Physical Therapy: goal is to improve movement, reduce pain, restore functionality, and prevent disability.
Physical therapy (PT) is a method of treatment that combines physiology with exercises and applies them to treat an injury. Some of the places where physical therapists practice include hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practices and nursing homes. Physical therapists treat patients of all ages that have medical conditions, health problems, or injuries that limit movement and functionality. Multiple treatment techniques are used to improve movement, reduce pain, restore functionality, and prevent disability. In essence, a physical therapist is a movement specialist, highly trained to understand and treat all of the body's components involved in motion, like joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Physical therapists provide treatment for a wide variety of conditions. For example, they can treat neck and back injuries, strains or sprains, fractures, amputations, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Physical therapy is often required for individuals with a work or sports related injury.
Patients should see a physical therapist when they have pain in any part of their body involved in motion, or if any type of movement accentuates a particular pain. The patients should also consult a physical therapist if they suffer from any of the conditions mentioned listed above. Patients routinely require physical therapy after surgery, especially for orthopedic conditions.
Physical therapy has some limitations. There are physical conditions and injuries that are beyond the scope of a physical therapist's treatment methods. For example, if a ruptured disc is the source of neck or back pain, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pain. In such cases, a physical therapist would be part of a patient's postoperative rehabilitation routine. For patients with a permanent disability, a PT may not be able to cure the disability, but they may be able to mitigate the effects of the disability.