How Physical Therapy Work

Physical therapy is one of the less known medical practice in the US, but its responsibility and popularity around the world is unquestionable. It is a health care specialty concerned with treating musculoskeletal disorders and its interaction with physical movement.

Physical therapists are licensed professionals who hold a masters, doctorate, or bachelors degree in physical therapy. They work in a wide variety of setting including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, out-patient facilities, schools, nursing homes, and gymnasiums.

What is physical therapy?

It is a health care specialty involved with evaluating, diagnosing, and treating disorders of man’s muscles and bones. The ultimate goal of this practice is to restore maximum functional independence to each individual patient and in order to achieve it, exercise, heat, cold, electricity, and massage are utilized. Physical therapy is ordered by a physician when it is felt that such treatment would be beneficial. It is offered to a wide variety of patients including newborn babies, children, adults, and the elderly.

Physical therapy is useful in treating many different medical disorders and injuries, neurological and muscular illness, as well as cardiopulmonary diseases. Through patient and therapist interaction, physical therapy can help restore movement and function helping patients returns to their prior level of independence.

What physical therapist do?

Physical therapists are licensed professionals who work with people that have sustained disabilities, impairments or limitations in their overall physical function. These deviations can be the result of disease, injury, or pathological processes. They work to restore function, improve mobility, and decrease pain with the goal of re-establishing a patient’s prior functional level.

Physical therapists focus on the evaluation of strength, balance, range of motion, coordination, endurance, and posture of each individual patient. It is through the results of this examination they then develop a treatment plan geared towards reaching specific rehabilitation goals. However, they would also help in determining realistic goals through their knowledge of pathology and prognosis.

Over the course of the rehabilitation period, they document progress, re-evaluate physical findings, and modify treatment strategies as appropriate. They often work as a team with a variety of other professionals including physicians, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and recreational therapists.