Physical therapy/Physical therapist

PT’s receive extensive training and assessment and treatment of individuals with mobility limitations and disabilities.

Involves the interaction between therapist, patients, other health care professionals, families, care givers, and communities in a process where movement potential is assessed and diagnosed and goals are agreed upon.

Physical therapy is performed by a therapist and sometimes by a physical therapist assistant acting under their direction.

Work together with occupational therapists to provide treatment.

PTs diagnose and treat individuals of all ages with medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities.

PTs use the history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and a management plan and incorporate the results of laboratory, imaging studies and electrodiagnostic testing.

PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, education, manipulation and other interventions.

Work with patients to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs: by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for active lifestyles, providing services to maintain/restore maximum movement and functional abilities.

Providing services where aging, injury or disease impair movement or function.

Physical therapy specialties include: sports, wound care, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic and pediatrics.

Provided as outpatients in clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, schools, hospices, industrial workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities.

American Physical Therapy Association defines physical therapy as: clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function.

The primary physical therapy practitioner is the Physical Therapist (PT), who is trained and licensed to examine, evaluate, diagnose and treat impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients or clients.

Physical therapist assistants deliver treatments and physical interventions under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Goals of physical therapy include increasing endurance and functional independence in patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

Geriatric physical therapists deal with issues of the elderly such as arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, and incontinence.

Neurological physical therapy concentrates on working with individuals who have a neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and stroke.

Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery.

Orthopedic therapists specialize in post-operative procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions, and amputations.

Patients with injury or disease affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons will benefit from assessment by a physical therapist.

Pediatric physical therapy assists in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders.

Women’s health physical therapy addresses women’s issues related to child birth, and post-partum, and include lymphedema, osteoporosis, pelvic pain, prenatal and and urinary incontinence.

Attempt to alleviate limitations by designing and implementing Interventions such as resistance and balance exercises.

Physical therapists must be aware of comorbid illnesses, weight bearing status, and medications that may be affect therapy.

Care for individuals with impairments, activity limitations and restrictions attributable to a variety of neurologic, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular disorders.

Assess and assist patients in adapting to their social and environmental aspects of their functional limitations.

Exercise is often the basis of physical rehabilitation and involves utilizing structured movements, focused on maintaining or improving strength, endurance, and balance.

Resistance and balance exercises can improve strength and balance , which are often the source of mobility impairment.

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