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Orthopedics: Orthopedic physical therapy is a field of medicine focusing on treating musculoskeletal conditions. Musculoskeletal conditions include any structure related to the bones in the body, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your plan of care will begin with an evaluation consisting of a detailed report of your history, tests and measurements specific to your condition to help identify a cause, a functional assessment, and initiation of a treatment program. Your continued plan of care will focus on addressing any concerns and objective findings found during your evaluation. Categories of treatment relevant to your treatment plan may include: pain management, strengthening and conditioning, balance training, gait training, rehab from surgery or to prevent surgery, and lifestyle modifications to promote a more ideal quality of life. At Pouzol Physical Therapy, we personalize our approach promoting a carefully structured and detailed plan of care specific to the needs of each patient and their condition.

There are many strategies a physical therapist can utilize for treatment. These interventions can include any of the following:

  • Hot/cold packs
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Therapeutic whirlpool
  • Therapeutic electrical stimulation
  • Range of motion (ROM) and stretching
  • Therapeutic exercise and instruction of a home exercise program
  • Manual therapy
  • Postural and functional education

Orthopedic conditions that can be treated by a physical therapist vary greatly and can range from mild to severe. The following is a short list of common conditions we assess and treat in our clinic.

Conditions related to pain:

  • Sharp, dull, achy, or burning pain of the joints, back, neck, or jaw
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, arms or legs
  • Frequent or chronic headaches
  • Difficulty performing activities such as overhead reaching, lifting, running, walking, sitting, or exercising due to pain.
  • Pain following surgery
  • Pain that occurs during sport or work related activities

Conditions related to the bones/ joints:

  • Pain in joints like the shoulder, hip, jaw, neck, or spine
  • Rehab from surgeries such as a total hip replacement, total knee replacement, or arthroscopic repairs
  • Osteopenia/osteoporosis
  • Arthritis

Conditions related to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons:

  • Sprains/strains of the back, shoulder, wrists, or ankle
  • Partial or full thickness tears
  • Pain/spasm of the back, neck, shoulders, or legs
  • Sensation of tightness in the muscles or areas surrounding them
  • Tendonitis/inflammation
  • General deconditioning or weakness
  • Trauma related to sports, a direct blow, fall, or surgery

Conditions related to Balance and Gait:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Frequent falls
  • Generalized decrease in ability to balance during specific activities such as walking
  • Dizziness/ vertigo during changes in positions
  • Difficulty walking due to weakness, coordination, pain, or balance

This list is by no means an extensive overview of everything we treat so please call our office at 207.990.2050, if you have any questions or would like to inquire about a specific condition. Our physical therapists would be happy to help you identify if physical therapy is the right choice for you.

Back & Neck Pain

Back and Neck Pain Pain and injury of the spine can be especially challenging, leading to a great loss in daily function. Back and neck pain can result from an accident or injury, or be a result of longtime overuse or chronic pain syndromes. At Pouzol Physical Therapy, we find that you do not need to cause pain to improve mobility and function of the spine. We pride ourselves in addressing the root of the problem by not only providing specific localized treatment but also helping our clients to make lifestyle modifications that will help prevent recurrence of symptoms. Our goal is to provide the information and means to promote lifelong health of the spine.

Treatment of conditions related with injury to the back and neck will be based on assessment of postural alignment, muscle tone, sensation, walking pattern, range of motion, and strength. During the initial evaluation, the patient provides essential information to guide treatment goals that are both meaningful and attainable. The therapist will then develop a treatment plan to address impairments identified during the initial evaluation with an ultimate goal of helping the patient to return to his or her prior level of function.  

Treatment often includes: use of modalities and mobilization to address pain and inflammation. We also help to progress flexibility, stability, endurance, and strength via a personalized therapeutic exercise program. Patients often benefit from functional training to improve body mechanics when completing challenging activities of daily living like lifting, stair climbing, getting in and out of bed, transferring in and out of a vehicle, or standing from a sitting position.

We also discuss ergonomic concerns as it pertains to workstation setup to decrease pain associated with prolonged positioning or overuse at work or at home. Each patient is counseled regarding beneficial physical activity to improve spine health and overall wellness in addition to their customized home exercise program.

Back & Neck Pain

Pre & Post Op Therapy

Pre-Op Physical Therapy While physical therapy can frequently help a patient avoid surgery, sometimes surgery is the best choice.  Most people expect to have physical therapy following surgery but before the procedure, it can be highly beneficial and is frequently recommended.  

When preparing for surgery, physical therapy can help with increasing or maintaining flexibility, stamina, strength and even pain management until surgery occurs. Each of these can result in easier and more comfortable rehabilitation which in turn leads to quicker return to normal daily activities, school and/or work.

The anticipation of surgery can be anxiety provoking. In addition to hands-on therapy, the staff at Pouzol Physical Therapy provides information about what to expect following surgery in regard to symptoms, activity limitations and rehabilitation. Also, pre-surgical rehabilitation gives a patient the opportunity to become accustomed to specific components of therapy without the impairments that accompany surgery like post-operative pain, incision site, swelling, weakness and reduced mobility.

A variety of orthopedic surgeries can benefit from pre-operative therapy. Such procedures include: total knee replacement, total hip replacement, shoulder rotator cuff repair, various spine surgeries and others. Oftentimes, therapy beforehand can reduce the amount of time a patient needs to spend in a rehabilitation facility following surgery.

Also, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons reported on a 2014 study showing that pre-surgical therapy can result in quicker post-surgery results for certain joint replacements. Pre-operative therapy can sometimes consist of 1 or 2 visits or up to several weeks if appropriate. The length of therapy varies by patient as well as surgery type and severity. 

Call our office to speak with a therapist if you are interested in learning about how pre-operative physical therapy can assist you in becoming ready for surgery to have the best rehabilitation process and outcome possible.

Post-Op Physical Therapy Following many orthopedic surgeries, physical therapy is considered essential to facilitate healing, rehabilitation and returning to full function. At Pouzol Physical Therapy, we work with patients following planned surgeries as well as those that result from an unexpected injury. 

Procedures may include larger surgeries such as total knee replacement, hip replacement, shoulder muscle or tendon repair, spinal fusion and discectomy as well as procedures as small as bunionectomy. All surgeries are different. All patients are unique. Our therapists tailor the rehabilitation process for the specific surgery and for the patient. 

The role of the physical therapist postoperatively include: pain management, strengthening, maintaining or improving range of motion, gait training, if appropriate, and performing daily activities that have become more difficult since surgery. We use various modalities to help with pain management and healing, manual therapy when appropriate, and exercise in our on-site gym. Critical to your rehabilitation is a home exercise plan. Our staff will help you design your home program that will accompany your therapy with us and will also extend beyond to help you maintain all that you have gained.


Arthritis Osteoarthritis is often considered a “wear and tear” condition. It typically results from years of joint use. It can also occur when bones are not properly aligned. In either case, it can cause wearing away of the cartilage that keeps a joint healthy. When the cartilage is reduced or absent, it leads to bone rubbing against bone. This causes abnormal bony growth, significant pain and lack of proper movement.

The role of physical therapy in serving people with arthritis can vary from person to person. Surgery can sometimes be avoided with focused therapy and lifestyle adaptations. At Pouzol Physical Therapy, our staff helps by addressing a number of impairments associated with arthritis.

For example, we attend to pain management with the use of therapeutic modalities and manual therapy. We focus on strengthening to increase stability of the arthritic joint and flexibility to maintain or improve mobility. When appropriate, we also help the patient strategize how to modify his/her environment and activities to maintain the fullest function possible. 

If arthritis has developed beyond the point of therapy effectiveness, surgery is sometimes required. Such surgeries can be arthroscopic, where abnormal bone is removed. If the condition has become severe enough, certain joints may be replaced altogether. Knee and hip replacements are the most common of such procedures.

When surgery is required, physical therapists can help both before and after surgery.  Attending therapy prior to a procedure allows the patient to increase strength and flexibility as well as learn what to expect for post surgical rehabilitation. Also, this allows the patient to experience specific components of therapy without the impairments that accompany surgery like post-operative pain, incision site, swelling, weakness and reduced mobility. 

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