Mobility in St. Louis. Our bodies are designed to move. But sometimes, our mobility is impeded and it keeps us from the activities we love. While that loss of physical mobility can affect our mental health as well, Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis can provide you with safe, effective, and proven solutions that are tailored specifically to you, your age, and your desired activity level. Whether your mobility is limited because of an injury, a disease, or a musculoskeletal issue such as sciatica, begin your journey to optimal mobility and comfort now by requesting an appointment with Axes today or calling the location nearest you.
The dictionary definition of mobility is, “the ability to move… freely and easily.” For some people that may mean walking up the stairs without pain, while for others it may mean serving an ace on the tennis court. Whatever it means to you, if your mobility is severely restricted speak with your doctor to see if physical therapy is the right choice for you.
Functional Mobility in St. Louis
Functional mobility refers to a person’s ability to safely move around in their home environment and their ability to complete daily tasks. This can be anything from rolling over in bed to carrying a cup of coffee to the living room and sitting down. In general, there are three types of functional mobility:
- Bed mobility — Your ability to comfortably move around in bed, including rolling, scooting, sitting up, and lying down.
- Transfers — Your ability to move from one place to another, for example from a bed to a chair.
- Ambulation — Your ability to walk freely without the need of assistance. This also includes walking while being able to carry objects.
While the injury or condition affecting your functional mobility may mean that you currently rely on assistance in order to operate in your daily life, the St. Louis physical and occupational therapists at Axes are dedicated to helping you restore your independence. Whether your currently limited functional mobility was caused by a sports injury, arthritis or other joint pain, or even a degenerative condition like Parkinson’s disease, we’ll develop a personalized plan that safely and correctly helps you reach optimal movement health. We will guide you in strengthening, balance, and flexibility exercises. We also offer vestibular therapy to help with vestibular disorders that cause dizziness and vertigo.
St. Louis physical therapists often use the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) of seven levels to assess someone’s functional mobility:
- Complete independence, meaning you can complete a specified task safely and in a timely manner
- Modified independence, meaning you need a device such as a walker to complete the task
- Supervision, or stand-by assist, meaning you can complete the task independently but need someone close by for safety
- Minimal assistance, meaning you can do 75% or more while a physical therapist does the rest
- Moderate assistance, meaning you can perform about 50% of the work necessary
- Maximal assistance, meaning you can complete about 25% of the task yourself
- Total assistance or not testable, meaning you can complete less than 25% of the task, or that the activity is not safe to test
At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, your personalized treatment plan may include gradually taking you from the first level to the highest level possible. All of our treatment plans and methods are proven to be safe and effective through extensive clinical studies and research, and your dedicated physical therapist will begin your mobility treatment with a comprehensive evaluation of your health to ensure that the exercises and treatment modalities we use are safe for someone in your exact condition.
Beyond Functional Mobility in St. Louis
Of course, many of us desire a higher level of movement health than just walking up the stairs pain free. There are doubles to hit in your softball league, your children and pets to pick up and play with, and the physical demands of the job you perform every day in order to provide for your St. Louis family. At Axes, we offer comprehensive physical and occupational physical therapy that can help any individual improve mobility and reach the optimal movement health they need to get back to the activities they love. We also offer:
- Occupational therapy — Our St. Louis occupational therapists are crucial to your recovery and return to work when an injury or condition limits the mobility needed to do your job. We serve as an integral member of your workers’ compensation team so you can get back to contributing to our St. Louis community and supporting your family the best way you can. Our advanced work rehabilitation includes Functional Capacity Evaluations to determine what activity level you can safely carry out.
- Sports therapy — The last thing any athlete wants to experience is a sudden pop or crack that sidelines them and keeps them from what they love for weeks, months, or longer. If you suffer an ACL tear, rotator cuff tear, or other sports injury, Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis will help you regain your mobility and get you back on the field or court as soon as is safely possible. Our Certified Athletic Trainers also specialize in injury prevention to help you stay off the sidelines and avoid re-injury.
- Pre/post surgical rehabilitation — Surgery is a complex and nerve-racking procedure for anyone. Whether your surgery is elective or medically necessary, we’ll work with your physician and surgeons to form a complete surgical team to give you piece of mind, and develop a proven strategy to get the best possible outcome from your procedure and restore optimal mobility.
However limited you currently are in your mobility, and the level of movement health and improved mobility you desire, consult with your St. Louis doctor about what physical therapy can do for you, or visit one of our locations for a free injury screening from a licensed and clinically experienced physical or occupational therapist.
How a St. Louis Physical Therapist Can Help Improve Your Mobility
Our mobility is based on our strength, flexibility, range of motion, and balance:
- Strength — While physical therapy can help rebuild muscle after an injury and slow the weakening of muscles as we age, it also helps achieve muscle balance. Having equal muscle balance around joints is essential in preventing injury and improving your mobility.
- Flexibility and range of motion — To achieve optimal movement health, not only do our muscles need to have the strength to control bones, but our muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue need to be able to lengthen, and our joints need to be able to perform a wide variety of movements.
- Balance — Balance issues are typically caused by:
- Vision issues
- A vestibular issue, or something in your inner ear
- Your proprioceptive system, or the network between your sensory receptors and your nervous system
An experienced physical therapist in St. Louis will be able to identify the source of your mobility issues and develop a safe and effective treatment plan to improve your movement health. In addition to therapeutic strength, flexibility, and core exercises, other evidence-backed techniques may include:
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Kinesio Taping®
- Trigger point dry needling
- Blood flow restriction training
- Posture correction and teaching good posture
If necessary, a St. Louis physical therapist can also fit you for medically accepted assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or canes in order to help you achieve the best possible mobility.
How St. Louis Physical Therapy Helps Beyond Mobility
The benefits of physical therapy go beyond just getting around easier, getting back to work, or getting back on the field. As we work to improve your movement health, you’ll also enjoy:
- Pain relief for both acute and chronic conditions without the need of painkillers or opioids
- If applicable, the opportunity to avoid surgery by encouraging the body’s own healing methods
- Patient education, including exercises you can safely do at home, injury prevention techniques, and correct posture
- Encouraging you to maintain an active lifestyle, which leads to increased energy, lowers your risk of heart disease, helps control weight, improves your mood, and promotes better sleep
Mobility in St. Louis | Axes Physical Therapy
Whether you need hand therapy in order to make it easier for you to write and open jars, are looking for meaningful pain management for arthritis, or need to return to optimal movement health following a devastating injury, Axes’ team of licensed physical and occupational therapists is here to help you get back to the activities you love. We pride ourselves on our client-centered approach that focuses on personalized treatment and leads to positive patient outcomes. To restore the level of mobility you deserve, request an appointment with Axes Physical Therapy today or find the location most convenient for you.