Patients excel when physical therapy hits the gym
Avalanche Physical Therapy patients have access to state-of-the-art equipment at the clinic’s Breckenridge Recreation Center location
In physical therapy, patients often work with their therapists to simulate body movements and weight-bearing exercises they’ll face in their daily lives. When therapists have access to state-of-the-art equipment and an aquatics facility, that simulation becomes reality.
Avalanche Physical Therapy has been operating at the Breckenridge Recreation Center since the center opened in the early 1990s. A recent renovation means PT patients now have access to even more state-of-the-art equipment and an upgraded aquatics facility, opening up countless possibilities for therapists who build customized treatment plans for their patients.
“We have daily access to the weight room, cardio center, basketball gym, turf field and pool,” said Avalanche Physical Therapist Josh Jones. “This allows us to challenge patients with machines, weights, aquatics, and plyometrics so we can simulate daily activities that patients are trying to get back to. We have the ability to progress patients quicker with an advanced home exercise program and make sure they are completely ready to return to their athletic activities.”
“People in Summit County have high expectations and push themselves to the limit,” Jones said. “That’s why it’s important that every patient who comes through the doors at Avalanche Physical Therapy leaves strong, with improved coordination and motor control so they can safely continue their active lifestyles.”
“We offer a sports agility class open to anyone at the Rec Center before ski/riding season and bike season to help increase performance and reduce injury,” he said.
In Summit County, Avalanche sees a variety of orthopaedic injuries. Their most common injuries tend to be anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, total knee and total hip replacements, rotator cuff repairs, broken wrists, clavicles and dislocated shoulders. In addition, they see a variety of ankle, back, tempomandibular joint (TMJ), and neck injuries.
A number of the therapists at Avalanche are Orthopaedic Certified Specialists (OCS); which is a post graduate certification of advanced training in treatment of orthopaedic injuries.
Physical therapy is a blessing for Summit County residents and visitors who love to get after a seemingly endless amount of outdoor adventures, but there’s often a misperception that physical therapy is just for the injured.
“We are here for any type of acute or chronic injury or to help prevent the problem from occurring,” said Teri Day, Clinical Manager at Avalanche Physical Therapy. “We see patients for more than just the acute injury. We see patients for education on posture and positioning at their computer or for proper stretching and range of motion techniques to keep the body moving.”
For those seeking physical therapy as prevention, Avalanche Physical Therapist Bailey Martin said that, much like with rehab therapy, physical therapists can help patients determine a prevention program that’s specific to the activities or sports for which the patient participates.
“PT as prevention includes screening patients for muscle imbalances and inefficient movement patterns as well as teaching them exercises in which to prevent an injury from occurring,” she said.
Physical therapy clinics offer equipment that is commonly used across many rehab and prevention therapies, however access to more specialized equipment can really enhance the experience.
“We have access to the pool and can begin aquatic therapy before patients are allowed to be full weight bearing. This allows the patient to increase strength and endurance without negatively affecting their surgery,” Jones said. “Towards the end of rehabilitation, we are able to really push patients with weights, plyometrics, and dynamic functional training to ensure patients are ready to return to their activities. This is also useful to help prevent injuries.”
Martin said that without this equipment, therapists sometimes have to be creative in how they resemble certain movements with patients.
“It’s nice to be able to go out into the gym and have all of that equipment right there,” Martin said.
Life after physical therapy
Martin said that treatment progresses from the clinic setting to the Rec Center as the patient progresses, which allows therapists the opportunity to ensure patients are using this equipment properly.
“It also allows patients to perform sports related activities under the supervision of a physical therapist,” she said. “Patients have free access to the Rec Center on the days they have PT, before or after their appointment.”
Many patients are already members of the Rec Center, but those who aren’t often seek membership after their therapy ends. Having established exercise routines with their therapists, patients are able to continue using the Rec Center equipment independently, and in the correct ways.
“Our Summit County patients are all very motivated to get back to what they were doing before,” Martin said. “And I think people are more likely to continue a program after therapy, so it’s nice they can just continue their routine in that same environment.”
About Avalanche Physical Therapy
Avalanche Physical Therapy operates clinics in Frisco, Silverthorne and Breckenridge. Services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Avalanche PT is also skilled in functional dry needling, instrumented manual tooling, therapeutic cupping, aquatic therapy, post-concussion rehabilitation, blood flow restrictive therapy, as well as all variety of orthopedic injuries and neurological rehabilitation.
For more information, visit http://www.avalanchetherapy.com
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