Redefining Physical & Occupational Therapy

Nov 17, 2022


Redefining rehab

From cancer care to vertigo, physical and occupational therapists can help.

You might think of physical therapy as something to do after breaking a leg or sustaining a spinal injury. But rehabilitation goes beyond that, covering a variety of needs, from neurological to women’s health, cancer and therapy for children. Adventist Health’s rehabilitation team provides compassionate, comprehensive care for a broad spectrum of healthcare needs across Mendocino County.

Care for hardworking people

Injuries to the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons are among the most common that physical therapists treat. In addition to injuries from exercise, they frequently treat people who have been working hard their whole lives and have developed degenerative issues, meaning injuries that worsen over time.

Many people live with their injuries for a long time before seeking help, and sometimes avoid talking to their providers about injuries because they think it will lead to surgery. Surgery is just one of the possible solutions, which also include rehabilitation and other conservative treatments.

Treating women’s needs

From childbearing to going through menopause, women experience a unique set of physical changes throughout their lives. Physical therapists can provide specialized care for women, working frequently with those who experience urinary incontinence and pelvic or abdominal concerns related to pregnancy, such as diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles.

Helping children grow strong

Even little ones need rehab sometimes, and physical therapists can help children from birth to age 18 navigate physical and developmental concerns and injuries. This includes treating developmental delays in very young children, like a child who can’t sit independently or who doesn’t have head control. In addition, pediatric physical therapists can help children with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. These providers empower parents with resources to continue the work at home so their children can grow up healthy.

Compassion through cancer

Cancer treatment takes a physical, mental and emotional toll on a person, and side effects can add further complications. Occupational and physical therapists who specialize in oncology rehab can see people through the whole spectrum of their cancer treatment, including during chemotherapy and radiation or after surgery. Therapists can help them work through side effects of their treatment, such as swelling and fatigue that result from chemotherapy or difficulties with range of motion after an operation.

Navigating vertigo

Dizziness and vertigo can be disorienting, frustrating and dangerous. Physical therapists aim to help people who have balance disorders regain their stability. Vertigo issues can often be treated within a few visits. In cases of vestibular dysfunction, dizziness or vertigo caused by inner ear problems, therapists work with clients over six to eight weeks of biweekly visits.

The physical and occupational therapists at Adventist Health in Mendocino County can assess people’s needs and help them develop a care plan that suits their specific concerns. After all, whether you have pain, incontinence or dizziness, therapists can help you get back to living a pain-free life.