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Inside an actual Physical Therapy Session

What is PT? What do you guys actually do in there? It's tough to answer because different PTs treat differently, clinics offer different session lengths and possess different skill sets. Further, each session is individualized. However, we thought it would be useful if you all could get a glimpse inside a Zenith-PNW PT session.

Brief background: Logan is a high school runner and basketball player who initially started with Zenith in late summer 2021 for strength training and to work on lower leg pain (which wasn't going well, so we referred him out for imaging and found out was a stress fracture). We helped him rehab that in the fall in time to finish the cross country season and he's been injury free since then, but continued with us for Performance PT and strength training. He's coming off a strong Track season, with a double event appearance at the State Meet. We're preparing for his senior Cross Country season.

To the session:

To start: we always chat a bit to see how things are going, what's new, and what specific areas need addressing today. This week he returned after being at a running camp that included some daily doubles, high vert climbing, and a lot of other fun. It was higher mileage than he has been doing and caused some Achilles discomfort. However, he's built a strong base this summer and his body was able to take that increased mileage.

NEXT: Assessing:

Dr Jenn Randall next assesses some objective measures (assessing joint mobility here, also measured joint range of motion, lower leg strength, a movement screen and pain with muscle testing to identify the true tissue of concern).


We find manual therapy very useful to help

decrease pain, increase mobility and range of motion, and also help allow clients to perform more active movement and exercise-which may then become part of their home program. Here, Jenn is doing soft tissue work on the affected muscles (did we mention she is a Certified Manual Physical Therapist through the North American Institute of Manual Physical Therapy?). She also performed joint mobilizations to the stiff ankle and then used tactile cuing to help retrain the muscles before moving on to......

...Exercises for Logan to perform at home so he can improve even more between sessions.

All of that makes for a really well rounded and effective PT session.

BUT- since we have full hour-long sessions, we can often treat more than one area of concern at a time, so Jenn then turned her attention to Logan's right shoulder, which has given some issues in the past. She performed more manual therapy there, and found that his current home program was still appropriate- it just got sidetracked by camp, so no additional exercises added to the home program there.

That's a lot of good work in a single session... so in order to make sure our clients understand everything that was worked on, what they need to do going forward, and have a solid, agreed upon plan. We always make sure to communicate clearly and answer any questions.

Logan left with the most up to date home program, a plan for key things to work on between now and next week, and his customized program sent digitally straight to him.

We hope this helps paint a picture of what physical therapy CAN and SHOULD look like. One on one care with a qualified PT that knows how to treat your specific issues and takes the time to address you as a whole person.

Utilize the contact form below if that sounds like the way you would like to be treated.

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