What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is an area of rehabilitative medicine that facilitates the restoration, maintenance or improvement of a patient’s physical condition. Physical therapy is the treatment of injury, pain or disease by a physical therapist.
Physical Therapists are licensed professionals who are specialists in human movement. They perform a thorough evaluation, including reviewing your medical history, performing tests and taking measurements of your strength, range of motion, joint mobility, balance, coordination, posture, gross mobility, and soft tissue mobility to identify your problems and develop a treatment plan to maximize your quality of life and movement potential.
A physical therapy treatment typically includes:
- Exercise to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, or coordination
- Modalities such as ultrasound, hot or cold packs, electrical stimulation, sequential compression devices, and mechanical traction may be used to reduce swelling, reduce pain, to improve flexibility and circulation
- Manual therapy, including myofascial release, massage, joint mobilizations, and traction
- Education is always included to reinforce gains made during treatment
Your physical therapist will keep notes to document your progress, including periodic re-measurements so your treatment can be altered as appropriate to achieve your goals.