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Wound Care Therapy

Wound Care

A wound or skin injury can occur for many different reasons. It could be due to an accident, injury, surgery, a burn, or circulation problems. When you add all these different causes together, wounds affect more than 1 million people every year. Hand therapists can help people how to take care of the wounds, help them heal wounds by providing advanced wound-care treatments and prescribing specific exercises and activities.

Hand therapists are on the front lines of wound management in many healthcare settings and treat patients during the most critical stages of wound care and healing. They possess in-depth knowledge of anatomy and tissue healing as well as mobility and positioning expertise.  The wound care therapy staff will work closely with your medical team to provide the most effective and efficient treatment for your wound.

Regain Health Centre is pleased to offer wound care for post surgical condition as tendon repaired, skin graft, and suture removal.

What are wounds?

Wounds result from a number of different causes. A physical therapist can assist with any type of wound. It is important to note that anytime you have a break in the skin, there is a potential for infection. You should seek treatment for any wound sooner rather than later.

There are four main categories of wounds:

People with peripheral artery disease typically have decreased blood flow to their legs and feet. This condition can worsen over time. When there is not enough blood flow to the tissue, wounds can occur more easily and often take much longer to heal.

People who have diabetes can develop structural and sensation changes in their feet. These changes make a person with diabetes more likely to develop wounds. Wounds in people with diabetes are often located on the bottom of the feet, but they also can occur in other areas of the foot. They often result from shoes that don’t fit well or stepping on an object without realizing it.

This type of wound occurs often in people who are bedridden, or are not able to move or change positions very well on their own. These wounds also can occur beneath applied medical equipment like splints or items used in a hospital (tubing, positioning devices, etc.).

chronic venous disease, problems with circulation cause difficulty pumping fluid away from the legs, causing swelling. This swelling can cause breaks in the skin or make it much harder for external cuts or scrapes to heal.

Signs and symptoms

Some wounds can be quite painful and are easy to identify. Other types of wounds may not hurt at all. It is important for people with diabetes and older adults, or anyone who does not move much, to conduct regular close visual skin inspections. These can be done by themselves or others to determine if a wound is present.

During inspection, you or your caregiver should look for:

  • Breaks in the skin.
  • Drainage.
  • Changes in skin color (pink or red tones on light skin; darker than normal tones on darker skin).
  • New feelings of pain or a painful area (even if it is not an open wound).
  • Temperature changes where one area of the skin feels warmer to touch.

If you have any of these symptoms, seek help. These are all signs that should be explored further by a physical therapist or other health care provider.

How is it diagnosed?

A physical therapist will conduct a full evaluation, including measuring the wound area and inspecting the surrounding skin. Range of motion, mobility, and strength also will be assessed, as these can contribute to the wound problem, and may assist in the healing process. Your physical therapist also may perform specific testing related to circulation and sensation; you may need additional testing from a doctor as well.

Who would benefit from physical therapy wound care?

Wound care physical therapy is for patients who have open wounds because of pressure, vascular insufficiency, trauma, surgery, and/or diabetes. The most common wounds that are treated by wound care physical therapist are:

  • Post surgical tendon repair.
  • Post surgical hand condition.
  • Extremity wounds with edema.
  • Non-healing surgical wounds.

What does physical therapy wound care involve?

Patients must be referred by their physician to physical therapy wound care.

Physical therapy wound care begins with a comprehensive evaluation and development of an individualized care plan. Common treatment approaches can include:

  • Measurement and documentation of the wound characteristics.
  • Cleaning of the wound.
  • Debridement (removal) of any dead tissue.
  • Selection and application of wound dressing.
  • Application of compression if necessary.
  • Education of the patient, caregivers and/or family members regarding wound care and dressing changes.

Available treatment modalities may include:

  • LASER therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy.
  • Electrical stimulation.
  • Whirlpool
  • WAX
  • Compression therapy.

How long will physical therapy wound care take?

All wounds heal at different rates and the duration of therapy will be based on the patient’s individual needs. Depending on the type of wound and amount of care needed, the patient may be seen as often as daily in the hospital and one-three times a week in the physical therapy wound clinic. The duration of treatment can vary from one-several months. The wound care therapist will work with your medical team to adapt treatment to maximize wound healing.

Frequently asked questions

Physiotherapy accelerates the healing process and also reduces the possibility of a scar. In wound care, the therapist assists in debridement, dressing and application. In addition, with a background in biomechanics, physiotherapists perform a unique function too, advising chair or bed bound patients on redistributing pressure to avoid sores.

The fundamental principle of the various therapies is to improve blood circulation. Better blood circulation ensures adequate supply of oxygen and increases cellular activity so as to expedite recovery.

Anyone who has a fresh wound would possibly benefit from wound care physiotherapy. Particularly individuals who may potentially have sub-optimal healing such as diabetics and people with blood circulation problems.

If the wound is too big to heal naturally or if the wound is not showing signs of natural healing, physiotherapy is required.

Are you in pain?

Let our professional physical therapist help you today. Don’t let a minor ache become a major injury.

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