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Physical Therapy

Pinnacle Healthcare has been treating patients in Central California for over twenty years and has extensive experience with athletes, injured workers and private patients.

Upon referral from your doctor, our experienced therapists can develop an individualized program of care tailored to your needs and abilities.

Pinnacle Healthcare Physical Therapy Offers:

  • Physical Therapy programs specializing in sports injury, conditions of the spine, and post-surgical cases
  • Exercise based Physical Therapy programs utilizing the latest modalities and techniques
  • Professional staff including licensed Physical Therapists and certified Physical Therapy Assistants
  • Hours of operation: Monday thru Friday 8am-6pm in most locations

Treatment Rationale

Our physical therapy programs emphasize the patient's role as an active participant in the four phases of their rehabilitation. Patients are taught to protect the injured area as the first step toward healing. A basic premise is to use physical therapy modalities to treat symptoms as we progress the patient through a therapeutic exercise program.

Initial Evaluation

The purpose of an evaluation is to determine each patient's functional level so that an individualized program can be established. The evaluation identifies strengths, needs, and problem areas.

Following the evaluation a Treatment Plan will be established which will include short and long term goals. Goals will vary from one individual to another because they are based upon patient's level of injury, age, body build, pre-injury lifestyle, and motivation.

The evaluation consists of the following:

Range of Motion Assessment During this part of the evaluation the therapist takes the patient's arms and legs through a series of motions to determine if any restrictions to movement exist. Motion can be restricted by pain, muscle tightness, contractures (muscle shortening), bone formation around the joint casts or braces.

Muscle Strength Assessment Muscle strength testing is used to determine the strength of individual muscles. Muscle inactivity is also noted. This strength assessment assists in determining functional level of the spinal cord injury.

Muscle Tone Assessment Patients are evaluated for presence of increased muscle tone (spasticity) or lack of muscle tone. If spasticity is present then it will be determined if it helps or hinders the individuals level of functioning.

Mobility Assessment Four main areas of mobility are evaluated when appropriate.

After the initial consultation:

After the initial consultation your therapist will devise a treatment program based on the injury/problem you presented. Our professional goal to our patients is to help them significantly improve, develop or restore physical functions lost or impaired as a result of a disease, injury, or surgical procedure. Our Physical Therapy programs emphasize the patient's role in their own rehabilitation.

We will be recruiting you as an active participant in your care and not relegate you to a passive recipient of our treatments. Through our education, you will learn to manage your injury while facing activities that affect your daily living. Home exercises are given to compliment those exercises given in the clinic so that you can continue to work on your problem at home between therapy sessions.

Each visit will begin with a dialogue between you and your therapist regarding how you responded to the previous treatment, any new exercises and your home exercise and icing program.

The therapist may perform testing and will palpate to decide where to focus that day's treatment. Your therapist or physical therapy aide may then deliver the treatment modalities followed by a careful observation of all your exercises. The exercise program and physical therapy modalities may be augmented by manual therapy techniques including soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques, myofascial release, therapeutic massage. These "hands-on" therapies are designed to further increase function and decrease pain.

Home Exercises

Our Physical Therapy programs are exercise based. The body is a mechanical device and Rehabilitation requires treatment that will improve mechanical function to be successful. Stretching and strengthening exercises that can be done at home are the mainstay of our programs.


Although exercise is the focus of our treatments, physical therapy modalities are utilized to suppress symptoms so we can move faster through the exercise progressions. These modalities are physical agents such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ice and sometimes heat. The role of these treatments is to create changes in the local tissues, which are then exploited to achieve our desired therapeutic results. These are an important part of the early phases of treatment.

Manual Therapy

"Hands-on" procedures are utilized to accelerate the rehabilitative process. These techniques include therapeutic massage, and joint mobilization. As adjuncts to the exercise program, these techniques facilitate quicker improvements in function than exercise alone.

Your Role

As an active participant in your care, we will require you to do three things:

  • Perform your home exercises and icing two to three times per day as directed.
  • Observe proper body mechanics and posture to protect your injured area and allow healing.
  • Make regular appointments. To gain control of your symptoms and maintain progression of your exercise program, your therapist needs to see you regularly. Lapse in treatment may result in setbacks.
  • Remember, to improve your condition, you must do all items above concurrently.

In addition, each visit you will be expected to supply a brief history of your symptoms since the last treatment. Specifically, you will be asked how the treatment affected your symptoms. If you had pain since your last treatment you will be asked to recall what posture or activity caused the increase in symptoms and how these symptoms reacted to your home treatment. If you feel that you have not improved, we expect you to notify your therapist. Your therapist must be kept abreast not only on your progression but also on your regression.

Copyright and Disclosures 2009