Ask The Expert: Physical Therapy

Don S. from Warren asks:

My brother was just involved in a car accident and needs intensive physical therapy to help him regain mobility. How do I know what I should expect from the therapy?

Hi Don,

I’m sorry to hear about your brother, but with dedication and the right treatment, he will make great progress. Physical therapy is different for everybody. It depends on the injuries presented, what your goals are, and what the therapist thinks about the specific situation.

First things first, you have to find a physical therapist. Your brother’s doctor will most likely be able to refer him to one that can help. There are many resources online to find a physical therapist as well. Check out the American Physical Therapy Association at for help finding somebody. Ideally, you want to find someone that is a specialist to treat his specific condition/situation.

Before he goes to the appointment, make sure he has a list of questions that you or him have about the treatment. Write down his symptoms and his medical history so that the therapist knows how to move forward with treatment. Feel free to go with him to his first appointment if he feels comfortable with that to make sure that he doesn’t forget to mention anything.

During his first appointment, there will be a lot of questions from the therapist as well as a physical examination. Common measurements taken include:

  • Palpation
  • Range of motion measurements
  • Tests of strength
  • Functional mobility
  • Balance
  • Neurological screening tests

They will ask specific questions about his home or work environment, activity level, recreation, etc. to ensure the best treatment. They will also work to determine his goals for physical therapy and develop a treatment plan.

The main goal of treatment is to improve or maintain his ability to do daily tasks and activities. He will be constantly assessed of his responses to each treatment to ensure the best results. There will also be exercises given to him to perform at home. These techniques can help minimize pain, lessen strain, avoid reinjury, and speed his recovery. They will also assess his need for any special equipment if necessary, such as splints, walkers, canes, or braces.

A very important thing to remember is that the treatment is meant to help him and his recovery. Actively answering questions and asking them will help achieve the treatment goals. Observing all precautions is also key to keep him safe. You get out of therapy what you put into it. Sufficient effort is going to be required from your brother to maximize the effects.

If we at Morris View Healthcare Center can be of any assistance through this process please feel free to either reach out to me via email at, or call us at (973)-285-2800. We are happy to help here and can take your brother into Morris View for rehabilitation. We have a subacute rehab wing with all private rooms. We offer:

  • Dedicated subacute rehab unit with only private suites
  • Daily physical, occupational, & speech therapy
  • Spacious rehab gym with cutting-edge rehab equipment
  • Model ADL suite to practice activities of daily living
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Comprehensive discharge planning & post-discharge follow-up

Thank you for reaching out to me with your question. I hope that your brother has great success with physical therapy!

October is National Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of physical therapy. Get involved and urge people to choose physical therapy to improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease. Find out more at


Kathy Goldberg is the Director of Admissions for Morris View Healthcare Center. Please submit all inquiries to