Depending on the individual, the anticipated outcomes may include:
increase in physical function following a trauma or surgery
maintenance of, or minimizing loss of, function with respect to a disease process
prevention of complications post-operatively or after an injury
prevention of future or further limitations or disability
These outcomes may be reached through increases in strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility, stability, coordination and/or balance. Numerous tests and measures are available to assist in assessing desired outcomes. Strength may be measured using electromyography, dynamometry, and/or manual muscle testing. Muscular endurance may be assessed with physical capacity tests, timed activity tests, and/or functional muscle tests. Aerobic endurance is often measured using cardiovascular and pulmonary signs and symptoms, ergometry, step tests, and timed walk/run, treadmill, or wheelchair tests. Flexibility can be measured by observation of functional range of motion, goniometry, inclinometry, and joint play movements. In addition, many motor control and function tests assess stability, coordination and balance.
Health care team roles
The physical therapist is responsible for evaluating the patient or client and developing a plan of care that includes appropriate therapeutic exercise intervention. The physical therapist also must teach, assist and monitor the patient with the exercise program. Modifications must be made as the patient shows signs of distress, inap-propriate
fatigue, or progress. The physical therapist assistant, under the supervision of a physical therapist, may participate in all aspects of care except for initialevaluation, modifications outside of the plan of care, orinterventions requiring the specific expertise of the physical therapist.
Motor learning—A set of processes related to practice or experience that results in relatively permanent changes in the ability to produce a skilled action.
Neuromuscular re-education—The training of an individual to recover or develop effective sensory and motor strategies for task demands.
Peggy Campbell Torpey MPT, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,