View More Conditions

Optimal Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

Post-surgery Rehab

A common surgery for the hip is a total hip replacement. Another type of common surgery for the hip is open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) to help the fractured bone (femur) to heal in the correct position.  The amount of force it takes to break bone means that the soft tissues around the hip are most likely also injured. After surgery, due to limited movement, range of motion and strength are lost rather quickly. Since walking is a very complex action of different muscles moving in a coordinated action, it can be difficult to walk after hip surgery.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitative process after hip surgery. Depending on your surgery and your surgeon’s protocols, we will progress you through a structured rehabilitation program. The goal is to restore pain-free range of motion in the hip while protecting the healing structures. Finally, exercises to improve your strength and maximize your balance are introduced to maximize your return to normal pain-free walking. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

Difficulty walking

As a baby, it takes us 12 to 18 months to learn the fundamentals of walking. It takes even longer to learn how to walk efficiently and eventually run. Walking is very complex and requires good balance, the ability to know where your joints are in space (proprioception), the ability to know how your joints are moving (kinesthesia), sufficient range of motion, and adequate strength.

As we age, with declining activity or after an injury, walking can become difficult. With previous injuries or pain in the knee or hip, our walking pattern can change leaving us with a limp or pain in our joints. 

When our walking patterns change, abnormal stresses can be transmitted to our joints and soft tissues. For example, if you have knee pain and you begin to limp, the opposite hip and your spine bear increased pressure. This can lead to pain and injury to those areas. 

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapists are experts in helping people to walk normally. A thorough evaluation of your range of motion, strength, walking patterns, balance, and coordination will be performed. Your physical therapist will then be able to explain why you are experiencing difficulties and how physical therapy can help. They will then create an individualized treatment plan that will address the factors impacting your ability to walk. Our goal is to maximize your safety and independence when walking. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to schedule an evaluation today.

About Total Hip Replacement / Partial Hip Replacement

When the hip has suffered a significant trauma such as a fracture or when long-term arthritis is affecting your ability to move and walk, surgery to replace the hip may be needed. In this surgery known as a total hip replacement, the socket of the hip joint and head of the femur are replaced. With a partial hip replacement, either the head of the femur or the socket of the hip is replaced. There have been many advances in the technology of the total hip replacement prosthesis and procedures allowing for less invasive surgery and faster recovery times.

Typically people have suffered for a while before having surgery, leading to changes in walking, loss of muscle strength and function. Physical therapy before surgery in general has shown to help the quality of recovery after surgery.

How physical therapy helps:

Working with your surgeon’s protocols, we coordinate a thorough rehabilitation program to get you back to normal walking as soon as possible.

Typically, you may start physical therapy in the hospital the day after your procedure. In the hospital, basic movements and functions such as getting up and down out of chairs, basic walking, and strength are addressed. After discharge from the hospital it is very important to continue with outpatient physical therapy.

We complete the rehabilitation cycle, further restoring your range of motion, normal walking, balance, coordination, and alleviating pain. We continue to reinforce safety precautions with your hip movement while you heal. The goal of physical therapy is to maximize your ability to resume daily activities pain-free. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttocks and helps with rotating the hip. The sciatic nerve typically dives underneath the piriformis muscle as it makes it way down to the leg. In about 20% of people, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock instead of under it. This can make the sciatic nerve more susceptible to irritation and pressure from the piriformis muscle. 

With excessive sitting, loss of movement in the hips, or trauma, the piriformis muscle can press down onto the sciatic nerve. Typically, mild symptoms cause aching deep into the buttock and often radiating pain to the outer thigh. With more severe cases, tingling, numbness or severe pain can radiate down the thigh to the foot.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is very effective in treating piriformis syndrome. By analyzing your hip range of motion, muscle strength, flexibility, walking, and posture we can determine the right approach to treating the affected area. With specialized hands-on therapy and specific exercises, Optimal Physical Therapy can help you regain lost range of motion, reduce pain, and improve symptoms into the leg.

We instruct you in the performance of exercises and activity modifications that you can do at home to prevent the recurrence of symptoms. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to learn more about how we can help you relieve the pain and symptoms from piriformis syndrome.

About Hip Pain and Thigh Pain

Hip pain is typically felt in three places, in the groin, outer hip, and/or buttock. Depending on where the pain is focused corresponds to the dysfunction around that area. The hip joint is incredible as it moves through a large range of motion, and is stable enough to support the weight of the body.

Hip pain can occur due to limited motion of the hip causing abnormal stress on different muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the area. Pain due to injury from the hip is typically felt in the area around the hip but with more severe irritation, radiating pain can even be felt into the thigh or knee.

Having mobile hip joints with strong muscular support is key to a healthy back. When the hips do not move as they should, the normal forces of walking, bending and squatting are transferred to the spine instead of the hips.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy can relieve hip and thigh pain. Our physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation to determine the source of your pain. By assessing your hip range of motion, strength, and joint mobility, your physical therapist will determine your limitations and create an individualized treatment plan that will address the root cause.

By improving your joint mobility, strength, and range of motion, we will help you restore normal pain free walking and activities. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to discover how we can help you quickly relieve hip pain and thigh pain.

What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe radiating pain into the buttock that may travel down the back of the thigh. Often this pain is achy and spread out along the buttock and back of the thigh.

Sciatica typically comes from irritation to the sciatic nerve, which travels deep in the buttock and down the back of the leg. In about 20% of people, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock, instead of underneath it. This muscle helps guide hip movement, but can become very tight with prolonged sitting. This tightens causes pressure and irritation to the sciatic nerve causing pain.

Radiating pain to the leg doesn't necessarily mean you have sciatica, but it does tell you that something is wrong. Irritated muscles and tissue often can radiate pain. Spread-out, achy pain is often indicative of this type of problem. Sharp, stabbing pain with numbness or tingling is more nerve irritation or compression occurring in the back or leg. This typically occurs more to specific parts of the leg.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments for sciatica and radiating pain into the leg. It first takes a thorough evaluation to determine where your problem is stemming from. Our physical therapists take time to examine the movement of your spine, hips and legs. Range of motion, strength, joint mobility and muscle condition are assessed by our medically trained physical therapists.

After we determine the root cause of your problem, we generate a comprehensive treatment plan to quickly relieve your pain, radiating symptoms, improve range of motion, improve strength and help you to prevent future episodes.

With gentle, specialized hands-on techniques we improve your spinal and hip mobility, reducing pressure on your sciatic nerve. In addition, modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be used to reduce inflammation and resolve you pain quickly. We also perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to restore your normal motion and strength, resulting in lasting effects that will stop your pain from returning. Call us today to find out how we can help relieve your sciatica and leg pain, returning you to the activities you love.

About Osteoarthritis of the hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip can be painful as the hip moves with transitioning from sit to stand, walking, squatting, and bending. The hips take a lot of wear and tear over the years leading to a degeneration of the cartilage that lines the joint. As the cartilage wears over time, the joint surfaces begin to wear against each other. In advanced stages of osteoarthritis, bone spurs can form around the joint and even change the shape of the joint.

Most minor to moderate cases of hip osteoarthritis can be managed conservatively with physical therapy. In advanced stages, a total or partial hip replacement may be needed to repair the damaged joint. Physical therapy in the hospital and outpatient facilities is highly important in the recovery from a hip replacement surgery.

How physical therapy helps:

The pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip comes from inflammation in and around the joint from wear and tear. Tight muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissues occur with osteoarthritis further limiting joint movement. In addition, the weakness of the buttock muscles and hip rotators generally occurs because of the loss of movement.

Physical therapy can improve joint mobility, range of motion, and muscle strength. First your physical therapist will thoroughly evaluate the mechanics of your hip joint, walking, and hip muscle coordination. By pinpointing the specific areas that need attention, we formulate an individualized plan to relieve your pain and help you return to the activities you enjoy. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to find out how we can help your osteoarthritis hip pain.

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?

The ending of the word “itis” is defined as inflammation. Therefore, bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that sits between muscles or tissues to cushion and reduce friction. In the hip, there is a rather large bursa on the outside between the bony area (trochanter) and a thick band of tissue stretching from your hip to your knee (iliotibial band). This is called the trochanteric bursa.

This bursa can often become inflamed due to abnormal joint movements, repetitive movements, and weakness of the surrounding musculature. This causes strain to the tissues and excessive friction on the bursa. When the bursa is inflamed, people tend to feel pain with prolonged walking or standing and the outer hip and thigh can be tender to touch.

How physical therapy helps:

Physical therapy is the first line in conservative treatment for trochanteric bursitis. Since most bursitis is due to underlying abnormal movement and weakness, our physical therapists evaluate your movement to pinpoint the source of the symptoms. Modalities may be used to alleviate pain and discomfort, while hands-on therapy improves joint mechanics, and range of motion.

Finally, exercises for strength and joint coordination help to restore stability to the hip and surrounding joints. To find out more on how we can help your hip bursitis call Optimal Physical Therapy today.

Hip Sprains and Strains

Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connecting bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connecting muscles to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick overstretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain, and limiting movement.

The first step in treating sprains or strains in the hip is to rest and use ice. There are different levels of sprains or strains from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and in need of surgical repair.

How physical therapy helps:

In most cases, physical therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that the ligaments or tendons are still intact. After we pinpoint the injured structure, we formulate a treatment plan that will quickly relieve your swelling, pain, and begin restoring range of motion.

The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and strength. No matter what your activity level is, we work closely with you to make sure you fully recover and can participate in the activities you love to do. Call Optimal Physical Therapy today to learn how we can effectively treat your sprains or strains.