There are many types of specially designed physical therapy equipment ranging from devices to aid in activities of daily living (ADL) to exercise equipment that can include anything from treatment tables and arm splints to treadmills and weights. The equipment needs for any office that serves this area can vary greatly depending on the type of therapy that is the main focus of your practice. Each different type of patient or client has individual needs depending on the reason needed.
Physical therapy in general is a type of practiced medicine that involves highly specialized exercises designed to improve the quality of movement and strength for those with illnesses or injuries and is also designed to prevent future injuries or health problems. Physical therapy may include such varied activities as stretching limbs, weight lifting, walking exercises or water aerobics. It can also include what is known as manual therapy. This is when the physical therapist will perform twisting, pushing or pulling of body parts to improve function, strength and mobility for those that need this type of therapy.
The best way to determine what type of physical therapy equipment you may need is to have a thorough knowledge of the types of therapy being performed in your office. If you mainly work with geriatric patients for example, many of the needs of your patients will focus on mobility issues and increasing daily function as well as aiding those with the many physical and mental disabilities associated with aging. Common devices used can include walkers, canes, crutches, lifts and transfer boards as well as other equipment patients can use at home to promote self sufficiency.
Orthopedic physical therapy often also focuses on mobility issues and will include some types of similar equipment as well. Other equipment often used for orthopedic patients include the additional use of collars, splints and braces. Rehabilitation physical therapy for those with severe injuries and physically disabling illnesses may need specially designed treatment tables, mattresses, wedges and scales. Other types of these that need specialized equipment include pediatric physical therapy and therapy to aid function in those with cardiac and pulmonary diseases and disorders.
First determine the type of patients that are the main focus of your facility. Then list all the types of therapy that are commonly (and perhaps even not so commonly) needed for your particular clientele. Once you have determined this, you can then go through each type of therapy you will be using in your office to meet your patients’ needs and take inventory of all equipment needed for each particular type.
If you are the manager or owner of the office or facility, you may not know enough about the specifics of the therapy performed to determine your needs on your own. It will be highly beneficial to consult with the physical therapists within your office. You will need to spend time speaking with them to get their personal feedback on the specific equipment needs of the patients coming to your practice.
It is also best to spend time observing the types of therapy they perform on a daily basis and how each is performed. This will give you a much better idea of what is needed within the office to adequately meet your needs.