Physical Therapy in Home Health Care

As part of a Cheyenne Regional home health care plan, patients may receive physical therapy from a Physical Therapist (PT) and/or Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA).

Physical therapy is more than just walking, exercising and strengthening; it can help you move, balance, and breathe better. Cheyenne Regional’s PTs and PTAs focus on the body, muscles, joints and bones that help a person to move, enabling individuals recovering from a stroke, knee/hip surgery, heart attack, fall or generalized weakness to regain their strength and confidence while participating in meaningful daily tasks.

During physical therapy, a physical therapist will ask the individual what tasks are challenging for them to complete, then identify specific muscle groups to strengthen and/or suggest adaptations to make that task easier for the person to complete.

Below, we’ve shared some frequently asked questions about the role of physical therapy in home health care; please contact us at (307) 633-7000 if there are additional questions we can answer for you!

What is the difference between physical therapists and physical therapy assistants?

Physical therapists evaluate, assess, create a plan of care and complete a discharge and all documentation required. Physical therapists also generally have a Masters or Doctorate degree. As of 2008 all PT’s were required to obtain their PTD (Physical Therapy Doctorate) degree.

Physical therapy assistants provide and guide daily treatment sessions and provide input to the plan of care. They usually have an associate or bachelor’s degree.

What are some areas that physical therapists / physical therapy assistants can specialize in?

At CRMC, we have PT and PTAs who specialize in the following treatment modalities:

  • Biofeedback
  • Dry needling
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Ice
  • Lypmpoedema
  • Moist/dry heat
  • Soft-tissue oscillation
  • Taping
  • Traction
  • Trigger-point pressure
  • Ultrasound

Utilizing these techniques in addition to stretching, strengthening and other inpatient, outpatient, and home therapy programs can help individuals recover at a faster rate.

What’s the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?

Physical therapy focuses on the body; the muscles, joints, inner ear, vision and balance components needed to successfully walk and complete daily tasks. Occupational therapy focuses on functional and individual task components.

Often times, physical and occupational therapists work as a team when helping individuals to recover.

For example: Physical therapists will help individuals walk or balance better when walking in the grocery store or to the bathroom. Occupational therapists will help individuals reach for and grasp items in the store, or better manage or manipulate clothing up or down after utilizing the bathroom. Both disciplines discuss safety during these tasks and may make recommendations, such as using a four-wheel walker with a cart and/or using a motorized cart for energy conservation in the grocery store.

In that same bathroom example, a physical therapist may recommend practicing squats or leg exercises for improved balance and independence to get on/off the toilet. The occupational therapist may recommend a grab bar, toilet riser, hygiene aid or other equipment to make the task of toileting easier.

What happens in a physical therapy session?

This greatly depends on what the individual finds challenging in their daily routine.

Physical therapy sessions may begin with a warm-up of stretching, a modality such as hot pack, or simple walking.

Next, physical therapists may focus on lower body leg exercises, bending, lifting and balance techniques. They may ask the individual to demonstrate how they go up or down stairs, get in/out of a car or demonstrate picking something off of the floor. During this time, the PT will watch for specific body mechanics and patterns: Is the individual lifting utilizing leg muscles or back muscles? Is the individual holding their breath while exercising?

Additionally, physical therapists can utilize visual, tactile or verbal cues to improve a mobility pattern and strengthen the individual’s muscles. Physical therapist and assistants also often apply hands-on techniques to mobilize a particular muscle group or joint through stretching, massaging or deep tissue work.

Get to know our physical therapists and physical therapist assistants

We asked a few Cheyenne Regional PT and PTAs what they enjoyed most about their role and what they wanted Cheyenne Regional home health care patients and our community to know about the services they provide. Here’s what they told us!

 What do you like most about being a PT or PTA?

  • “I like helping people. It’s super rewarding to see people get stronger and live safer in their homes and know that you helped with that.” – Tiffany, IP, PTA
  • “I enjoy finding equipment for people who really need it. The senior center is a good resource for getting equipment for people who can’t afford to get their own equipment. I work with them often to make sure we can get things for people to help improve their quality of life.” – Tiffany, IP, PTA
  • “I enjoy improving my patients’ overall quality of life and thought movement.” – Brittany, PTA
  • “I enjoy helping people get stronger and regain their prior abilities.” – Tamara, PT, MSPT

What would you like your patients or our community to know about the services you provide as a PT/PTA?

  • “I want the community to know PT can seem scary and difficult, but with the right therapist, they will be so grateful for the options and protocols we offer.” – Jan, PTA
  • “Physical therapists are the doctors of movement, and we don’t cause pain. We really like to help patients understand their pain and give them ways to better manage it though improving their function and movements. We want to see you move. We look to see any dysfunctional patterns and what risks they may cause. We discuss and implement strategies to prevent those risks from occurring.” – Brittany, PTA
  • “CRMC home care has a experienced and caring therapy staff that’s focused on improving strength, transfers and walking.” – Tamara PT, MSPT