Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT) is the treatment of disease, injury, and disability with physical methods like exercise, massage, and modalities. Physical Therapists play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients whose abilities have been limited by health conditions and injuries. PT is helpful when living with chronic conditions and ongoing health concerns. PT is also important in rehabilitation after serious injury, stroke, sports injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Importantly, PT can help you improve posture and movement dysfunction.

Physical Therapists are highly- educated healthcare professionals who are board-certified to teach patients how to prevent and manage their condition to reduce pain and improve or restore mobility. This reduces the need for long term pain medications and their side effects.

Your Physical Therapist at Orthopaedic Specialists of North County will discuss your situation with our orthopedic experts and create a rehabilitation plan to restore your health and prevent disability.

Therapeutic Techniques

Manual therapy is defined as the skilled passive movement of joints and soft tissue. It is used to increase flexibility and circulation, decrease pain, and to relax muscle spasms,

  • Massage – soft tissue manipulation.
  • Mobilization – for conditions that limit joint movement. Slow, gentle movements to loosen stiffness around the joint and help restore range of motion.
  • Manipulation – carefully controlled pressure on a joint


Modalities are electrical, thermal, or mechanical energy that induces physical changes. They include:

  • Cyrotherapy – the use of cold treatment for acute injuries to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Moist Heat – deep heat that increases circulation and relaxes muscles and soft tissue.
  • Electrical Stimulation – the use of surface electrodes that carry electrical current into muscles to contract and relax them.
  • Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – low voltage electrical current to treat pain.
  • Ultrasound – high frequency sound waves that induce deep tissue healing.

Specialized treatments are available for specific medical conditions.


Exercise is the cornerstone of PT. It is designed specifically for the patient’s needs. The goal is to restore your fitness level including strength, flexibility, coordination and mobility. The physical therapist can educate and train patients on how to move correctly, including proper body form in exercise.

Exercise equipment includes:

  • Resistance bands are used to create positive and negative force on the muscles to improve strength, range of movement, and muscle coordination.
  • Tennis balls for massaging the feet.
  • Balance and stability trainers to help prevent injuries, tone muscles, and enhance balance
  • High density foam rollers for positioning, balance, postural and muscle reeducation, spinal stabilization, and coordination.
  • Cardio equipment to increase blood flow and improve endurance.
  • Special tools for specific conditions.

The board-certified physical therapists and orthopedic experts at Orthopaedic Specialists of North County serve patients in North County San Diego including Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Solana Beach, California. We are committed to helping people lead active lives. Our team is available to help you regain the ability to successfully return you to your life after an injury or disease of the musculoskeletal system.

"The entire team at OSNC is great, very professional and took the time to put me at ease. And I only have praise for the Dr. Erik Stark, a wonderful doctor who never disappoints!" Patient of Dr. Erik Stark
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