What You Need to Know About Physical Therapy
Physical therapy, also called physiotherapy, is a specialty in health care that can help you restore or improve your ability to move because of an injury or a health problem. It is involved in:
- restoring normal or highest possible function;
- promoting healthy lifestyles;
- preventing injuries and further loss of function; and
- improving quality of life.
- What Is Physical Therapy?
Who are Physical Therapists?
Physical therapists, or PTs, are health care professionals that are licensed to provide physical therapy services. They are experts in how the body moves and are trained to evaluate and treat people who have movement disabilities and inabilities to perform daily tasks due to an injury or illness.
- What is a Physical Therapist?
- How to Find a Physical Therapist
Physical Therapy Treatments
There are many treatment options used in physical therapy. What is effective for one patient may not be equally effective for you. This is why your therapist needs to conduct a thorough examination, which will guide him or her in creating a specific treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals. Common physical therapy treatment options include:
- physical therapy exercises (e.g. range of motions exercises)and manual therapy (e.g. massage, mobilization techniques)
- functional training
- assistive and adaptive device training (e.g. cane, crutch, walker training)
- physical agents like hot and cold packs and electrotherapeutic modalities such as ultrasound (US) and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator)
- Conditions and PT Treatment Options
Physical Therapy Education
Physical therapists must have a graduate degree before they are eligible to take the national licensure examination. Most physical therapy schools and universities in the United States offer the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. Some, however, still offer the master’s degree, which is the minimum educational requirement.
- Become a Physical Therapist
- Physical Therapy Education and Training
- Physical Therapy Programs
- Physical Therapy Degrees Offered by Schools and Universities
- Physical Therapy Documentation
Where is Physical Therapy practiced?
Most physical therapy practitioners work in hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers, and private clinics. Others work in school rehabilitation clinics, nursing care facilities, and in offices of other health care practitioners.
- Where do Physical Therapists Work?
- When do you need Physical Therapy?
You will need physical therapy if you have problems with movement that keeps you from doing your daily activities. Some of the most common reasons where physical therapy is needed include back and neck pain, arthritis (e.g. Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis), sprains and strains, problems with balance, stroke, injuries related to work and sports, among others.
- Why do I Need Physical Therapy?
- Health Insurance and Doctor Referral
Most health insurance cover physical therapy services. In most US states, a doctor referral is not necessary to consult a physical therapist.