Orthopedic Injuries

Orthopedic InjuriesRhode Island Rehabilitation Center offers a wide range of treatments for orthopedic injuries. Our rehabilitation approach emphasizes the practice of cutting edge manual techniques which offer the patient a great deal of hands-on, one-on-one time with their therapist. RI Rehab’s therapists are trained in a wide range of massage techniques including effleurage, petrissage, trigger point release, myofascial release, transverse friction massage and scar tissue massage. Massage therapy may be an important component of the rehabilitation process to manage soft tissue spasms, pain, and inflammation and is used in conjunction with other therapeutic interventions to speed recovery.

In addition to manual therapy and massage therapy techniques, a variety of modalities are used to treat orthopedic injuries. These include ultrasound, electric stimulation, heat/cold, aquatic and Burdenko therapy. Iontophoresis is another state-of-the-art modality offered by RI Rehab for management of pain and/or inflammation. Using electric stimulation, iontophoresis transmits anti-inflammatory medication directly through the skin to the injured or painful area. It offers many of the benefits of cortizone injections, but without the shots and without the side effects of cortizone. Similar to iontophoresis, phonophoresis uses ultrasound (instead of electric stimulation) to deliver anti-inflammatory medication directly to injured areas through the skin. These modalities are especially useful for the treatment of tendonitis, bursitis, muscle strains or spasms and ligament sprains. Fluidotherapy, which delivers moist heat through the use of granular particles in a dry whirlpool environment, is particularly useful to treat painful or injured limbs such as wrist/hand and ankle/foot problems. It is also used frequently in post-surgical rehabilitation for the limbs. Paraffin wax therapy is another means to administer moist heat treatment and is especially good for the hands. It is often used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis to improve flexibility and reduce pain.

Exercise is an important part of the rehabilitation process. After injuries and surgery, RI Rehab licensed physical therapists and occupational therapists design individualized exercise programs to strengthen the affected muscle groups and to stretch the muscles and their connective tissues so that clients regain full range of motion. Particularly after prolonged hospitalizations, conditioning exercises can be an important part of the rehabilitative process. RI Rehab’s fully equipped gym offers a full range of exercise equipment including treadmills, stationary bikes (including a recumbent bike), an elliptical stepper, an upper body ergometer (bike for the arms), and a full range of weight training equipment including free weights and circuit equipment for resistive strengthening.

Occupational therapists at RI Rehab are trained in the fabrication of splints for management of common orthopedic injuries of the upper extremities. They also provide adaptive equipment which is useful in assisting patients to function as independently as possible following orthopedic injuries.

Clients recovering from orthopedic injuries or surgeries often benefit from proprioceptive training. Proprioception is the body’s sense of the position of each of its parts. It is the sense that tells us if our body is moving properly, and tells where the various parts of our body are located in relation to each other. Recovering the sense of proper movement and positioning of our joints is an important aspect of recovery from serious orthopedic injuries and surgery. The BAPS board (Biomechanical Ankle Platform System) is one important piece of exercise equipment used for rebuilding proprioception. In addition to the BAPS board, Rhode Island Rehabilitation Center therapists use a variety of therapeutic exercises to restore proprioception after an orthopedic injury or surgery.