Whether you’re recovering from joint replacement surgery or a back injury, or you’re managing a painful condition like arthritis, you may benefit from Beacon Health System’s physical therapy program. We offer inpatient and outpatient physical therapy services to children and adults who have trouble moving around and getting things done. We can help you return to an active, pain-free lifestyle.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation that helps people who have lost their ability to move easily. It’s designed to improve their ability to move and perform normal daily activities. It’s performed by licensed professionals called physical therapists.
Adults who need physical therapy often have experienced an injury, are recovering from surgery, or have a medical condition that impairs their ability to move. Children may need physical therapy if they were born with or develop a physical or mental disability, a sports injury or a medical condition.
Physical therapists help patients improve pain and regain strength, flexibility, range of motion, balance, endurance and coordination. Some of the ways they can help you include:
- Prescribing therapeutic exercises
- Manipulating your joints or massaging your muscles to help promote proper movement and function
- Teaching you how to use assistive or adaptive devices, including crutches or a prosthesis (artificial limb)
- Applying heat packs or cold compresses to reduce swelling or relieve pain
- Performing electrical stimulation to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling around a joint
- Using ultrasound therapy to reduce pain
- Providing education including home exercise instructions
Who Can Benefit From Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists treat people of all ages who were born with, or acquired, a variety of illnesses or injuries that impact mobility, including:
- Joint pain or injuries, such as knee arthritis or a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Traumatic orthopedic injuries, including those that result in amputation
- Recovery from joint replacement surgery
- Stroke or other neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Fibromyalgia (a condition that causes widespread muscle and joint pain along with severe fatigue)
- Lymphedema (swelling, pressure and pain caused by fluid build-up in the body)
Beacon Health System offers the full spectrum of physical therapy services described above, in hospitals, outpatient clinics and home environments. We also offer several specialty programs led by physical therapists with advanced education or training, including:
Aquatic therapy is for patients who need to exercise but are not ready for traditional weight-bearing activities that place a lot of pressure on the joints. This type of supervised therapy takes place in a heated pool, and is especially useful for people who are recovering from an injury or surgery.
Concussion management program
This program is designed for student athletes and others to provide the full continuum of concussion care – even before a head injury occurs. Beacon offers baseline testing for people who have never had a concussion but may be at risk, so they have a “normal” neurological evaluation to compare to should they ever suffer a concussion with lingering symptoms.
Fall risk assessment and conditioning program
This program is for people who are susceptible to falling due to aging, an injury or a medical condition. Our physical therapists first conduct a thorough evaluation to identify the factors that place you at a higher risk for falls (including step length, vision problems, limited flexibility and balance problems). Next they create a customized treatment plan that includes exercises and recommendations such as removing safety hazards from your home.
Certified hand therapy
This therapy is for people who have lost strength and function in their hand, wrist, arm, elbow or shoulder. Impairments are usually caused by an injury, surgery or a medical condition (including stroke, Parkinson’s disease or carpal tunnel syndrome).
This therapy helps relieve chronic swelling in the body caused by fluid build-up, a condition called lymphedema. Physical therapists help decrease pain and swelling, treat wounds and prevent infection, and teach home-care techniques.
Myofascial release therapy
This therapy is for patients who have painful medical conditions such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Through a combination of gentle massage and stretching, this type of therapy eases pressure and pain that has built up within the connective tissues that wrap around and connect our muscles.
Pelvic floor physical therapy
This therapy is used to treat men and women who have one of several medical conditions known as pelvic floor disorders. These include urinary or fecal incontinence, overactive bladder and pelvic pain caused by a surgical procedure (such as a hysterectomy or prostate surgery). Pelvic floor physical therapy also is prescribed for women who are experiencing pain caused by pregnancy or childbirth.
Senior Swing program
Senior Swing is a fun, low-impact exercise class designed for older adults. It meets three times per week at Elkhart General Hospital.
Certified wound therapy
This therapy is for people with wounds caused by injury, burns, infections or medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease. Our wound care therapists can help clean and heal your wound, reduce your pain and prevent further skin break-down.
Our physical therapists are also integral to the following Beacon rehabilitation programs, designed for patients who require multiple kinds of therapy at one time:
Acute inpatient rehabilitation units
Inpatient therapy is located inside Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital. The units are reserved for patients who have severe injuries or paralysis following a traumatic accident or devastating side effects from a stroke or other neurological condition. Patients who are admitted to one of these elite units, receive around-the-clock rehabilitation care until they’ve regained enough skills and abilities to transition from the hospital to their homes.
Day treatment program
Day treatment serves patients who are recovering from traumatic brain injury, stroke or other neurological disorders. The program is designed to treat patients who still need intensive rehabilitation following their discharge from the hospital, but are able to return to their homes each night.