Helping Your Skilled Nursing Facility Patient Minimize Arthritic Pain
As a physical therapist, it’s your job to help your patients recover lost mobility and function in their limbs, to get them moving once more and regain control of their lives. You are an expert in diagnosing, evaluating and treating those conditions that limit the body’s day-to-day functions. Part of this job involves helping them to minimize and control pain such as that which comes with arthritis. Learn how physical therapy jobs work to help reduce and manage pain from arthritis and other chronic conditions at a skilled nursing facility.
The Process of Pain Management
The process of pain management for a physical therapist in a nursing facility starts with the development of an individualized plan to use exercise and mobility work to increase the flexibility, coordination, balance and strength of the body. The more function you can return to the limbs, the less pain the patient will have to contend with.
It’s important to remember as a physical therapist that no two conditions are identical—even two patients with the exact same diagnosis may see their conditions present in entirely different ways. This means that what works for one patient may not work with another.
There are a few general “truths” to physical therapy treatment plans that make a helpful “jumping off point” when developing the treatment plan for your next client. These include:
Developing posture and proper movement methods for day-to-day life
Instruction of any necessary assistive devices, from wheelchairs to crutches, walkers and canes
Evaluate the need for treatment aids including splints, braces, shoe inserts, cortisone injections or hot/cold therapy for easing of stiffness and joint pains
Introduction of environmental changes from cushioned floor mats to ergonomic devices and seating options which can encourage proper posture, relieve pain and help to increase bodily functions.
Focus on Function
Pain management can be achieved to a degree with medication, but the best results always come from improving overall bodily function and mobility. The more the body works properly, the less pain it will experience. Thus, at every physical therapy session, you should combine pain management therapy with exercises to increase body functionality.
Don’t just perform the exercises at the session—teach your client how to perform them safely at home. If they can adapt to performing the procedures when they’re not at the session, their progress will increase dramatically. Remember, your job is as much that of a guide and teacher as it is to help them manage their pain and stiffness.
Finding Physical Therapy Jobs
Finding physical therapy jobs can be frustrating even as the field grows, especially if you’re new to the game or are looking to take the next step in your career. Turning to a healthcare staffing services agency can be a positive step in putting a number of great opportunities right at your fingertips. If you’re curious as to how a staffing agency can help you, read a bit about the services we provide, and get in touch for more information today!