The Four Stages of Physical Therapy at a Skilled Nursing Community

Physical therapy may be necessary after experiencing an injury, surgery or limitations due to a health condition. Although the specific exercises, rehabilitation techniques and length of rehabilitation will vary from person to person based on individual needs, the overall process of physical therapy can be broken down into four phases. In this article, we describe what you can expect during the four phases of physical therapy at a skilled nursing community. 

1.) Acute Phase

The first phase focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. Depending on the condition, injury, or surgery, this can be achieved through a combination of manual therapy, modalities and activity modification. In almost all situations, early mobility is the key to a speedy recovery. Physical therapy often starts just hours after a surgery! The human body is made to move, and these early efforts can have a long-term positive impact on the negative toll immobility can have on the human body.

2.) Intermediate Phase

During this stage, physical therapy will begin to turn up just a little. Your physical therapist begins working to recover your movement and mobility. Treatment sessions will start becoming more individualized and challenging as you will start to see progress toward achieving functional levels of strength, range of motion and general mobility.

3.) Function and Activity

As strength, range of motion, and confidence increase, you will progress to phase three! This phase is where physical therapy shines. This stage is all about function. Your therapist will gradually build on your individualized plan with a focus on your functional goals. Progress in this phase will not be as rapid as the previous two. Therapy will balance the delicate nature of duration, intensity, technique and response to increase your ability to perform daily activities required for your return home.

4.) Maintenance and Prevention

Therapy is a journey. The road to complete recovery does not end here. Your physical therapist will provide a specialized home program based on your progress. Continuing an active lifestyle improves your physical and mental health and plays a crucial role in general health and wellness.

Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services provides physical therapy, along with occupational and speech therapy, at each of our 39 locations across North and South Carolina. To find a location near you or to request a free consultation, visit our website or call 800-999-9883.