Physical therapy is a subspecialty field of medicine that maximizes movement and function for people who have either a permanent or temporary loss of mobility. Physical therapists help to improve patients’ quality of life by working to decrease pain while restoring strength and function. Physical therapy is also used to prevent injuries by teaching people how to move properly. If your doctor recommends physical therapy after an injury or surgery to help you recover, you should know that the Physical Therapy Division at the University of Michigan Health System offers comprehensive rehabilitation services by a highly qualified team of physical therapists with specialized board-certifications and/or doctoral- level degrees
We service inpatients and outpatients at seven convenient locations, providing our adult and pediatric patients with advanced treatment options for a variety of conditions, including:
- Arthritis and rheumatic disorders
- Back and neck pain
- TMJ and Headache
- Cardiac and pulmonary disease
- Complications post cancer treatment
- Developmental disabilities
- Gait and movement disorders
- Joint issues
- Neurological disorders (stroke, traumatic brain injury)
- Neuromuscular disorders including but not limited to: cerebral palsy, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, myelomeningocele (spina bifida)
- Pelvic floor issues (pelvic pain and dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, and bladder dysfunction)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sports-related injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Wound management/vascular disease
Our outpatient physical therapy services have achieved great success with 89 percent of our patients completing therapy in fewer than eight visits. Likewise, research conducted on our chronic back pain patients showed significant pain relief after only four treatment sessions. Each patient care site offers individualized and specialized physical therapy programs designed to meet the needs of all our patients. Greater than 96 percent of our patients would recommend our program to others.
An initial outpatient visit starts with a comprehensive evaluation to assess your current level of function. Upon completion of an initial evaluation, the physical therapist will incorporate clinical findings with patient/caregiver goals and create a comprehensive treatment plan.
Treatment may include therapeutic exercise, mobility training, airway clearance techniques, the use of assistive devices, and heat, cold, water and sound therapies. Pediatric treatment incorporates age-appropriate activities to engage the children. Cutting-edge therapies and comprehensive services include:
- Lokomat - one of only a few robotic gait-training systems in the state. This state-of-the-art equipment moves the legs and feet for patients with an incomplete spinal cord injury.
- Bioness electrical stimulation assistive device - helps patients with central nervous system disorders (stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, etc.) to regain mobility.
- Wheelchair Seating Service - specialty wheelchairs, equipment, and car seats for adults and pediatrics.
- Body weight-supported treadmill training
- Return-to-School Program - designed to assist a child with mobility and/ or cognitive issues to integrate back into the school environment. Therapists work with the school staff and students to understand the child’s special needs.
- Enrichment programs for pediatric patients including handwriting, feeding, dance, cycling, martial arts, art therapy, social skills, recreation skills and yoga
- Physical Therapy Wound Care provides treatment for chronic and non-healing wounds. Treatment includes; pulsatile lavage (pressurized wound cleaning), debridement of non-viable tissue, specialty dressing selection, patient and family education and other modalities to enhance wound healing. Staff are also trained in management and application of negative pressure wound therapy such the V.A.C.® Therapy. Conditions treated by this department include; diabetic foot ulcers, venous or arterial insufficiency ulcers, non-healing traumatic or surgical wounds, pressure ulcers, as well as other non-healing wounds.
- Post-therapy fitness programs
Physical Therapy is an integral part of many medical clinics. We work closely with the multidisciplinary team to provide a comprehensive experience for our patients. This medical team may include: occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physicians, rehabilitation engineers, orthotists / prosthetists, therapeutic recreation specialists, school teachers and social workers to provide our patients with a comprehensive treatment plan that guides them through their recovery experience.