Physical therapy is an allied health profession. It is a service provided by a physical therapist who works with individuals to improve, maintain, or restore their health. Therapists complete a physical examination to establish a plan of care to reach an individuals’ optimal level of function. Patient education, physical rehabilitation, disease prevention and health promotion are key components utilized by a therapist.
Prosthetics & Orthotics
During your first visit with your physical therapist, expect a full evaluation assessing your overall current condition and limitations. Specific measurements and special tests will be performed to gather information about your illness or injury. Impairments typically measured may include:
Range of motion
Overall functional mobility
Once this information has been gathered the therapist will develop an independent treatment plan with goals focused on your specific needs. Expect to be included in the goal making process to ensure both parties understand what is important and what the main objectives are.
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Do you need physical therapy?
How do you know if you require the skilled services of a physical therapist? Well, if you have an injury or illness that results in pain, falls, loss of balance, physical impairment, limited or abnormal movement patterns or a loss of function, a physical therapist can help. Therapists treat people of all ages based on their needs and presenting deficits. Choosing to participate in therapy has been shown to assist people with their recovery and overall safety. Often therapy can assist you with avoiding surgery depending on the extent of your involvement.
What to expect during your visit
Physical therapists use many different techniques to help you decrease pain and stiffness, improve motion and strength, and improve mobility which leads to an improved quality of life. Physical Modalities such as heat, ice or ultrasound may be used. Manual techniques are also key components utilized to assist with pain management and assist with regaining normal movement patterns. Graston, cupping, massage and craniosacral techniques are manual techniques often used by physical therapists to help people regain function. Exercises which include stretching and strengthening are vital along with body mechanic training and patient education in joint safety. These strategies are both effective and needed to ensure a successful therapeutic outcome.