When a physical therapist talks about functional mobility, they are describing a patient’s ability to freely move and function in their daily life. If the patient has issues with getting in and out of bed, walking, bending, or lifting, their healthcare provider may have recommended they seek treatment from a physical therapist. Physical therapy in Kennewick, WA from a clinic like Northwest Injury Clinics, can be effective treatment for those who are advanced in age, are recovering from surgery or an injury. Physical therapy may also be beneficial for many persons who wish to avoid surgery, if possible. After a thorough exam by our physical therapy, you should gain a clearer understanding of your treatment options.
If you are currently needing to use a cane or a walker because of limited mobility, physical therapy may increase your mobility to such an extent that you will require less help moving around or perhaps may not need help at all. Everyone’s condition and overall health is different, which requires the insight of a trusted healthcare professional such as a physical therapist.
Determining the Level of Functional Mobility
In developing a treatment plan, the physical therapist will perform a thorough exam and may use various diagnostic tools to determine the patient’s level of functional mobility. There are numerous categories into which functional mobility may fall, but there are three many types:
1. Bed mobility. It’s often not until a person’s functional mobility degrades do they notice how much movement is associated with using a bed. In addition to adjusting their position while sleeping or awake in order to maintain healthy circulation, a person changes from sitting to laying down to sitting, they may switch sides of the bed, get into bed from a standing position and get out of bed to a standing position.
2. Ambulation. This refers to a person’s ability to walk or move from one place to another. To accomplish this, the individual may require the use of a cane or a walker, or the support of another person.
3. Transfers. When a person transitions from one surface to another, this is a transfer. Those with reduce functional mobility may have difficulty transferring from the couch to a chair or similar scenarios.
Determining the Level of Assistance Needed
Decreased functional mobility can be mild or severe or anywhere in-between. The factors that affect the severity level include the nature and seriousness of the patient’s injury or the severity of their condition that’s hampering their mobility. At the beginning of your physical therapy treatment, you may need more assistance than later when your functional mobility increases. Your physical therapist may offer tips and suggestions about how you can move your body to minimize pain and reduce the likelihood of injuring yourself. For some, learning how to use proper posture can help reduce strain on certain areas of the body that are experiencing pain or discomfort.