Spotlight on Our Partnership with Duke Physical Therapy

Expertise from Health Partners

TROSA’s holistic approach to recovery is made possible thanks to the expertise of our staff and a wide range of health partners, including Duke Physical Therapy.

We thank Duke Physical Therapy’s Kristen Massey for sharing the below details about the purpose and benefits of physical therapy, and for summarizing our long-standing partnership with Duke’s physical therapists and students.

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a service designed to evaluate and treat individuals with impairments in mobility, function, and pain to optimize movement and return to activity. Physical therapists provide education regarding exercises and stretches to address relevant impairments that are identified. At TROSA, physical therapy takes a more orthopedic approach to assess the mobility, strength, and function of muscles and joints to prevent injuries.

Our Partnership History

Duke started offering physical therapy services to TROSA residents in 2007. It began with one therapist and only a handful of residents and then grew from there. Duke currently supports sending two physical therapists every Wednesday afternoon to TROSA to treat up to 12 residents.

In 2011, the Duke’s Physical Therapy (PT) Department started a monthly student-run screening night for the residents. At these screening nights, physical therapists and students from Duke University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program screen up to 35 residents for potential balance and musculoskeletal issues via a series of functional measures selected. They lead a functional movement screen of each participating TROSA resident to identify any neurological or musculoskeletal impairments or symptoms that impair their ability to perform daily tasks.

During this screening, the students lead residents through functional tests, such as squatting, lifting, bending, balancing, and walking. They also assess residents’ joint range of motion, muscle strength, sensation, reflexes, blood pressure, etc. to determine if any further medical treatment or referrals should be made

A collage of photos from Students at Duke University attending to people in physical therapy. People are bending over and performing exercises and making assessments with clipboards

Helping Our Residents Heal

TROSA resident Brenna has been helped by Duke PT twice. She is currently working on strengthening her ankle after an injury. Last year, she was referred to Duke PT’s on-campus care at TROSA for a knot in her shoulder that she had since childhood. Duke PT assessed Brenna and helped her with various exercises.

“I carried my shoulder pain since I was a kid,” shared Brenna. “I dealt with it for so long that I didn’t think it was ever going to change. With dedication to a few simple exercises from Physical Therapy, my shoulder pain ended, and it has changed my daily life experience.”