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What is Physical Therapy

• Physical therapy is a medical treatment that helps a person to regain physical function following an injury or surgery involving a joint, limb or muscle. During rehabilitation, regular sessions of PT can help to lessen pain while damaged nerves, muscles, and joints heal. A physical therapist helps and treats patients whose movement and physical abilities are impaired by aging, injury, surgery or disease. To Read more about physical therapy click here.

• A physical therapist will interact with patients and other health care providers to diagnose problems, establish goals and decide upon a course of treatment or management, then implement that plan with the patient. A physical therapist will use manual physical manipulation and joint mobilization techniques, supervise and suggest specific exercises and implement a course of treatment to reduce pain, maximize mobility and increase the physical fitness of patients.

• Some of the modalities used by physical therapists to increase fitness, strength, and flexibility include physical manipulation, exercises, applying heat and ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, therapeutic massage, water therapy, and most important, patient education. Stretching is one of the manual techniques frequently used. Through physical manipulation, a physical therapist works to reduce muscle spasms; thereby lengthening contracted muscles, allowing muscles to move back into normal position. A physical therapist may use exercise to restore range of motion, as well as massage to improve circulation and decrease swelling.

• Orthopedic rehabilitation aids a person in healing following surgeries involving joints, muscles or bone. When it comes to sports injuries, the therapist may decide to tape or brace weakened limbs in order to prevent further injury. Geriatric physical therapy is becoming more popular among an aging population. Along with restoring mobility and balance, geriatric PT specializes in treating arthritis, osteoporosis, incontinence, and Alzheimer’s disease. The field of cardiac pulmonary physical therapy focuses on patients who are recovering from cardio / pulmonary surgery or a pulmonary disease like COPD, Emphysema or Asthma. In this case, therapists work with patients to increase their endurance. Physical therapists who specialize in neurological disorders treat stroke patients, individuals with Parkinson’s, and those who have suffered brain or spinal cord injuries.

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