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March 18, 2014 > Washington HospitalÕs Outpatient Rehabilitation Center Helps People Regain Strength and Flexibility

Washington HospitalÕs Outpatient Rehabilitation Center Helps People Regain Strength and Flexibility

If you have a pain in the back, trouble bending your knees or are contending with a sports injury, the Washington Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Center can help you regain your mobility and improve your strength.
The Washington HospitalÕs Outpatient Rehabilitation Center is staffed by trained orthopedic and physical therapists and their assistants who are skilled at providing the latest techniques for alleviating painful conditions including arthritis and sports injuries. They also assist with post-surgery reconditioning including knee, shoulder or hip replacement, tendonitis and tendonitis. (Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon; tendonosis is the degeneration of a tendonÕs collagen).The therapists also work with patients who may need vestibular rehabilitation to improve their balance, or who have lumbar (lower back) or cervical (neck) injuries.
The Center also provides occupational therapy for people suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress.
ÒWe provide one-on-one care and individualized attention. Each patient is assigned to a specific therapist who creates a customized program.Ó explains Sharmi Mukherjee, MPT, DPT, Director of the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center. ÒOur individualized plans focus on the specific muscles which need to be stretched and strengthened.Ó
She adds, ÒOur therapists provide both guidance and encouragement and make sure that our patients receive the highest level of care.Ó
In most cases, during as few as eight or 10 sessions with the physical and occupational therapists at the center, patients learn how to do exercises specific to their condition. They may use a combination of an exercise bicycle, exercise balls, weights and belts to work through their customized exercise program, all with guidance from a professional therapist.
Positive Results
ÒWe are able to return patients to their functional capabilities,Ó Mukherjee says. ÒThey develop increased muscle strength, better balance, relief from pain and the ability to resume active lives.Ó
At the initial visit to the center, which lasts about an hour, the physical and occupational therapists do a comprehensive evaluation of the patient. They review the patientÕs medications and check their vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, which could affect how much exercise they can tolerate. The physical and occupational therapists also note any respiratory or circulatory conditions that might affect the patientÕs ability to exercise.
ÒWe treat the patient as a whole,Ó Mukherjee adds, and follow up during each visit to make sure the patient is doing the exercises properly, assuring the best outcome.
ÒWe chart each patientÕs progress,Ó she continues. ÒWe provide printouts of their exercises and help them learn to do each correctly. We focus on educating our patients so they can manage their condition and avoid triggers that might negatively affect their physical progress.Ó
ÒEach treatment plan is different. Some patients may need heat or ice on a muscle, others may have been overusing a muscle and need to give it a rest,Ó says Mukherjee.
The personalized exercise program, usually prescribed as twice a week for the first few weeks, includes stretching as well as building up the strength of a specific set of muscles. For many patients, after 10 sessions they have become skilled at doing these regular exercises, have returned to their former strength and ability and now are able to continue an exercise routine on their own at home. Most importantly, they can get back to work and lifeÕs other activities with full mobility.
To learn more about the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, visit or call (510) 794-9672.

Legacy Strength Training Program
Located within the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center is the Legacy Strength Training Program. Utilizing an intensive program of slow-motion exercises on weight machines with guidance from a therapist (athletic trainer certified) clients/participants build strength in specific muscles during a 30-minute, supervised workout. To learn more about this program, call the number above.

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