The individualized treatment plan is the key to every client’s experience at Rhode Island Rehabilitation Center. When we first meet a client, we sit down with them, discuss their diagnosis and evaluate their condition. We develop a comprehensive problem list from which we establish goals and, working with the physicians, we develop a treatment plan to target the problems. It is a scientific approach to solving each individual’s needs.
RI Rehab’s physical therapists and occupational therapists will start by taking a thorough patient history. They will then perform a comprehensive assessment of the problem including pain, swelling, range of motion, joint mobility, strength, sensation, proprioception, reflexes, balance, mobility and coordination. In the assessment appointment, the therapist will perform various orthopedic and/or neurologic tests to help create a rehabilitation diagnosis of the client’s condition. Often physicians will refer clients with a general description of the condition. For instance, the physician may send a prescription that indicates low back pain. The assessment performed by the therapist may help determine what is causing the back pain, such as a muscle strain, disk involvement, or sacro-iliac joint dysfunction.
In addition to the special tests, the therapist will palpate the affected muscle tissues and joints to assess the condition and determine the best modes of treatment. The therapist will evaluate the client’s posture, check the alignment of the spine and joints for symmetry. It is important to determine the client’s level of function before the injury or surgery including a complete history of their condition. In the interview, the therapist will determine the client’s living situation, especially if the condition requires assistance at home. The therapist gathers detailed specifics of the client’s living environment – how many steps to get into the house, how far is the drive to work, is the client having trouble lifting boxes on the job.
In the individualized treatment plan the therapist develops a comprehensive understanding of the client’s injury or condition, their prior level of function, the history of the condition, and the specific problems they face in their return to normal life. Together the client and the therapist discuss the client’s rehabilitation potential and draw up a set of concrete goals in writing for reducing the client’s experience of pain and returning as much of the client’s mobility as possible. From the goals, the client and the therapist develop a specific treatment plan focused on the individual’s personal goals for daily function. Each step of the treatment plan has objective, measurable goals in a concrete time frame to evaluate the client’s progress.
Finally – most importantly – the therapist begins implementation of the treatment plan. Reducing pain, restoring function: for RI Rehab therapists, this is why they love their job. It starts the first day.