Physical, Occupational & Hand Therapy


When recovering from a medical condition, serious injury or surgery, the goal is to restore you, as much as possible, to a fully functional level. Physical, occupational and hand therapy assists in that process by focusing on enhancing strength, fitness, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and balance while managing pain.

Physical, occupational and hand therapists have extensive knowledge about the muscles, joints and bones in your body, and provide treatment plans for conditions like rotator cuff tears, shoulder dislocation, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, cervical pain, back pain, knee conditions, ankle/foot disorders etc.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps patients gain strength, coordination, range-of-motion and their greatest possible function by performing precise assessments, creating individualized exercise routines, and using specialized equipment.

Our physical therapists endeavor to restore and preserve each patient’s ability to move safely and independently, and to reestablish as much mobility and independence as possible. Various assessments are performed in order to help patients with strength conditioning and range-of-motion exercises, balance training, assistance with transferring when needed, and also provide caregiver/ family training. Physical therapists may also educate patients and family/caregivers with the goal of preventing re-injury.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps patients carry out activities of daily living and promotes safety and independent living, and helps patients compensate for skills which cannot be restored to prior functioning.

Our occupational therapists help patients regain their daily living skills. They teach use of fine-motor and cognitive skills, and can assist with creating or providing adaptive devices to help those challenged by ongoing conditions to function more independently.

Hand Therapy

Hand therapists work with our Hand and Upper Extremity Center of Excellence surgeons to provide specialized care in rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from hand and upper extremity conditions and injuries.

Sprains and Strains: What’s the Difference?

Being outdoors is a favorite pastime in SW Florida. Increased activity means a greater chance of injury, and sprains and strains are among the most common. Taking a few precautions and knowing the difference between a sprain and strain can help prevent injury.

What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?

A sprain means you’ve stretched or torn a ligament, which is a band of tissue connecting bones together. A strain occurs when you pull or tear a muscle or tendon, a thick cord of tissue that attaches muscle to bone.

Sprains are usually caused by some sort of trauma like falling while rollerblading or sliding into a base. The impact knocks a joint out of place which could overstretch or tear the connecting ligaments.

Strains can be acute or chronic. An acute strain is usually triggered by overstressing muscles by doing things like lifting heavy objects incorrectly. A chronic strain is caused by overuse and repetitive motion, like pitching a baseball.

Although sprains and strains can occur in the upper and lower parts of the body, strains are most commonly seen in the ankle. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 25,000 individuals sprain an ankle in the U.S. each day.

Ankle sprains usually happen when the foot turns inward while a person is walking or running, or lands on the ankle after jumping.

Treating Sprains and Strains

RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is the first line of treatment for a sprain or strain. A physician should be consulted as soon as possible to evaluate the extent of the injury and develop a treatment and rehabilitation plan for optimal recovery.

Safety Tips to Help Prevent Injury

Whatever activity draws people outdoors, Orthopedic Specialists recommends the following safety tips for outdoor activity at any age:

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear. If you bike or rollerblade, wear a helmet.
  • Wear the appropriate shoes for each sport and replace shoes with worn tread.
  • Warm-up before any exercise, even a walk in the park or a softball game.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. You can break this into shorter periods of 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day.
  • Follow the 10 percent rule. Never increase your activity – whether it’s walking, running or inline skating – by more than 10 percent a week.
  • Try not to do the exact same routine two days in a row. For example, alternate your activities by walking one day and playing tennis another. Different activities will work different muscles and keeps exercise more interesting.

Stop all activity if you experience severe pain or swelling. Seek medical treatment for any persistent discomfort. Fuel your muscles with proper nutrition by eating a well-balanced diet.

Testimonials Real Patient Stories

"These doctors are the best! Dr. Reynolds always take good care of me and is gentle along with Dr. Flores and Dr. Tafel. I have had nothing but the best experience at Orthopedic Specialists!" - Gwen


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