An increasing number of people are now gravitating towards physical therapy as a treatment option to heal from injuries, disabilities, and medical conditions. Some benefits include pain management, muscle strengthening, improved mobility, stroke recovery, surgery avoidance, and fall prevention.
Trained physical experts assess the patient’s overall condition and naturally treat abnormal or restricted physical function. To do this effectively, a physical therapy clinic needs high-quality equipment to rehabilitate injuries, alleviate pain, enhance performance, and improve movement. Innovative devices increase the effectiveness of therapy and success rates of recovery.
Important Rehab Equipment for a Small Physical Therapy Clinic
Physical therapists have access to a variety of equipment, ranging from inexpensive and at-home items to expensive and purpose-built machines. A small physical therapy clinic often faces budget, size, and weight restrictions, so investing in the right tools is important.
The most important thing to remember when evaluating rehab equipment is to leverage multiple uses for each item. This will allow you to not only save money but also space in your small clinic. Keeping that in mind, listed below are some of the most important items you need in your equipment arsenal.
Also referred to as rehab, exercise, and resistance bands, therapy bands are the perfect equipment for small therapy clinics. They are cost-effective, occupy virtually no space, and can be used to strengthen any skeletal muscle.
Moreover, depending on the client’s needs, you can change the therapy band’s length, angle, and speed to make it harder or easier. Since therapy bands are affordable and easy to use in exercising, there is a good chance your clients will likely invest in one, thus allowing them to speed up their recovery process at home.
Balance Pad/Wobble Board
Wobble boards and balance pads essentially have the same purpose – to help your client improve their proprioception or balance. It can be used to stand on either one or both feet at a time and for exercises like pushups, squats, and planks to add another layer of challenge.
This piece of inexpensive equipment introduces an element of dynamic balance, encouraging your clients to engage more muscles to stay steady as the surface is responsive to their movement.
Every rehab clinic needs equipment to provide a straightforward, effective solution for improving clients’ core strength and body muscles. The VitaGlide® is the perfect addition to your small physical therapy clinic; this device also offers an added focus on the shoulder orbit, as well as, a great cardio workout.
If your practice focuses on people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or stroke, this exercise machine is worth the investment. This is because this adaptive exercise machine offers effective conditioning exercises for people who use wheelchairs and/or need a seated exercise. It utilizes most of your muscle groups, helping to develop strength, boost energy levels, and establish arm, core, and oblique muscles.
Depending on the client’s health condition and fitness goals, you can adjust the frequency or intensity of the workouts. Additionally, you can incorporate different shoulder exercises with VitaGlide® into the client’s exercise regimen since it allows for seamless shoulder movement without putting extra strain on them.
With the two upper-body exercise motions that give the feeling of cross-country skiing or rowing, the machine helps to reinforce the musculature of the core, upper body, and shoulder orbit. Other excellent features include an ergonomic design, interactive software, and adjustable resistance, which makes the VitaGlide® an essential machine for your physical therapy clinic.
A yoga ball is a thick inflated rubber ball resistant enough to support human weight. Both sturdy and lightweight, this ball can be used for a range of exercises, including yoga, managing back pain, finding neutral spine position, increasing lumbar mobility, enhancing back and abdominal muscle strength, increasing stability and balance, developing overall strength and control of the core body muscles, and learning to lift correctly.
A yoga ball can also help you incorporate dynamic stability in your clients’ workout routines, such as planks, pushups, and other exercises.
Small Massage Balls
A set of two to five small massage balls is ideal for a small physical therapy clinic. Getting a set with different “hardness” levels is best, allowing you to start with a softer one and work up as your client’s tolerance builds.
These balls are perfect for relieving tension in tight areas and working on particular trigger points. Not only can these be used to demonstrate self-massage for your clients, but also for therapies that require a ball.
A treatment table is a must-have if you are trained in and practice soft tissue therapies. Portable, inexpensive, and lightweight, these tables can also be used to incorporate treatments like partner-assisted stretching and neuromuscular techniques. In such situations, a table can come in handy for getting more leverage and making your client feel more comfortable.
BFR Cuffs and Bands
Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT) is rapidly becoming a preferred treatment that enhances strength and performance by applying external pressure through a compression device. Using BFR cuffs and bands to improve strength with less loading make BFRT a valuable tool for injury rehabilitation, sports performance, and training.
Place the cuffs or bands on the affected leg or arm to cut the blood supply to the limb. Restricted blood flow to the muscles allows the individual to work them without putting extra weight on the limbs. By utilizing these tools in your physical therapy clinic, your clients can gain more strength even by lifting lighter loads.
Overhead harnesses and track systems, such as an overhead pulley, are effective tools to treat people who struggle with balance, walking, or different neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Such individuals are at a higher risk of slipping and falling, and this equipment helps them exercise and work on their range of motion more effectively.
An overhead pulley is particularly valuable for shoulder injuries, whether it’s a torn rotator cuff, a frozen shoulder, or tendonitis. The system consists of a metal pulley, a rope, and a strap that pegs into the top of a closed door.
With their back to the door, your client would sit down and use the pulley to improve their overhead shoulder strength and range of motion.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a treatment plan that helps relieve pain using low-voltage electric current. A TENS unit involves a device powered by a battery that delivers electrical impulses via electrodes placed on the skin’s surface. These electrodes are placed at trigger points at or near nerves where the pain generates.
The device can manage some types of pain in multiple sclerosis, such as dysasthetic pain – tingling, burning, or shooting pains with no obvious reason.
The list of key rehab equipment mentioned above is perfect for a small physical therapy clinic since they are multi-purpose, and deliver effective results. Moreover, equipment such VitaGlide®, massage balls and others can be used by clients as part of their at-home recovery routine to reach their fitness goals faster.