Physical Therapists also called physical therapists, are one of the growing healthcare professions. Physical therapists provide physical therapy that involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the skeletal system. Physical therapists may provide patients with therapeutic exercise programs as part of their treatment or just plain help to do certain things such as getting up from a chair. The purpose of physical therapy is to aid patients in rehabilitation, gain strength, improve flexibility, and maintain health.
The most common physical therapy interventions are manual techniques for rehabilitating injuries, mechanical devices for rehabilitating conditions, and electric stimulation to restore normal function in people who can no longer do so on their own. Physical therapists may use physical therapy equipment for treating sports injuries, such as sprains, strains, ligaments, and dislocations, burns, nerve injuries, and brain injuries. A physical therapist may also recommend massage therapy and prescribe exercise programs to help patients suffering from chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic pain, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Physical therapy courses vary from state to state, but there are some standards that all good physical therapists must meet. For starters, they must be licensed and follow established clinical guidelines. They are expected to have experience in providing rehabilitation, and they have completed the appropriate education and training for the job. A physical therapist should be able to recognize and document various dysfunctions, and he or she should be capable of instructing patients on how to safely perform various activities. The scope of physical therapy practice includes treating fractures, healing sprains, strains, bruises, and other injuries, helping individuals increase muscle and bone strength, preventing loss of motion, restoring joint mobility, correcting joint dysfunction, and promoting overall health and fitness.
A physical therapist can treat many kinds of injuries, but his or her specialty is typically in dealing with back pain. Physical therapists don’t just treat injuries, though. If a patient has been injured because of sickness, a traumatic accident, or some other cause, he or she may benefit from physical therapy as well. It is common for people to feel pain in their back after doing a certain activity. However, performing that activity without proper instruction or supervision can lead to an injury that results in chronic back pain, or worse, injury and paralysis. Even if you’re only temporarily back pain-induced, seeing a PT can help you get better faster.
Because physical therapists usually work in groups, their jobs often require them to work with a range of different people. To be effective, each patient should be evaluated individually. Some physical therapists specialize in working with young children or with athletes. Others have training in working with people who have suffered from traumatic injuries, or who are suffering from psychological conditions like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Because physical therapy can help heal muscles and tissues that have been injured or damaged, it’s important for physical therapists to know how they are going to perform their job. First, they must be able to evaluate the situation and determine what the extent of pain is. From there, they need to assess the severity of the injury and recommend a course of treatment. Once a treatment plan is decided upon, physical therapists will need to get the patient into the appropriate position for exercising. This may involve putting someone on a bed or having him lie down on a couch.
Depending on how severe the injury or condition is, physical therapy may also require the PT to prescribe stretches and exercises. For instance, if you had to have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, a physical therapist would most likely put you under a general anesthetic and then help you stretch and exercise in order to heal the muscles. When a PT begins stretching, he or she will start with slow, low levels of motion until the patient is comfortable. At times, a physical therapist will recommend weight-bearing exercises to increase strength.
Even though many people think PT is for athletes and physically disabled individuals only, there are actually instances when a PT is needed by patients suffering from other medical conditions. For example, physical therapy may be necessary for a patient with Crohn’s disease (intestinal tract inflammation), AIDS or any type of cancer (as radiation therapy or chemotherapy). Not only is it important to do PT for these patients, but it is also essential to keep their overall health in check. After all, PT is a crucial component of cancer treatments. For more information about whether a patient may need PT, his or her doctor should be able to provide the information needed.