What Is Physical Therapy?

There is a healthcare specialty that evaluates, assesses and treats people that have limitations to their functional mobility; these specialists give healthcare therapy services and they are called physical therapists.

These physical therapists are licensed by the state they work in; they must have master’s degree as a minimum from an accredited institution, most however have a clinical doctorate. To practice healthcare therapy services they must be licensed.

How do you know if you need physical therapy?

Usually, anyone who has been involved in an accident or suffered from an illness that resulted in an impairment of some physical function can benefit from physical therapy. Many people may think of physical therapists that more often than not treat elderly patients, this is not the case. Children and athletes are more prone to injuries, but no matter what age an individual is, if there is an element of physically impaired mobility, treatment may very well be the first strategy to follow for increased mobility.

Physical therapists who offer healthcare therapy services often treat people who have suffered from:

1. Stroke
2. Fractures
3. Neck and spine injuries
4. Carpal tunnel syndrome
5. Sports injuries of all sorts

This is not an exhaustive list of the problems that can be helped with therapy, anything that limits the natural movement or movement causes pain can usually be treated.
What happens during therapy?

Physical therapists use a host of different techniques that are used to decrease and eventually eliminate pain, decrease stiffness and improve strength and mobility. Healthcare therapy services include ice, heat, electric impulse stimulation and ultrasound. Manual manipulation is often used where the focus is to increase mobility.

The therapist will give the patient a range of exercises that help patients regain their strength and improve their function. The patient’s co-operation is paramount in successful therapy so patient education using charts, models and pictures are used to help the patient better understand their condition.

Where is physical therapy available?

Hospitals are one of the principle places where physical therapy takes place, but hospitals are far from being the only venue. If your injury or illness keeps you homebound, the therapist can perform the therapy in your home. It is in your home where most patients are happiest when doing the exercises that they must do to restore their normal function.

There are some states that insist that physical therapy, when used on a child, is done in the environment that the child is most accustomed to. This will obviously be either home or at the daycare center.

The therapy can be done in outpatient facilities, many of these are owned by large corporate entities, still other therapists work in old-age and long term care facilities.

To arrange for healthcare therapy services, you are invited to contact Functional Pathways, the group that provides “excellence in rehabilitation.”

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