Telemed waiting room
Schedule an Appointment

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Princeton Brain, Spine and Sports Medicine is a comprehensive and personalized approach to rehabilitation. Our team of experienced physical therapists is dedicated to helping you recover from injuries, manage chronic conditions, and improve your overall mobility and function. We understand that each patient is unique, which is why we tailor our physical therapy programs to meet your individual needs and goals.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a healthcare specialty that focuses on helping patients restore and improve movement and function. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques, including exercise, manual therapy, and education, to help patients reduce pain, improve mobility, and prevent disability. By addressing the underlying causes of pain and dysfunction, physical therapy can help patients improve their quality of life and return to their daily activities.

Conditions Treated with Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a versatile and effective treatment option that can be used to address a wide range of conditions, offering PBSSM patients a non-invasive and approach to recovery. Some of the most common conditions treated with physical therapy include:

  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological conditions
  • Balance and vestibular disorders

Types of Physical Therapy Techniques

Our physical therapy programs at Princeton Brain, Spine, and Sports Medicine may include both passive and active therapies to help you achieve your goals.

Passive Therapies

Passive therapies are treatments that are done to you, rather than requiring your active participation. These therapies are often used to help reduce pain and inflammation, improve circulation, and promote relaxation. Examples of passive therapies include:

  • Orthopedic Manipulation / Manual Therapy: Manual therapy includes manipulation and mobilization. This therapy involves restoring mobility (eg range of motion) to stiff joints and alleviating pain. Manipulation is a passive, specifically controlled, quick movement to release a joint back into its correct position and/or reduce muscle spasms that may cause or contribute to spinal nerve irritation.

Prior to manual therapy, passive therapy may be given. Passive therapy might include application of heat, ultrasound, and/or electrical stimulation. These therapies relax and warm underlying soft tissue allowing joints to be more easily manipulated.

  • Electrical Stimulation: Electrical stimulation is also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). TENS delivers a painless electrical current through the patient’s skin to specific nerves. The current produces mild heat that works to relieve stiffness and pain and helps to improve range of motion (mobility). This treatment is non-invasive with no known side effects. It may be used to control acute pain and chronic pain.
  • Myofascial Release: Fascia is a sheath of connective tissue that supports muscles, bone, and organs. Stress from injury or poor posture causes the fascia to tighten. As the fascia constricts, muscles and bones may be pulled out of place causing pain. The physical therapist uses his or her fingers, palms, elbows, and forearms to firmly and gently stretch the fascia.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a common non-invasive therapy used to treat back and neck pain, tendon and ligament injury, muscle spasms, joint problems, and other spine-related conditions.

The physical therapist applies gel to the patient’s skin to create a friction-free surface and the ultrasound probe is gently swirled over the area. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to deliver heat deep into tissues (eg muscles). This therapy promotes circulation and healing, relaxes muscle spasms, decreases inflammation, and helps to alleviate pain.

  • Ice and Heat Therapies: Cold treatments are never applied directly to the skin, because excessive cold can injure skin tissue. A barrier such as toweling is placed between the skin and the cold source. Ice helps to reduce blood flow thereby decreasing swelling, inflammation, and pain.

Heat therapy options include heat packs (plus skin barrier) and ultrasound. Warm moist heat increases circulation to the affected area. Blood carries needed nutrients to the area and helps to flush away toxins. Heat helps to relax stiff, sore muscles.

Active Therapies

Active therapies are treatments that require your active participation. These therapies are often used to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Examples of active therapies include:

  • Aquatic Therapy and Exercise: Patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis, back and neck pain, and other spinal disorders can benefit from aquatic therapy (hydrotherapy). Treatment frequently takes place in a heated pool. Aquatic therapy addresses impaired mobility, weakness, weight-bearing tolerance, pain, flexibility, and coordination.

Warm water relaxes muscles. The buoyancy of water enables joints to be moved without excessive stress. Often, what a patient is unable to do on land can be done in water.

  • Therapeutic Exercise: Anyone can benefit from therapeutic exercise. Exercise builds strength, improves balance and coordination, improves sleep, increases flexibility, stimulates the cardiovascular system, tones muscles, and relieves musculoskeletal stiffness, fatigue, and pain. The physical therapist will customize a program to meet the patient’s individual needs.

Prior to therapeutic exercise, a passive modality is usually administered followed by a period of pre-exercise warm-up activities. Warming up the body can be achieved by walking on a treadmill or stationary cycling.

  • Biomechanics & Learning How To Move Safely: During physical therapy, patients are taught how to maintain proper posture. Good posture helps protect the spine against unnecessary stress and strain. Back and neck pain are often caused by poor posture. Learning how to lift, reach, carry, stand, sit, and get in and out of a car are all practical skills that can help prevent injury and pain as well as to return to work and leisure activities.

What to Expect From Physical Therapy

During your initial evaluation, our physical therapist will assess your condition, discuss your goals, and develop a personalized treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include a combination of passive and active therapies, as well as education on injury prevention, self-management strategies, and at-home exercises.

Physical therapy sessions are typically scheduled one to three times per week, depending on your needs and goals. Each session will be tailored to your specific needs and may include a combination of therapies to help you achieve your goals.

Schedule Your Physical Therapy Appointment Today

If you’re ready to take the first step towards improved mobility, reduced pain, and better overall function, schedule an appointment with one of our skilled physical therapists at Princeton Brain, Spine, and Sports Medicine. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized care that meets your unique needs and helps you achieve your goals. Don’t let pain or limited mobility hold you back from living your best life. To learn more about our physical therapy program, connect online or call 609.921.9001 in NJ or 215.741.3141 in PA.

Request an Appointment Submit an appointment request on our patient portal or contact our New Jersey and Pennsylvania campuses to speak with a patient advocate. Schedule an Appointment

New Patients Existing Patients