to help other therapists have information quickly available when they need it.  Feel free to add/remove items based on your professional needs.    A downloadable version is attached at the bottom of the post. Continue reading “Physical Therapy Patient Evaluation Form – Format and Sample”

Dealing with Arthritis: Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

Physical Therapy treatment options for osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a buzzword you may have heard whether you are a healthcare professional or not.    Most commonly, Osteoarthritis is referred to as arthritis.  Furthermore, a lot of times, any joint pain related to aging is also labeled as arthritis or Osteoarthritis.  As a physical therapist, I cringe when a condition is generalized without facts.   The truth is, It’s not necessary to “always” have pain with arthritis, but of course, I bite my tongue (often) and just give a pretty smile.  So, my aim with this post is to make people (mainly non-healthcare providers) aware of what arthritis is, and provide tips to deal with the discomfort associated with the condition.

physical therapy for Osteoarthritis


Continue reading “Dealing with Arthritis: Osteoarthritis Treatment Options”

Life in a Day of a Physical Therapist

Physical therapy program is becoming more and more popular. Physical Therapy school is hard and it can become challenging to hold onto your hopes till the completion sometimes. I want to write this blog to educate current Physical Therapist students how a day looks like a Physical Therapist routinely.  So here is to the life in a day of a Physical Therapist!!

Continue reading “Life in a Day of a Physical Therapist”

Guide to preparing for an interview as a Physical Therapist

So its time for the interview.  Maybe first; maybe one after other unsuccessful interviews.   Once we finish our internship and final semester, it is time to look for places where we can actually use our knowledge and help people!  Granted, after having a PT degree, you are going to get a job.  If you have some contacts in the field, you may even start working under direct supervision prior to clearing your NPTE.   In any case, yes, you will get a job – no worries there.

Continue reading “Guide to preparing for an interview as a Physical Therapist”

Orthosis in Gait training – Successful Story of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

This is a case of 65 years old healthy woman who fell from seven steps and had a loss of consciousness for few minutes almost a year and a half ago.

Learning to walk again after SCI

The patient sustained C7 cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) from a fall. Her injury was classified as ASIA A SCI and she had to undergo cervical spinal fusion after the injury. She received basic rehabilitation at the hospital and had few complications like PNA and UTI during her hospitalization. She came to our facility for neurorehabilitation. Gait training was the most difficult task for my patient to achieve after her injury.  And of course, gait training was one of her main goals. This article summarizes her progress in rehab and the creative ideas I had to use during her gait training. Spinal cord injury Continue reading “Orthosis in Gait training – Successful Story of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)”

Mastering Difficult Conversations as a Physical Therapist

Often times, physical therapists are put into a place where we need to have a conversation with family explaining their loved ones cannot go home, can’t live alone, won’t be able to drive, can’t feed themselves, or their impulsivity or memory causes harm to their independence.   Sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? Being able to have a difficult conversation is a key part of physical therapist’s routine.  We may have to have this kind of conversation once a week or month or more often!!

difficult conversation Continue reading “Mastering Difficult Conversations as a Physical Therapist”

Succeed in a Physical Therapy career at a sub-acute care facility – Keys to Time Management

I am writing this due to experiences I have had my new grad employees. Majority of them have a tough start and have difficulties during their first week.  One of the key reasons has been due to lack of time management to meet the productivity requirements.  So, I want to share some information that has helped me and few of my employees.

PT school is hard and long. But you survive it.  Not only that, you managed to score a decent GPA through the program as human service is your calling. You clear your NPTE on the first attempt, and now it’s the time to find a good job. A job that can take care of huge student loans, take care of you and give you some satisfaction. After all, you wanted to be a PT to serve human being and serve society!!  So, let’s talk about what should and should not be done in your first week at work to set a good impression among your colleagues, in front of your manager and get you some happiness and satisfaction at your job. 

I discuss what to ask specifically during your interview process in a different article Continue reading “Succeed in a Physical Therapy career at a sub-acute care facility – Keys to Time Management”

Tale of a TBI survivor: From ventilation to Ambulation with Physical Therapy

Traumatic brain injury is a type of injury that often results from an accident involves a long recovery process way past physical healing, and requires a lot of patience and persistence from all parties involved.  This is a case of 64 year old Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI) survivor who made significant progress to achieve his near normal function with aggressive rehabilitation, nursing and respiratory therapy.  

History and Examination:

A 64 year old male was admitted to my facility in March 2015 from a recent hospitalization with change in mental status and traumatic brain injury. Due to HIPAA, we are going to address him as a patient (Pt) or Mr. M.

At the time of evaluation, he was on ventilator at night. His cuff was inflated at all time, unable to tolerate deflation of cuff, or unable to tolerate capping or PMV. Due to this, he was not able to communicate at the time of evaluation.  During PT and OT evaluations, he demonstrated hypo tonicity on bilateral upper and lower extremities. He was unable to perform any active movement, unable to follow one step simple commands verbally, visually or with tactile cues. Continue reading “Tale of a TBI survivor: From ventilation to Ambulation with Physical Therapy”