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What Exactly Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Physical therapy is a dynamic profession that is established on scientific and theoretical practices. It involves widespread clinical applications in restoring, maintaining and enhancing optimal physical functions of an individual. Physical therapists play significant roles in disease prevention, and programs that promote fitness, good health and overall well-being of a person. They develop ethical standards for physical therapist practice and healthcare policies that facilitate optimal delivery of health care services. This article looks at what physical therapists do and how they can help people with mobility issues.

The Primary Roles of a Physical Therapist

  • Evaluation

A physical therapist relies on a thorough understanding of a patient’s medical history to determine how to approach your situation. They review all potential threats and look beyond your immediate source of pain. A physical therapist uses standardized tests and measures to conduct an in-depth evaluation that rules out other potential issues and focus on the main problem.

  • Diagnosis

A physical therapist uses the information obtained from your medical history as well as the standardized tests and measurements to guide their treatment. For instance, people who complain about having low back pain may find it to be a rotation syndrome that can be corrected through physical therapy. Physical therapists diagnose movement dysfunctions and help develop a treatment plan for their patients.

  • Treatment

Physical therapists help relieve pain and restore mobility by creating unique programs that are tailored to the needs of their patients. A physical therapist can find a solution to your pain within one treatment session. They often work with individuals who need rehabilitation after undergoing major surgery or trauma, which may last for about 4 months or more.

They assist patients with the use of mobility equipment such as walkers or wheelchairs. Physical therapists also use spinal manipulation techniques and other types of massage to promote healing and restore mobility functions in various parts of the body.

  • Prevention

Another role of a physical therapist is to formulate programs that promote fitness, good health and overall well-being of a patient. Physical therapists develop personalized exercises and restored movement pattern, which teach you the best way to live without pain. They maintain records of their patients while keeping track of your goals and progress. Physical therapists can also advise the patient and their family about recovery exercises and ideal options for in-home treatment.

What to Expect During a Physical Therapy Session?

Some patients are either referred by their doctor to a physical therapist or choose to seek therapy on their own. Physical therapy can be used as a standalone treatment or may be used to support other ongoing treatments. Regardless of how you find your way to a physical therapist, you should expect to undergo physical exam and evaluation. This may include providing your medical history and certain testing procedures. Your therapist will also evaluate your posture, joint motion, and performance, as well as the movement and flexibility of your muscles.

Afterward, you will receive a clinical diagnosis, plan of care and recovery goals. Your therapist uses the medical results from your evaluation and diagnosis to determine the best physical therapy treatment and intervention for your condition. Lastly, you will receive self-management recommendations that help you prevent diseases in the future.

Benefits of a Physical Therapist

  • Improve Mobility

Physical therapy can help people who have difficulties with movement regardless of their age. They develop personalized exercises that stretch and strengthen your muscles to help restore your mobility functions. A physical therapist can properly fit individuals with assistive devices such as walkers, crutches or a cane by customizing an individual care plan.

  • Reduce or Eliminate Pain

Therapeutic exercises and hands-on therapy techniques can help relieve pain and restore joint function. This may involve soft and joint tissue mobilization of special treatments such as electrical stimulation, taping, or ultrasound. Such therapies also help to prevent pain from occurring in the future.

  • Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

A physical therapist provides exercises that safely challenge your balance to mimic real-life situations. Using the results from the tests, they can improve your balance by recommending exercises that enhance coordination.

  • Manage Age-Related Issues

As individuals age, they may develop health conditions such as arthritis or may need joint replacement. Physical therapists can help patients manage their arthritic conditions conservatively and recover from joint replacement.

A physical therapist takes care of their patients in all stages of healing from diagnosis until the restorative and preventive stages of recovery. Finding a suitable physical therapist will depend on your reason for treatment and an official medical history to help the therapist have a better understanding of your current condition.