Tsai Chao, Physiatrist (Physical Medicine) | Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
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Tsai Chao

Physiatrist (Physical Medicine) | Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

39 East 20th Street 1st FL. New York NY, 10003


Dr. Tsai Chao is a physiatrist practicing in New York, NY. Dr. Chao is a medical doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. As a physiatrist, Dr. Chao focuses on a patients ability to function, and can treat multiple conditions that affect the brain, nerves, spine, bones, muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Dr. Chao can diagnose and treat pain that is a result of injury, disease or a disabling condition. Physiatrists often lead a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and physicians in a patients treatment or prevention plan.

Provider Details

Tsai Chao
Tsai Chao's Expert Contributions
  • What exercises are best for knee arthritis?

    For managing knee arthritis, certain exercises can be beneficial, though it's important to understand that exercise alone may not address the root cause of osteoarthritis (OA). Strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercises are often recommended. Strengthening exercises help to build the muscles around the knee, providing better support and reducing stress on the joint. Examples include leg raises, hamstring curls, and partial squats. Low-impact aerobic activities like walking, swimming, and cycling can improve joint mobility and overall fitness without exacerbating knee pain. Gentle stretching and yoga can also aid in maintaining flexibility and range of motion. However, while these exercises can alleviate symptoms and improve function, they may not fully resolve the underlying OA. For more advanced knee arthritis, medical treatments or interventions may be necessary. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to tailor an exercise program to your specific needs and to explore all available treatment options for comprehensive management of knee arthritis. READ MORE

  • Can a rotator cuff tear heal with physical therapy?

    Dear Patient, Thank you for reaching out with your concerns regarding rotator cuff tear treatment. Physical therapy often plays a role in managing such injuries, particularly in cases of minor to moderate tears. While it may not completely 'heal' the tear, physical therapy can improve your shoulder's strength, flexibility, and overall function. This often leads to reduced pain and improved range of motion. However, it's important to note that physical therapy might not address the root cause of a rotator cuff tear. Please be aware that in the current medical field, there are more advanced treatment options available for this condition. Tsai Chao M.D. READ MORE

  • How can I strengthen my arm after surgery?

    Dear Patient, Strengthening your arm after shoulder surgery is an important part of the recovery process. However, it's crucial to follow your surgeon's or physical therapist's recommendations for post-surgery exercises, as the specific exercises and timeline can vary based on the type of surgery and individual factors. Here are some general guidelines that may be part of your rehabilitation plan: Initial Rest and Immobilization: Right after surgery, you may need to rest and immobilize your arm to allow the surgical site to heal properly. Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding the use of slings or braces. Range of Motion Exercises: Once your surgeon gives the green light, you'll start with gentle range of motion exercises. These may include pendulum swings, finger and wrist movements, and assisted passive range of motion exercises. Strengthening Exercises: Gradually, you'll progress to strengthening exercises. These can include resistance band exercises, wall slides, and isometric exercises to work on muscle activation without moving the shoulder joint. Physical Therapy: Many patients benefit from working with a physical therapist who can design a personalized rehabilitation program to address your specific needs and monitor your progress. Patience and Consistency: Recovery takes time, so be patient and consistent with your exercises. Follow your prescribed exercise regimen diligently, and don't push yourself too hard to avoid straining the healing tissues. Pain Management: Pain and discomfort are normal during recovery. Follow your prescribed pain management plan, which may include medication and ice therapy. Remember that individualized guidance from your healthcare team is essential for a safe and effective recovery. Always consult with your surgeon or physical therapist to determine the best approach and timeline for strengthening your arm after shoulder surgery. Best regard. Tsai Chao MD READ MORE

  • How can a physiotherapist help with sport-related injuries?

    Dear Patient, A physiotherapist can be instrumental in assisting individuals with sports-related injuries, such as a back injury, through a variety of methods. They are skilled in assessing and diagnosing the injury, and devising a personalized treatment plan to promote healing, alleviate pain, and restore function. Your treatment plan may include exercises to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, manual therapy techniques, advice on posture and movement, and strategies to avoid further injury. Additionally, physiotherapists can provide guidance on a safe return to your sport, ensuring you're adequately rehabilitated and educated on preventive measures to minimize the risk of re-injury. Its essential to consult with a healthcare provider to get a referral to a qualified physiotherapist who can assist you in your recovery from a sports-related back injury. Best regard. Tsai Chao MD READ MORE

  • How long does shoulder physical therapy take?

    Dear Patient, The duration of physical therapy for shoulder pain can vary, but it generally takes about 6-8 weeks. During this time, you may need to visit a physical therapist 1-3 times per week and perform daily exercises and stretches at home. It's important to refrain from forceful or weight-bearing movements with the affected arm until you've fully recovered. Best regard Tsai Chao MD READ MORE

  • Should you get physical therapy after elbow surgery?

    Yes, physical therapy is often recommended after elbow surgery to aid recovery. It helps restore range of motion, strengthen muscles, reduce pain and swelling, and prevent complications. Each recovery plan is personalized, so it's important to follow your surgeon's recommendations or PMR's (physical medicine & rehabilitation's) regarding the timing and type of physical therapy. Starting physical therapy too soon or engaging in inappropriate exercises could hamper your recovery. Always consult with your healthcare team to determine the best post-operative plan for your situation. READ MORE

  • My heel is hurting?

    I understand your concern regarding the heel pain you've been experiencing. Given that the pain worsens in the morning and after periods of rest or walking, it could be indicative of a condition such as plantar fasciitis, which is common in your age group. However, there are other possible causes as well, such as heel spurs or Achilles tendinitis. As a healthcare provider specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, I can help diagnose the specific cause of your heel pain and develop a targeted treatment plan. This plan may include exercises to stretch and strengthen the foot and lower leg muscles, advice on footwear, and possibly other interventions depending on the exact diagnosis. READ MORE

  • Should I have physical therapy after a discectomy?

    Physical therapy is highly recommended after a discectomy to aid recovery. It focuses on strengthening back muscles, improving flexibility and mobility, reducing pain, teaching proper posture, and guiding a safe return to daily activities. Consult with your surgeon and PMR for a tailored post-surgery rehabilitation plan to enhance healing and recovery. READ MORE

  • Should I have physical therapy after heel surgery?

    Yes, physical therapy is generally recommended after heel surgery. It plays a crucial role in your recovery, helping to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in your foot and ankle. The specific therapy regimen will depend on the type of surgery you have and your individual needs. It's important to consult with your surgeon and a physical therapist to develop a personalized post-surgery rehabilitation plan. Adhering to this plan can significantly enhance your healing process and overall outcome. READ MORE

  • Can you help with a shoulder injury?

    Absolutely, I can assist with your shoulder injury. As a certified specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), I have extensive experience in treating joint pain, including shoulder injuries. My approach focuses on a comprehensive assessment to understand the specific nature of your injury, followed by a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include targeted exercises, pain management techniques, and guidance on activities to promote healing while preventing further injury. My goal is to not only alleviate your pain but also to restore function and mobility in your shoulder. Please feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss your condition and explore the best treatment options for your recovery. READ MORE

  • Should I massage my belly after birth?

    Massaging your belly after childbirth can be beneficial, but it's important to proceed with care. Gentle abdominal massage can help your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size and can also aid in relieving gas and constipation. However, it's crucial to use light pressure and avoid the incision area if you had a C-section. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any postpartum abdominal massage, especially to ensure it's safe for your specific situation and to get guidance on proper techniques. READ MORE

  • Can physical therapy help with disc hernia?

    Dear Patient, Physical therapy can be helpful for a disc herniation, focusing on exercises to enhance flexibility and strengthen spine-supporting muscles, potentially reducing disc pressure. While beneficial for symptom management, physical therapy may not address the root cause of a disc herniation. Best regards Tsai Chao MD READ MORE

  • Can physical therapy fix shoulder impingement?

    Hello, Physical therapy can be highly effective in treating shoulder impingement. It focuses on exercises that strengthen the shoulder muscles, improve flexibility, and enhance range of motion. These exercises aim to reduce pressure on the shoulder tendons and alleviate pain. While physical therapy can significantly improve symptoms, the extent of recovery may vary depending on individual factors like the severity of the impingement and adherence to the therapy program. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to develop a tailored treatment plan that suits your specific needs. READ MORE

  • What is the best physical therapy after back surgery?

    The most effective physical therapy after back surgery depends on the type of surgery, the specific condition being treated, and individual patient needs. Generally, physical therapy focuses on improving strength, flexibility, and mobility while reducing pain. Common exercises include gentle stretching, core strengthening, and gradual progression to more challenging activities. The goal is to enhance healing, restore function, and prevent future issues. Your surgeon and physical therapist will work together to create a tailored plan that suits your unique situation, ensuring the best possible outcome for your recovery.. READ MORE

  • What is the best exercise for hip bursitis?

    The best exercises for hip bursitis often focus on stretching and strengthening the hip and surrounding muscles. Gentle range of motion exercises like hip circles and leg swings can help alleviate stiffness, while exercises to strengthen the hip abductors, like clamshells and side-lying leg lifts, can provide added support to the hip joint. Additionally, stretching exercises like the hip flexor stretch can help relieve tension in the area. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to create a tailored exercise program that suits your specific condition and needs. Your health professionals can guide you in performing these exercises correctly and safely, ensuring the best outcomes for your hip bursitis treatment. READ MORE

  • Should I have physical therapy after an ankle injury?

    Yes, physical therapy can be highly beneficial after an ankle injury. It plays a crucial role in the recovery process by helping to reduce pain, restore range of motion, improve strength, and enhance overall function of the injured ankle. Physical therapists will design a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific injury and needs. Through various exercises and techniques, they can assist you in regaining stability, preventing future injuries, and getting you back to your normal activities as quickly and safely as possible. So, if you've suffered an ankle injury, consider consulting with a physical therapist to explore the advantages of post-injury rehabilitation. READ MORE

  • What exercises should I do after lower back surgery?

    Dear Patient, After lower back surgery, the primary goals of exercise are to promote healing, improve flexibility, strengthen the supporting muscles, and gradually regain functional mobility. Here are some commonly prescribed exercises that may be included in a post-surgery rehabilitation program: Physical therapy: Your healthcare provider may refer you to a physical therapist who will design a customized exercise program based on your specific needs and surgical procedure. Physical therapy sessions may include a combination of stretching, strengthening, and functional exercises tailored to your condition and recovery goals. Other types of exercise such as walking, core strengthening exercises, flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises etc. Please remember, the exercises you perform after lower back surgery should be done gradually and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Best regard. Tsai C. Chao MD READ MORE

  • How long is physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery?

    Typically, after carpal tunnel surgery, patients start physical therapy (PT) to help regain strength, flexibility, and overall function in the affected hand and wrist. The duration of PT varies from person to person, as each individual responds differently to the therapy. On average, patients attend PT sessions three times a week for at least eight weeks. However, it is important to note that your specific recovery timeline may differ based on your unique circumstances and progress during therapy. Before proceeding with surgery, you may want to consider advanced regenerative medicine treatments, such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection etc. PRP therapy has shown promising results in some cases, helping patients alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms without the need for surgery. We have successfully treated several cases with this non-invasive approach, and it may be a viable alternative for you to explore. READ MORE

  • How physiotherapy helps arthritis?

    Physiotherapy can reduce pain and inflammation in arthritic joints, improve joint mobility and flexibility, and strengthen specific muscles. Additionally, physiotherapists can educate patients on proper joint protection techniques, recommend assistive devices, and design exercise programs tailored to the patient's needs. Overall, physiotherapy is an effective and non-invasive way to manage arthritis symptoms and improve quality of life. READ MORE

  • Can you regain movement after brain surgery?

    This is a too general question. The regain of post operative motor function is based on 1. the primary pathology for which the surgery is performed and/or surgical trauma per se affecting the central motor cortex and/or motor nerve conduction system and 2. the reversibility of any prior or surgical trauma damage to the neural structure. The predictivity of motor recovery after brain injury therefore rely on the individual case analysis. READ MORE

Tsai Chao's Practice location

39 East 20th Street 1st FL. -
New York, NY 10003
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39 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
Head southeast on E 20th St toward Park Ave S
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89 ft
301 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003, USA



39 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
Head southeast on E 20th St toward Park Ave S
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279 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003, USA



39 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
Head southeast on E 20th St toward Park Ave S
0.5 mi
Turn left onto 1st Avenue
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Turn right onto E 28th StDestination will be on the right
325 ft
462 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA