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What is Orthopedic Physical Therapy and How Does it Help?

Orthopedic physical therapy is your best friend when it comes to muscle and bone rehabilitation. In this guide, we’ll explain what orthopedic physical therapy is, the conditions it can help with, and provide examples of different physical therapy equipment and treatments.

What Is Orthopedic Physical Therapy? 

Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on muscle and bone rehabilitation to help aid in the recovery of orthopedic injuries, surgeries, ailments, and chronic conditions. It can help people increase mobility, control pain, and ultimately feel comfortable navigating day-to-day life. The goal is to promote the function of your orthopedic system, focusing on treatment and rehabilitation. Routine appointments and at-home exercises can promote steady healing to help you rediscover comfort in your everyday life. 

Conditions Orthopedic Physical Therapy Can Help With

Orthopedic physical therapy is a versatile approach that can help with lots of different conditions including: 

  • Injuries like sprains 
  • Pain symptoms 
  • Sports injuries such as ACL tears 
  • Recovering from orthopedic surgery 
  • Pinched nerves 
  • Chronic conditions like arthritis 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy After Surgery

A woman recovering from surgery goes to an orthopedic physical therapy appointment for rehabilitation.

One of the biggest reasons why you might need orthopedic physical therapy is to help you recover after surgery. Following the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon and any recommended physical therapy routines is the best way to ensure a smooth and simple recovery following an orthopedic surgery of any kind. 

These common orthopedic surgical operations often require physical therapy to aid in the recovery process: 

  • Hip, joint, knee, and shoulder replacement 
  • Osteotomy (bone is cut for realignment) 
  • ACL surgery 
  • And more 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Due to Injury 

When recovering from an injury like an ankle sprain or a meniscus tear, orthopedic physical therapy can help you increase mobility, manage pain, and regain functionality.  

Orthopedic Physical Therapy for Pain Management 

Many people who struggle with chronic pain caused by an injury or a chronic condition find that orthopedic physical therapy is a great way to effectively manage discomfort. 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Equipment and Treatments

Orthopedic physical therapy often involves the use of specialized equipment to help with specific treatments. Here are some examples of common orthopedic physical therapy equipment used to aid this process. 

Exercise Rehabilitation

CanDo Inflatable Exercise Ball

Exercise therapy is one of the most widely used orthopedic physical therapy treatments. This method uses guided exercise routines planned by a physical therapist to strengthen muscles, increase mobility, and promote rehabilitation. 

Inflatable balls like this CanDo Inflatable Exercise Ball are often recommended by physical therapists to aid with orthopedic exercise treatments. These are made with ribbed, slip-resistant PVC vinyl to promote security and functionality. Increasing or lowering the amount of air you put inside lets you adjust the firmness of the exercise ball, making it perfect for customized exercise routines. This tool can enhance balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility. 

Find More Exercise Rehabilitation Equipment 

Hot/Cold Therapy

 Elasto-Gel Hot/Cold Therapy Wrist Wrap

Hot/cold therapy is commonly recommended by orthopedic physical therapists to treat pain and swelling. This is a soothing way to prevent overall soreness and increase comfort.  

The The Elasto-Gel Hot/Cold Therapy Wrist Wrap makes it easy to add hot/cold therapy to your everyday routine. Made with a tough yet flexible material wrapped in comfortable gel, this wrap is adjustable and designed to fit snugly on your wrist. It reduces inflammation, swelling, and pain by using a combination of hot and cold therapies. You can adjust the wrap’s temperature by microwaving it or freezing it.

Find More Hot/Cold Physical Therapy Equipment 

Kinesiology Taping

Kinesio Tex Gold FP Athletic Tape - Bulk Roll

Kinesiology taping is an orthopedic therapy strategy that involves applying specialized tape to areas of the body to provide support, reduce inflammation, and aid in pain management. Also known as kinesio taping, this therapy is a popular choice among athletes or those who want to increase their overall musculoskeletal comfort. 

The Kinesio Tex Gold FP Athletic Tape is made with water-resistant, high-grade cotton. This tape is also hypoallergenic and breathable for added comfort and relief. It's designed with patented technology to target the Epidermis, Dermis and Fascia for optimal pain management. 

Find More Kinesio Tape 

Laser Therapy

Dynatronics TriWave Light Probe

Light therapy is an orthopedic practice that uses light exposure to expedite healing. Devices that emit different light wavelengths are used to strategically reduce muscle fatigue, strengthen muscles, and promote faster rehabilitation. Many patients also report reduced pain as an added benefit. 

The Dynatronics TriWave Light Probe is a light therapy tool that uses three different light wavelengths: red, infared, and blue. With a total of 7 different light treatment combinations, this device is applied to the skin, increasing blood circulation to temporarily reduce aches, pains, and stiffness in your muscles and joints. 

Find More Laser Therapy Devices 


Therabody PowerDot 2.0

Electrotherapy uses electrodes to stimulate injured areas or target nerves to reduce pain. When the electrical currents are targeting your muscles, this can build strength because it causes them to repeatedly contract and relax. For pain relief purposes, your nerves are targeted instead. 

The Therabody PowerDot 2.0 is a powerful muscle stimulator that uses electrodes to target specific areas that need a little extra love. It’s conveniently controlled by an app that allows you to enjoy the benefits of muscle (NMES) and nerve (TENS) stimulation in one device. 

Here are some of the benefits electrotherapy devices can provide: 

  • Natural pain relief from endorphin release 
  • Increased recovery speed 
  • Improved performance 
  • Relieves menstrual cramps 

Find More Electrotherapy Devices 

Massage Therapy

Therabody Wave Duo

Orthopedic massage therapy focuses on the muscles and soft tissues that surround your joints. While the primary goal of this technique is to reduce pain, it can also help increase your range of motion and aid with rehabilitation. 

The Therabody Wave Duo is more than just a massage roller. This clever device makes it easy to incorporate massage therapy into your at-home physical therapy routine. Engineered to ergonomically contour to the back, spine, and neck, this device is extremely versatile, and comes with wave-shaped groove patterns to add additional pressure to your muscles. It also comes with customizable vibration settings, controllable through the Therabody app via Bluetooth for a streamlined relaxation experience.  

Find More Massage Therapy Equipment 

Shop Physical Therapy Equipment with Orthopedic Outfitters 

At Orthopedic Outfitters, we’re proud to provide you with the highest quality orthopedic physical therapy equipment. We offer a broad range of physical therapy products to help you find a solution that works best for you. We also offer FREE shipping on all orders over $50! 

Shop all physical therapy equipment today! 

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