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Treatment

Physical Therapy (PT)

Physical therapy is a health care specialty that specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The goal of physical therapy is to restore maximal functional independence to each patient. To achieve this goal, physical modalities such as exercise, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, and massage are used.

Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals with a master’s or doctoral degree in physical therapy. They evaluate, diagnose, and manage the physical therapy treatment plan, customizing it to each individual’s needs. Physical Therapist Assistants support Physical Therapists to deliver the patient care plan.

PT is ordered by a physician when he or she considers it beneficial. It is offered to patients of all ages, and is useful in treating many different medical conditions including sport and orthopedic injuries, neurological and muscular illness, and cardiopulmonary diseases. Through patient and therapist interaction, physical therapy can help restore movement and function helping patients return to their prior levels of independence.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupational therapists help people participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common OT interventions include helping people with disabilities participate fully in everyday life and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. OT services typically include:

  • An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • Customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals, and
  • An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

OT services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapists have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the patient; therefore, the patient is an integral part of the therapy team.

Neurologic Therapy

Locomotor Treadmill

Locomotor Training is an innovative intervention that helps individuals with gait impairments. Boston Medical Center is proud to have the only Locomotor Treadmill in the Northeast Region. The technique is an activity-based therapy that works to retrain the spinal cord to "remember" the pattern of walking again. Locomotor Training includes use of body weight supported treadmill training, in which participants are suspended in a parachute-type harness over the treadmill. Once the treadmill begins moving, leg movements are manually assisted by therapists to help patients perform stepping movements on the treadmill. These movements are associated with a pattern of leg muscle activation that is generated by locomotor centers within the spinal cord. Assisted leg movements are necessary in order to stimulate these locomotor centers, to activate leg muscles that the patient cannot move voluntarily. The process assists individuals with certain types of neurological dysfunction improve their locomotor skills and eventually, their ability to walk.

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