Physical Therapist Training & Education
All Physical Therapists must complete a broad but rigorous range of curriculum from an accredited physical therapy program at a college or university in order to meet state licensure requirements. In addition to general course work, Physical Therapists then refine their coursework to reflect their particular interests such as orthopedics, neurology, geriatrics, or pediatrics. All of our Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants are licensed to treat in the state of New Hampshire, and many hold advanced degrees and specialized certifications in areas such as Vestibular Rehabilitation, Graston Technique, Manual Therapy, and Orthopaedic Specialist Certifications.
Whether you are preparing for an upcoming surgery in our Prehab program or recovering after an injury or surgery, you can be confident that you are in the skilled & compassionate hands of experienced and well-educated therapists at Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy. Some of the common conditions and injuries we treat at MVPT include:
- Cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine conditions including stenosis, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis
- Joint sprains including knee, shoulder, hips, foot/ankle, elbow and wrist
- Post-surgical joint replacement and revisions including total knee, hip and shoulder
- Chronic headache, cervicalgia, migraine, and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Vertigo, dizziness, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Women’s health conditions such as pelvic floor dysfunction, pubic symphysis separation, and prenatal & postpartum conditions such as diastasis recti, pelvic pain, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
- Neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease including LSVT-BIG certified care
- “Prehabilitation” care prior to surgical procedures
- Fall-Risk assessment, balance training, Otago certified senior safety program
- Custom orthotic casting
- Lymphedema and manual lymphatic drainage (clients not having had a lymphadenectomy)
- Oncology certified care & breast cancer rehabilitation
- Craniosacral therapy
- Tennis elbow, epicondylitis, cubital tunnel syndrome
- Motor vehicle related accidents/injuries including whiplash, muscle spasm, and contusions
- Sport related injuries including overuse injuries, concussion and other impact injuries, and muscle strains
- Pediatric conditions such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, torticollis, hypo/hypertonia
Physical Therapy Services at Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy
What might you do during physical therapy sessions? Here are just a few of the common services provided to patients in physical therapy.
Now Offering Telehealth Physical Therapy
Virtual visits that are conducted one-on-one with your physical therapist using nearly any web-based device and free software that is easy to download and use. Learn more about Telehealth at MVPT
Manual and “Hands-on” Procedures
Soft Tissue Massage (STM)
Hands-on massage technique used to increase circulation, flexibility and mobility of muscle fibers and decrease pain and spasm.
Joint Mobilization A technique that involves applying pressure to joints and articular structures to increase motion and/or proper alignment of a joint.
Muscle Energy Techniques A form of stretching that involves active muscle contract by the client performed in opposition to resistance applied by the therapist. Muscle energy techniques (also referred to as MET) are especially helpful in strengthening muscles through a spectrum of motion.
Myofascial Release Gentle sustained pressure is applied to areas of tight or enflamed muscle or other connective tissues, such as tendons or ligaments, to facilitate a relaxation and “release” of the involved “fascia” tissue.
Dry Needling Also referred to as Myofascial Trigger Point Dry Needling, it is therapy technique utilizing a very fine, “dry” (without medication) needle to release the tension of a tender or painful area of a muscle and allow for the release of the trigger point and almost immediate improvement in pain and motion.
A technique that utilizes a hand-held tool, which is moved over an area of scar tissue/fascial restriction to help break up the scar tissue, increase mobility and decrease pain and inflammation.
Therapeutic Exercise Exercise activities, individualized to each client’s unique needs, designed to address specific balance, flexibility, neuromuscular and strength deficits.
Kinesio & Other Taping Techniques Medical-grade, latex-free elasticized tape that is applied over boney structures and muscles to stabilize an injured area and “encourage” proper alignment and assisted motion. Initially, tape is applied by the therapist and worn by the patient between therapy sessions (for about 48 hours) to assist with proper carryover away from the clinic. Taping techniques that provide successful relief can be taught to the patient or their family members to be carried on after therapy is completed.
A device that drives deep-penetrating heat into areas of soft to increase cellular metabolism and circulation, promote muscle relaxation, and reduce pain. Ultrasound is also effective in breaking down scar tissue residing deep under the skin.
Refined electronic waves trigger gentle muscle contractions, increase the strength of weakened muscle fibers, increase blood flow to promote healing, and flush fluids to be moved away from swollen tissues.
Anti-inflammatory medication is delivered deep into muscle or joint structures via electrode using electrical current. Although not covered by all insurances due to its “experimental” classification, it is often especially helpful with pain relief and inflammation reduction in conditions such as tendonitis and bursitis.
Similar to Iontophoresis, anti-inflammatory medication is driven deep into tissue utilizing ultrasound waves.
The act of safely “pulling” on the head, pelvis or lower extremities, to alleviate the compression of joints of the spine or pelvis. Depending upon the patient and condition, traction is applied by either manual (using the hands) or mechanical (using a machine) means.
Moist Heat Packs
Slow penetrating moist hot, layered with towels to prevent burning, that gently increased the thermal temperature of a specific area. Moist heat is often used on sore muscles, stiff arthritic joints, and strains or sprains to increase blood flow and prepare muscles and joints for exercise and stretching.
Cold Packs/Ice Massage
Typically used at the end of sessions, cryotherapy (ice/cold pack) decreases the blood flow and assists in the reduction of pain and swelling.