Physical therapy is the rehabilitative process of restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining physical function, and promoting physical activity and proper function. Physical therapy is a comprehensive experience that begins with an initial evaluation and extends through the restorative and preventative stages of recovery.
Physical therapy is a conservative approach to managing health problems, and in many cases the first resort advocated by medical doctors. Indeed, it may help people of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their regular ability to move and function.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists (PTs) are highly trained health care professionals with a masters or doctoral degree in Physical Therapy who treat individuals with medical conditions that limit their functional mobility.
PTs examine each individual, and develop a plan using treatment techniques to improve the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also take preemptive measures, working with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs through the development of targeted fitness and wellness programs.
A physical therapist’s evaluation process will typically consist of taking the patient’s medical history, conducting a systems review, and performing tests and measures to identify potential and existing problems. To establish treatment plans, physical therapists then perform evaluations, synthesizing the examination data and determining whether the problems to be addressed are within the scope of physical therapist practice. Based on their judgments, physical therapists develop individualized programs to enable the patient to return to the highest possible functional level.