Orthopaedic Associates Articles

Recent Articles

National Physical Therapy Month

October 21, 2021

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and in celebration we would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness in regards to the benefits of physical therapy and the pride Orthopaedic Associates’ therapists have in the work they do and help they provide. 


Physical therapy helps patients get back to their active lifestyle after an injury or illness by assessing and diagnosing their physical deficits in combination with mechanical restrictions then putting together a personalized treatment approach in conjunction with working directly with a physician. Physical therapists aim to ease pain and help you move, function, and live better by working by your side through all stages of healing - from diagnosis through recovery. 

Patients may seek physical therapy for numerous reasons including; to relieve pain, to improve movement or ability, to rehab after a stroke, accident, or surgery, to prevent or recover from a sports injury, to manage a chronic illness, as well as many other health problems. People of all ages are proven to benefit from physical therapy. 

If a patient has a serious injury or illness, a physical therapist does not take the place of a doctor or surgeon, however they can work closely with other healthcare professionals to create and guide treatments to better outcomes. 

The therapists at Orthopaedic Associates enjoy getting to know each patient. Building that relationship and rapport is important so that they can learn what progress the patient wants to make and what kind of activities they want to get back to. 

During the first session, your physical therapist will examine and assess your needs by asking questions regarding pain or other symptoms, ability to move and do everyday tasks, as well as other medical history that is relevant. They will also administer a series of tests. Doing this helps to diagnose a condition, understand why you have the condition, and develop a treatment plan that works for you. 

At OAD, patients typically meet with their therapist and their surgeon at the first appointment. From there we can talk about the plan of care and what the expectation of the patient and OAD’s team is. 

Treatments could include guided stretches or exercises, massage, cold or heat therapy, practice with canes, walkers, or other items to help with movement and balance, or rehab to help learn the use of an artificial limb. A therapist will assess progress and adjust treatment when necessary. 

One advantage a patient will experience at Orthopaedic Associates is our offering of a one-on-one treatment approach. Patients will be generally seen from start to finish of treatment by one physical or occupational therapist - so that they aren't bounced around from one to the next. 

Another advantage is the direct access OAD therapists have with their physicians. This connection bridges the gaps where things could potentially slip through. It is important for patients to know that this connected loop does not get dropped and care team members are continually in communication. From day one the therapists are well aware of what occurred in surgery and can have that communication with the surgeon being literally steps away from each other. This communication goes both ways where if there is a question on the physician's end they can come speak with one of the physical therapists and vice versa. 

Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth has several specialized programs including a sports metrics program which works with athletes both in preventing injuries specifically with the ACL and preventing reinjury with the ACL. Another program is our return to sport testing which can be for any injury whether it is a lower or upper body injury to make sure the athlete is safe to return to their sport. We also offer a running assessment, which is also meant to prevent running injuries or can treat runners who have had an injury in the past and get them back to their love of running. 

Learn more about our team of therapists, each having extensive education in the areas of orthopedics, manual therapy, sports rehab, and injury prevention by visiting www.oaduluth.com/therapy.php. Please request an appointment if you feel your life and health would benefit from physical therapy.