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Additional Physical Therapy Information Orthotics | Prosthetics | Gait & Balance | Physical Work Performance Evaluation


Orthotics

An orthotic, or brace, is an externally worn device that is designed to either support or assist a weakened or paralyzed trunk, joint or extremity. For short-term use, an off-the-shelf brace may be suitable. In many cases, however, to ensure proper fit and function, a brace must be custom-made to match a client’s specific needs.

Clients may benefit from a leg orthotic to assist with positioning, transfers, standing or walking.  A WWRC physical therapist works with clients to determine the most appropriate type of leg brace to meet their goals. Physical therapists use evaluation braces or make temporary braces and shoe inserts for clients to try before recommending a brace that is made by a certified brace specialist (orthotist). The physical therapist would work with a community-based physician and orthotist to prescribe the recommended brace.

Once the brace is made, the orthotist works with the client and physical therapist to make sure that it fits comfortably and works well. Physical therapists train clients in using braces for proper positioning, transferring, standing and walking to the best of their ability in a safe manner.

Funding

The orthotist works with you to review insurance and any other funding resources that will cover the costs of any recommended orthotic device.

Prosthetics

Limb loss through trauma, disease or congenital absence is often treated by providing a prosthetic device (artificial limb) to substitute for the lost limb.

Most persons undergoing amputations begin working with a prosthetist affiliated with their hospital soon after surgery and may require new devices over time. The prosthetist makes and fits the device as prescribed by the physician. If needed, the physician will refer the client to Physical Therapy for prosthetic gait training or Occupational Therapy for training with an upper extremity device.


Contact Information

Email: Admissions (AdmissionsInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov)
Phone: 800-345-9922, Ext. 7948 or 540-332-7948 | TTY 800-811-7893

Gait and Balance Training

Safe Gait 360o Balance & Mobility Trainer ™ is an over-ground dynamic body weight support (BWS) and fall prevention system located along the length of the PT gym. WWRC PT staff is using this technology to safely challenge our clients who have difficulty with gait or balance while removing risk for falls during these activities.

This device is used to provide a safe means of treating gait and balance impairments to improve mobility skills and endurance required in various work environments, expand mobility options within an employment setting, and advance safety awareness and reactions associated with work demands. The design incorporates a constant fall arrest feature that allows physical therapists to work with patients up to 350# of various abilities to practice intensive gait and balance activities without the fear of falling. By altering the amount of body-weight support the complexity of the gait, balance or transfer task can be adjusted. This flexibility will allow clients of differing abilities to practice walking, perform balance tasks, sit-to-stand and floor-to-stand maneuvers, or stairs in a safe and controlled environment. They can also safely experience balance losses to develop the skill to correct their position to avoid falls.

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Contact Information

Email: Physical Therapy (PhysicalTherapyInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov) | Phone: 800-345-9972, Ext. 7117 or 540-332-7117 | TTY 800-811-7893

Safe Gait 360

Physical Work Performance Evaluation

Individuals preparing to enter the workforce or return to work after an injury of illness may have some concerns about their abilities to perform the job safely and effectively. The Physical Therapy Department offers the Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE), a specialized evaluation of a person's physical ability to perform work activities.

Physical Therapists evaluate each client’s

  • dynamic strength (lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling),
  • ability to get into and work in different positions (sitting, standing, kneeling, squatting and stooping),
  • mobility (walking, climbing stairs and ladders, and crawling),
  • balance and coordination,
  • dexterity and fine-motor coordination, and
  • endurance to work a full eight hour day

Evaluation results allow physical therapists to make recommendations to help clients regain the fitness, strength, and conditioning needed to return to work safely. For persons exploring new or alternative work settings, this evaluation can provide guidelines for vocational evaluation and/or training pursuits. For those returning to work after an illness or injury, evaluation results allow comparison of a client's measured physical abilities to specific job demands. The final report provides guidelines to discuss with the employer and recommendations for appropriate worksite accommodations.

Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE) Criteria

  • A medical clearance screening and physician orders are required.
  • Client’s blood pressure must be below 150/100.
  • Client’s heart rate must be below 100.
  • If a client has current work restrictions from a physician, please provide this information when referring. WWRC will attempt to contact that client’s physician prior to the evaluation for clearance to test without restrictions.
  • Client should wear comfortable non-slip shoes and loose clothing suitable for physical activity.
  • Client should make plans to eat lunch prior to the PWPE.
  • Client should follow all usual medication routines.
  • PWPE typically lasts three to four hours.

Contact Information

Email:Physical Therapy (PhysicalTherapyInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov).

Phone: 800-345-9972, Ext. 7117 or 540-332-7117 | TTY 800-811-7893


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