Physical Therapy at AOCC

Physical Therapy is an integral part of AOCC’s approach for the treatment of Rheumatological and Connective Tissue disorders.

We complement your current medical treatment and help you navigate your daily challenges, emphasizing symptom management and individualized protocols focus on the patient’s specific needs and abilities.

Our goal is for a pleasant experience where you can maximize your independence and optimize your overall health and wellness.

Our licensed therapists have thirty years of experience (20 years in hands), with specialized skills in splinting (including Silver Ring Splints). They have experience in the treatment of both conservative and post-op conditions.

Our approach towards Rheumatological conditions is different from other clinics.

We meet the patients at their current level and build an individual plan to maximize their overall well-being. We will develop a comprehensive program that will complement any other treatments that may be underway.

We strive to give you control and independence over your disease.

We may include modalities, exercise, ergonomics, and adaptive equipment in your care/treatment.

Splinting or bracing may also be appropriate and will be evaluated as needed.

Basic Modalities

  • Ultrasound- a modality used to provide heat to a specific soft tissue or a joint to help promote tissue extensibility or provide pain relief.
  • Paraffin- Paraffin is a warm wax applied to the small joints of the hands to aid in increasing mobility and provide pain relief.
  • Electrical Stim- is a technique used to provide pain relief by neural stimulation of the brain. It can also be effective for edema (swelling) reduction.
  • TENS- (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) produced by a small portable unit for pain control/relief. We can instruct in its use and have units available for purchase.
  • Joint Mobilization- Joint mobilization is a manual treatment technique that involves applying a force to simulate the natural movements that occur at a joint between the articulating bones at a specific joint.
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization/Myofascial release- These are manual techniques used to restore normal motion, length, and tension to muscles, tendons, ligaments, bursae, fascia, and nerves.
  • Myofascial Release is a technique that relieves adhesions in areas of tension between the muscle and fascia.

The above modalities may improve movement, such as getting in and out of the car, dressing, bathing, walking, and shopping.

Additional Interventions

  • Taping Techniques- Taping, using Kinesiotape or other sports tape, can support a joint, reduce stress to muscles, or provide improved alignment.
  • Splinting/Bracing- We advise and educate our patients on options available and what may be the most appropriate for a particular need. We offer both custom and prefab options (including Silver Ring Splints).
  • Adaptive Equipment- We have resources for many products that may help improve the ease in which you perform certain activities. Examples are Kitchen tasks, bathing/grooming, computer workstations.

Below are some of the diagnoses that we commonly see:

Rheumatological Conditions:

  • All forms of Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis 
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Lupus 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Soft Tissue Restrictions

Neurological Conditions:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • MS
  • Balance Issues


  • Neck and back disorders
  • Knee and Shoulder Problems
  • Post-surgical and joint replacements 
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Foot/Ankle/Plantar Fasciitis
  • Hands


  • Ergonomic Education
  • Fall prevention
  • Deconditioning
  • Postural abnormalities
  • Joint protection education


  • Scar Management
  • Interventions for joint deformities
  • Semi-custom shoe orthotics