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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Physical Therapy Treatments

Our physical therapists will develop a treatment plan based upon the results of the assessment and a discussion of your personal goals.

Caregiver Training

If you are leaving the hospital with the assistance of a family member, friend or caregiver, physical therapists may encourage them to be an active participant in the therapy sessions. This training may include education about your condition, discussing safe ways to help you in the home and community, and teaching you exercise techniques.

Endurance Training

If you have a long hospital stay or a chronic medical condition, you may become weak or out of shape due to lack of physical activity. In that case, physical therapists may develop a treatment program with the goal of increasing endurance and exercising safely.

A physical therapist will evaluate your response to exercise by monitoring your vital signs throughout activities like walking, climbing stairs and performing therapeutic exercises. They will then base your treatment plan on the results of the evaluation. Treatment plans often include exercise training, a daily walking program and education about  techniques to conserve your energy.

Balance Training

Good balance is necessary to be able to safely walk and move about in the home and the community. For a variety of reasons, such as a neurological event, surgery or a chronic medical condition, you may have difficulty keeping your balance. Physical therapists will use a variety of techniques and exercises to help you regain your sitting and standing balance. Therapists may also provide you with an assistive device, such as a cane or walker, to help you move independently.

Gait Training

After surgery, trauma or prolonged bed rest, you may have difficulty walking independently due to pain, weakness or balance issues. Physical therapists work on strength and balance to improve your ability to walk.

Therapists may use assistive devices such as walkers, canes and crutches to increase your safety and independence while walking. If your doctor gives you any weight bearing restrictions, the physical therapist will teach you how to follow those restrictions while walking in your home and community.

Wheelchair Mobility Training

If you require the use of a wheelchair for any length of time, physical therapists will work with you to assess your ability to propel your own wheelchair and navigate around obstacles independently. Your therapist will train you in techniques to maneuver your wheelchair even if you have experienced traumatic events like arm or leg fractures. When necessary, your therapist will also train your family and/or caregiver to assist you.

Wound Care

Northwestern Memorial Hospital has trained physical therapists who provide comprehensive wound care services to a variety of inpatients and outpatients. Our therapists work closely with other specialists, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, certified wound specialists and vascular surgeons, to ensure the best possible outcome.

Types of wounds commonly treated:

Treatments offered include:

  • Pulsatile lavage
  • Compression wrapping
  • Sharp debridement    
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Whirlpool therapy
  • Use of advanced wound dressings/products
Last UpdateSeptember 27, 2011
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