Menu Close

Orthopedic Clinical Specialists (OCS)

Orthopedic Clinical Specialists

Orthopedic clinical specialists are physical therapists who have been certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties for their expertise in orthopedics. The OCS credential requires at least 2,000 hours of professional experience in orthopedics or successful completion of an orthopedics residency program along with passing a rigorous certification examination.

Our board-certified orthopedic clinical specialists have validated knowledge, skills, and experience in treating orthopedic conditions such as:

    • Musculoskeletal injuries (muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and fascias)
    • Fractures
    • Sprains
    • Bursitis
    • Chronic medical problems
    • Orthopedic “prehab” (before surgery)
    • Orthopedic rehab and recovery after surgery

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Tips

    • Ask your surgeon about prehab — Physical therapy often begins before undergoing surgeries such as total knee or hip replacements. Prehab is helpful in strengthening the area before surgery. Not only can prehab give you a head start on recovery, you will have already established care with a physical therapist. Having a plan beforehand can relieve stress and ensure a positive outcome.
    • Use care when icing or applying heat to the area — First, it’s important to know whether your injury or surgical site should be treated with ice or heat. In general, cold therapy is recommended for joint sprains and inflammation whereas heat is typically used for arthritis, muscle pain/soreness, and old injuries. Check with your physical therapist or doctor if you are unsure. In both cases, limit your sessions to about 20 minutes and protect your skin by placing a thin towel between your skin and the ice pack or heating pad. Never use cold or heat therapy when sleeping.
    • Know the difference between physical therapy and exercise — You’re not here to work out, but rather to heal and educate yourself. Ask your physical therapist questions so that you fully understand what you’re supposed to do outside of the clinic — and how to do so safely and effectively.

How can Diablo Physical Therapy help with Recovery?

Diablo Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine’s board certified orthopedic clinical specialists have dedicated years to this speciality and are passionate about helping you achieve a healthy recovery. Their advanced diagnostic and orthopedic physical therapy skills enable them to develop the most appropriate care plan for your specific needs.

Treatment varies based on the condition, but may include: manual therapy, joint mobilizations, strength training, mobility training, balance and proprioception training, massage, and other modalities. Injuries to bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tenders often result in pain, range of motion problems, limited functional mobility, and loss of strength. Whether you’ve suffered an injury or are preparing for or recovering from surgery, physical therapy can help. Board-certified orthopedic clinical specialists specialize in treating this type of injuries, helping you to heal properly, build strength, and improve both your range of motion and your functional mobility.

Are you a good candidate for treatment from an orthopedic clinical specialist? Complex injuries and surgeries require a solid recovery plan. We can help, schedule a consultation where you can learn more about:

    • Orthopedic prehab for joint replacements, knee replacements, and other orthopedic surgeries
    • Post-op physical therapy
    • Improving functional mobility and range of motion
    • Recovering from a musculoskeletal injury
    • Orthopedic pain relief through physical therapy
    • Preventing future occurrences

Request a Personalized Care Plan with Pricing

Request Initial Evaluation


FAQs about Orthopedic Physical Therapy

What is the difference between a regular physical therapist and an orthopedic clinical specialist?

Orthopedic clinical specialists are physical therapists, but they have specialized in orthopedics. Earning the OCS credential requires advanced skills, training, and experience. Orthopedic clinical specialists are recognized in the industry for their advanced clinical proficiency in the field of orthopedic physical therapy.

How will I know which orthopedic physical therapist to pick for my sports injury?

Contact our office. We have a team of therapists, each with their own strengths and areas of specialty including sports medicine. We will be happy to match you with the best physical therapist for your specific case.

Do I need a referral if I request treatment from an orthopedic clinical specialist?

This is largely up to your health insurance plan as many health plans do require pre-approval before care begins. If you haven’t been referred to Diablo Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine by your primary care doctor or orthopedic surgeon, call our office and we’ll be happy to help you determine the next step.

Will working with an orthopedic physical therapist relieve or reduce my pain?

It really depends on why you are here. For example, your issue has to fall under a physical therapist’s scope of practice, and the injury or problem needs to fall within the therapist’s area of expertise. OCS therapists are specialists in orthopedic conditions involved in the musculoskeletal system.

How long does physical therapy treatment last for a total joint replacement?

This varies with every patient. We rarely give a timeline because a lot of factors play into the rehab process. If we had to give a ballpark for an exceptional patient with no issues, then 3-4 months could be expected. However, that is rarely the case. Hips are easier than knees, but both take time to rebuild strength and address the other issues that led to the joint replacement in the first place.


Consult with a Physical Therapist to Learn More

Ready to experience freedom from pain? Our friendly, knowledgeable team is here to help.

Request Initial Evaluation