Outpatient Physical Therapy And Its Advantages For Your Recovery

When possible, opting for outpatient physical therapy can be advantageous from a mental, emotional and physical perspective. Being able to come and go to the therapist can provide a level of enthusiasm hard to maintain on an inpatient basis. Living in your home, going about daily activities while working out with a therapist at their facility is ideal for maximizing recovery.

This article is not to encourage resistance to a doctor’s advice if he/she has prescribed inpatient therapy for you. Instead it is to encourage you to explore the options.

Numerous factors will play into whether outpatient therapy will work for you. These include the extent of any condition or disease, the severity of an injury, the effects of a surgical procedure, age and related difficulties and the amount of family or friend help available.

The main disadvantage of this type recovery treatment is that it is a significant scheduling issue that has to be worked into your daily responsibilities and work. For therapy lasting longer than a few weeks, the daily or several days per week time factor can become challenging. This can make it tempting to skip sessions or cut them out altogether as you improve.

Remember, if you commit to this type recovery work, plan on carrying it out 100%.

Common Types of Outpatient Physical Therapy

Sports Injury

Sports Injury Therapy PictureIf you are an athlete, injury can be devastating to your body and your career. Otherwise it can shut down hobbies that you love to do. That said, with new technology in sports injury rehab centers and clinics, this is becoming less and less prevalent.

In these physical therapy clinics, the therapists can use video equipment to capture your  movement. They can then evaluate the video frame by frame. From this, they are able to measure joint angles and movements. They can then provide detailed information and instruction to you.

In this type setting you can immediately see the problem and how to correct it. You will be put on a course of therapy exercises that are similar to those required for your sport of choice. This results in much more efficient recovery work allowing the you to heal faster and return to competition.

With the comprehensive knowledge you gain, you are also able to avoid future similar injury.

Physical Therapy For Hip And Knee Replacement

For this type of surgery, the therapy is always progressive through stages. The first stage is early mobilization therapy in the hospital after the surgery. In modern treatment this is often the day after surgery. While this is painful and distressing to the patient, it is well established that the sooner mobilization starts, the more likely successful recovery will occur.

From a period of inpatient therapy in the hospital, many patients are then transferred to a rehab hospital or nursing facility (for the elderly) for further inpatient treatment. This allows the patient to continue to gain strength and mobility while remaining in the safety of a facility.

Finally, with successful therapy, the last stage is the patient leaving the facility and continuing in outpatient physical therapy to finalize their recovery. This last stage helps you safely achieve the simple thinHip Therapy Picturegs that were once taken for granted. The ability to walk up a few stairs, walk across the yard, mow the grass, go shopping, and innumerable other activities that a debilitated knee or hip had previously put a halt to.

This type therapy at the last stage can be particularly helpful mentally and emotionally. It gives you the confidence that outside any facility you are building your strength and getting back to normal in your own environment. You have access to all the knowledge and physical therapy equipment required. That while you maintain a life outside recovery work.

Again, the success of this type therapy in joint replacement generally requires some help from friends, family or social services.

Low Back Pain

In the case of low back pain, the core stabilizing muscles are inhibited or don’t contract as well as they should for comfort. A large part of this type therapy is determining which muscles are not functioning well and “retraining” them to work with strength.

Back Therapy PictureThere are many reasons for low back pain. This is general in nature and one of the most common reasons people visit therapy centers. This may or may not be with a doctor’s recommendation. People often seek out this help on their own.

People wanting to participate in sports, hobbies, or simply needing guidance to strengthen their body after long periods of sedentary work may seek out a therapist for help.

If you are seeking help for low back pain or weakness without having been diagnosed with an injury or disease, you can expect a therapist to put you on a program to both strengthen and mobilize your back. Exercises will most often be done in the therapy center as well as at home under the physical therapist’s instructions.

The wisdom of seeking out professional rehabilitation

Needing to restore weakened muscles that haven’t been significantly used in a long time, working with a therapist is a wise decision. They will be able to systematically help you strengthen your back and meet your physical goals while minimizing your chance of injury.

There are countless type of outpatient physical therapy available and performed every day in clinics across the U.S. and around the world. The people who work in them are those whose life work and purpose is to help people get back to normal living and on with their physical goals.

Outpatient physical therapy is as good an investment of time and money that you can spend when you need to rehabilitate injured, diseased or long unused joints and muscles.


Examples Of Low Impact Cardio And Lifting Exercise On Sand

In this video we’ve come to one of our favorite places to workout. It’s one of our favorite because it’s outdoors and it’s a place where we can do safe, low impact cardio and lifting exercise.

That said, this video is not so much about instructing people how to do specific exercises. It’s more to inspire you to think outside the box to overcome whatever your challenges with exericise may be.

That can be as physically serious as a debilitating condition or injury. Or, just as significantly, a short attention span or low boredom threshhold (like me) that keeps you starting and stopping your exercise without making significant progress. No matter what the reason, continual delays and excuses, legitimate or not will keep you from gaining the strength, mobility and fitness level to achieve the things you want to do.

As you watch the video, remember, there’s a way for you to get your exercise done to gain your mobility, your strength and the fitness that you desire.

Another quick factor to keep in mind. Your health and quality of life depend on it.

Safe and low impact don’t mean low intensity or ineffective. Here’s what to remember as you read this. It is not specific as to exercises. It is a broad overview.

Don’t think in terms of what you “have to do” as far as the intensity of, or weight used in any of the clips or written content below. You make the workout based on what you know about your physical condition and what your goals are.

Working out in sand for safe, low impact exercises.

We work out in large expanses of sand just off the banks of the Arkansas river. Workouts on sand are particularly good for people who have problems with impact, whether from injury or physical conditions that affect particularly lower body joints, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

If that’s the case with you, sand is the perfect platform to work out on. For many people, it is virtually impossible to work out on solid ground. Finding an area of sand can, through softened impact, allow people who haven’t exercised in years to develop full, effective workout routines.

If you have lower body joint, inflammation, or other conditions, finding an area of sand will likely allow you to work out. You can run, lift, and do all manner of movements. When your feet hit the sand, they sink down into the sand dramatically reducing the impact.

The added benefit is that it dramatically works your legs to a much greater degree than running, lifting or moving around on solid ground.

You may not live by a beach to work out on. We don’t either. We live near the Arkansas River. If you live anywhere near a large or medium size river, you likely have some large areas of sand near you. Or if you live near a large, recreational lake there are likely sand swimming beaches where you can work out and do calisthenics on.

Hill Running In Sand

If you can find sand hills to run on, you can perform a leg and cardio workout unequaled by many other activities. Running up sand hills with your feet sinking into the surface works your legs 2-3 times harder than running uphill on a solid surface.

If your physical condition is good, add weight by carrying a rock up those hills. The effect on your legs is unbelievable. Plus carrying the rock works your arms dramatically.

Alternately, for a modest price you can purchase a weight vest like Jacquilyn has on in the video. Wearing that during a workout on sand adds effort and consequently value to the whole workout.

This type leg/cardio workout can be done without pain to your lower back or legs. When the video was taken, I was dealing with knee pain from a recent injury. As can be seen, I could walk, run, carry a rock up the sand hill. I could also have fun jumping back down off of it.

All with no joint pain or worry about injury.

And it’s fun …… like playing in a giant sandbox.

Jogging on sand for a low impact cardio workout

In the video you see my daughter jogging on a long, flat expanse of sand and gravel. She was wearing a 15 pound weight vest under her jacket.

You can run on sand, even with added weight, without the concern for injury and damage to joints caused by running on a solid surface. And again, the sand adds considerable work to the entire length of your legs.

Lifting exercises on the sand

It’s unique doing lifts outdoors without equipment. Instead you lift rocks, logs, anything with some weight. In our case it’s rocks.

You can use any size rock and lift in any way necessary to achieve your fitness goals. They can be lifted overhead, out to the side in shoulder flyes, or moved in a circular motion to maintain or restore mobility to your shoulders.

You can get a full weight workout outdoors that is only limited by your imagination.

Finding piles of rocks or wood, you can do pushups from just about any position. You can work your chest, shoulders, and arms with nothing more than what is lying on the ground.

You can change the position of your hands and incline to provide a comprehensive chest workout. All without a gym.

For a back and leg workout, rocks or logs will provide an effective workout. You can do bent rows for your upper back development and for lower back strength.

You can hold a rock at chest level and do squats or lunges for upper leg strength.

Do the bent rows combined with a deadlift movement to work your entire back, hips and thighs. Adding a jerk and lift overhead, you have performed a clean and jerk with a rock working legs, back and shoulders for raw strength.

Again, only limited by your imagination.

Hopefully this article and video inspires you to think past any hindrance you may have to exercise. Working out in interesting environments that are both entertaining and provide effective exercise opportunities can be the answer to working out consistently.

Working out on sand, running and lifting, is one such environment that you can add to your arsenal of life giving exercise.

A final word: You may have watched the video and thought that you can’t possibly run up a hill, lift a rock or jog like that.

You don’t have to .

This is about an opportunity to add a place and way to workout that can help you get past injuries and debilitating conditions. It is about giving you incentive if you have a problem getting to your exercise.

What you lift, how you move and how much you do is up to you.

Think about it. Find the sand.

Then begin to do what you can to improve or restore your mobility, strength and physical ability.

Oh ….. and have a little fun doing it.