What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a health care specialty that evaluates, diagnoses, and treats injuries, disabilities, and diseases that can limit ones activity levels due to pain and/or loss of function. Physical therapy is provided by a team of licensed health care professionals. When someone suffers loss of function or pain due to disease, injury, or mechanical dysfunction, they often will seek care from a physical therapist.Physical therapy is useful in treating many different medical disorders. Sport and orthopedic, neurological and muscular illness, as well as cardiopulmonary diseases are only a few pathologic conditions which physical therapists treat. Other beneficiaries of physical therapy include those suffering from a current or past injury, dealing with chronic joint or back pain, or recovering from surgery.
During the initial visit a comprehensive evaluation will be performed. The therapist will seek to determine the nature of the current problem, as well as the patient’s lifestyle, activity level, and functional capabilities. With this knowledge the therapist can effectively diagnose the root cause of the problem and design a sustainable plan of care.
Treatment may include manual therapy techniques including joint mobilization and manipulation, stretching, instruction in proper body mechanics and posture, restorative exercise, and modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound, electric stimulation, and the application of hot and/or cold packs.
Physical therapy can result in decreased pain and increased mobility and strength. On a larger scale, patients will find they have increased their independence and, consequently, increased their quality of life.
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