What Is Physical Therapy?

A physical therapist (PT) is a health care professional who diagnoses and treats individuals of all ages with medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and function. Through a combination of treatments and therapeutic exercise, they help patients reduce pain and manage their symptoms to improve their quality of life. In addition, PTs take preventive measures by helping patients identify and address musculoskeletal and movement disorders before they become serious issues.

Physical Professional Physical Therapy in New York City is a patient-centered, comprehensive experience that begins with an initial evaluation and extends through the restorative and preventive phases of care. This approach results in a high rate of recovery and return to daily activities. It also allows patients to maintain their mobility and independence with a focus on preventing future problems and reducing the need for surgery or prescription drugs.

In addition to evaluating patients and treating them, physical therapists are highly educated health professionals who provide education about treatment techniques and health-related topics. They work in a wide variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, and the workplace. They are licensed by state boards to practice.

Most states have laws that allow patients to directly access physical therapists, eliminating the need for a referral from their physician. This is called Direct Access and allows patients to save time and money and receive treatment sooner, when the injury or condition is more acute. However, the majority of patients are referred to physical therapists by their physicians and must see them within the referral process before receiving treatment.

When a patient sees a physical therapist, they will undergo an examination that includes taking a thorough history of the problem and performing a systems review. They will then perform tests and measurements to determine the nature of the problem and establish a diagnosis. The PT will then develop and implement an appropriate plan of treatment to address the problem. They will periodically re-evaluate the patient and modify their treatments as needed.

To ensure you have the best care possible, your physical therapist will utilize a hands-on approach to treatment with an emphasis on manual therapy and functional movements. They will also incorporate other treatments such as modalities, electrical stimulation, heat or cold to assist in the healing process. Exercises will be incorporated to increase strength, range of motion and endurance. Most importantly, your PT will teach you the skills to take control of your own recovery to avoid future problems by developing personalized fitness and wellness programs. Check back often for new articles and subscribe to stay up-to-date on the benefits and impact of Physical Therapy!

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