May 30, 2018
When the topic of physical therapy arises, you might imagine a therapist in a hospital, treating patients after surgery. Maybe you picture an athlete receiving physical therapy after an injury.
While these images are correct, the practice of physical therapy involves much more than these two types of treatment. According to the University of Kansas, a physical therapist specializes in treating disorders of the human body through physical means. They evaluate the body’s performance and offer treatment aimed to reduce pain and improve physical function. This specialized treatment goes far beyond an injury or post-surgical care.
Did You Know?
1. Physical therapists are highly skilled and educated.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, all physical therapists must receive graduate degrees from accredited physical therapy programs. After completing their education, they take a national licensing exam. This education and licensure is the cornerstone of the high level of treatment patients receive from physical therapists.
2. You can receive physical therapy in many settings.
Many physical therapists work in hospitals or freestanding rehabilitation departments. However, you may receive physical therapy care in other areas:
- Orthopedic departments
- Home health
- Nursing homes
- Emergency rooms
- Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehab clinics
- Wound care clinics
3. Physical therapists often treat those suffering from diseases and other chronic physical conditions.
Physical therapists are trained to treat disease, injury and deformities of the body. In some cases, physical therapy can prevent surgery instead of following it. Physical therapy may be one part of a holistic plan of care devised by your physician. Common diseases or conditions treated by physical therapists include:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction
4. Physical therapists treat patients of all ages.
Physical therapists treat patients ranging from infants to the elderly. They treat developmental delays and help with balance, muscle control and meeting milestones for infants. In the elderly, they assist with balance, strength and activity levels.
5. Physical therapy is not supposed to hurt.
It’s common to have some level of pain or discomfort during physical therapy. However, if you experience severe pain, it may be a sign that something’s wrong. Be sure to talk to your physical therapist about pain levels during your treatment.
6. You’re an important part of the physical therapy team.
Physical therapy must continue outside of the walls of the clinic. During your treatment, your physical therapist will provide you with a Home Exercise Program (HEP). In order to get the best outcome after therapy, you must complete this program as the therapist prescribes.
If you or a family member has received a referral for physical therapy, call today to get your evaluation scheduled. If you think you could benefit from physical therapy, speak with your primary care physician about how physical therapy could help you.