Physical Therapists are professionally educated at the college or university level, and are required to be licensed in the state or states in which they practice. They are experts in their field, and most are certified in clinical specialty areas through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
Physical Therapists are dedicated to prevention, rehabilitation and restoration of total body function and wellness, relating to movement. They focus on various areas of the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary and circulatory systems of the body, and provide education and service to patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities or changes in physical function, resulting from an injury, disease or other causes.
Depending on the type of injury or illness, physical therapists integrate many elements of patient/client management. These include: examination, evaluation and diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention.
Physical Therapists help people with a multitude of conditions. Some of these include:
- Orthopedic; low back pain, neck pain, fractures, dislocations, and osteoporosis.
- Neurologic; brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s, and cerebral palsy.
- Sports Injuries; overuse, and trauma in recreational and professional athletes.
- Workplace injuries; carpal tunnel syndrome, cumulative trauma and stress disorders.
- Cardiopulmonary and Circulatory; congestive heart failure, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and peripheral vascular disease.
Utilizing a team approach, physical therapists work in conjunction with your physician and other health care providers to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for rehabilitation. They collaborate with a variety of professionals to ensure patient recovery, including: doctors, dentists, nurses, educators, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and any other individual involved with the client’s regime of care. They additionally conduct clinical, quantitative, and qualitative research to remain up to date and informed on all current information as it relates to patient care and rehabilitation.
The talents of physical therapists are a true asset in the process of returning to a pain free and functioning lifestyle. For more information, detailed research and examples, please refer to the American Physical Therapy Association’s website, www.APTA.org.