What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is defined by the American Physical Therapy Association as transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience. To put it more simply, physical therapy is a way to help you move correctly so you can live a healthier lifestyle.
The goal of physical therapy is to identify and correct dysfunctional movement. Dysfunction can include pain with movement, lack of mobility in joints or tissues, or improper movement patterns that have changed the way you move putting you at risk for injury.
Physical Therapy can help with musculoskeletal, neurological, urological, and balance issues. We want to reduce pain or discomfort, improve mobility/flexibility, and help all of our patients return to the highest level of function possible in the safest environment.
What does a physical therapist do?
Your physical therapist will evaluate, provide treatment, and most importantly educate the patient on the source of the issue. The evaluation may include a number of tests that determine level of current function which will help to set goals for the future. Treatment may include therapeutic exercise to restore mobility and stability, manual therapy to change in the tissue, and modalities to reduce discomfort.
Physical therapy almost always includes exercise. It can include stretching... Physical therapists should be testing and retesting movement during each appointment. The goal remains to optimize movement and sometimes that can be achieved with manual therapy. Mobility and stability exercises should be prescribed to reinforce the movement gained in treatment in the correct pattern.
Your physical therapist may use manual techniques to improve motion and movement in joints and tissues, exercise equipment to facilitate correct, pain-free movement patterns, and modalities such as electric stimulation, ultrasound, heat, or ice to reduce pain or discomfort.