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WHAT IS PHYSICAL THERAPY?
WHAT DOES A PHYSICAL THERAPIST DO?
- Physical Therapy is about helping people.
- Physical Therapy is also about helping people help themselves!
- Physical Therapy aims to restore movement and function, relieve pain, and prevent further injury.
- Physical Therapy is the evaluation and treatment of numerous physical conditions of all age groups.
- Physical Therapy treats people with musculoskeletal disorders such as back and
neck strains or knee injuries; neurological deficits such as stroke patients or
cerebral palsy children, and skin disorders such as wounds, burns or diabetic foot ulcers.
- Physical Therapy is provided in the hospital, for outpatients, in schools, in the home, and in nursing homes.
- Physical Therapy is about teaching people about their body, their disorder, and their health.
- Physical Therapy helps people lead more active and independent lives.
- A Physical Therapist will perform an evaluation of your problem or difficulty.
This includes taking a history of a problem and then evaluating your problem by
performing tests and measures to assess the problem. These tests include muscle
strength tests, joint motion tests, sensory and neurological tests, coordination
tests, balance tests, observation, palpation, flexibility tests, postural screening,
movement analysis, and special tests designed for a particular problem.
Also includes past medical history.
- A Physical Therapist will then develop a treatment plan and goals and then administer
the appropriate treatment to aid in recovery of a problem or dysfunction.
- Physical Therapy treatments include patient education to teach you how deal with a
current problem and how to prevent this problem from recurring in the future.
- Physical Therapy provides "hands on techniques" like massage or joint mobilization
skills to restore joint motion or increase soft tissue flexibility.
- Physical Therapy aids in postural reeducation and movement awareness. Therapeutic
exercise instructions will help restore strength, movement, balance, or coordination
as a guide towards full functional recovery.
- Physical Therapy participates in functional training for work-related issues, and
home activities, and recreational or sports interests.
- Physical Therapy teaches basic mobility skills such as learning to move and get
out of bed, transferring to a chair, walking with crutches or special devices
on stairs or varied terrain.
- Physical Therapy can assist one in meeting special equipment needs such as wheelchairs
or other adaptive equipment to improve function and independence.
- Physical Therapy often involves the use of modalities which include properties of
heat, cold, air, light, water, electricity, ultrasound, and traction.
These modalities are used to help decrease pain and increase movement and function.
- Examples of Physical Therapy modalities are: Hotpacks, Coldpacks, Whirlpools,
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), Ultrasound, Traction, Electrical Stimulation,
Intermittent Compression Pumps, and Myofascial Release. This list is not all
inclusive but should give you an idea of some of the modalities that are available.
- A Physical Therapist will monitor your progress and adjust treatments and treatment
goals as appropriate.
- A Physical Therapist will consult with other health professionals to facilitate
Memorial Hospitalís Physical Therapy Department is staffed by licensed physical therapists,
physical therapy assistants, and physical therapy aides.
For more information, call 570-268-2209.
All referrals are by physician prescription.