What is Physical Therapy?

What is Physical Therapy?*

1. Mentorship and Guidance: Physical therapists have the knowledge base and capacity to act as health mentors, providing instruction, progression, and guidance as necessary. Inherent in this is the fact that physical therapy treatment is continually distilled with excellent patient education about their condition and road to health.

2. Exercise: Exercise is the super power of the human physiology. Patient- and condition-specific exercise programs are critical self-care strategies to promote optimal repair and remodeling of all your body’s systems. Exercise should be evidence-based and supported by the sport sciences research.

3. Pain Reduction: Through an integrated strategy that can include hands-on manual treatment, targeted coping strategies, and even the judicious use of passive modalities, physical therapists can have a great impact on acute and chronic pain, either helping patients to overcome the cause of that pain or giving them tools to minimize and cope with their pain.

4. Movement Education: Physical therapists have a unique roll as functional motor control experts. Whether the task is rolling over for the first time as an infant, regaining balance after a stroke, or finding the precise control to play football again after an ACL injury, physical therapists can rise to the challenge. Physical therapists understand how your body moves and can connect the dots between neural control, musculoskeletal strength, and the reality of each individual’s form to maximize human function.

5. Health Optimization: Rarely do patients or clients of physical therapy make it through an encounter without gaining some benefit to their health apart from the condition or problem that got them there in the first place. It might be improved posture, it might be working out the tight hip that caused the low back pain in the first place, it might be the improved cardiovascular benefit of exercise, it might be a better understanding of how to manage their diabetes, or it might be reduced fear about re-injuring yourself. Physical therapists do much more than just fix body parts. They fix you!

*Jan 19, 2014: http://ptthinktank.com/2013/01/19/theres-no-such-thing-as-bad-press/