What is Physical Therapy? Break Down of Physical Therapy

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy (also called Physiotherapy) is a specialty program designed to evaluate, assess, and treat individuals who may have limitations in functional mobility. Your doctor might recommend getting this treatment after an injury or surgery. Physical therapy (PT) helps individuals recover safely, and faster, and can prevent future injuries.

Physical Therapy Meaning

Merriam Webster defines Physical Therapy as:

“Therapy for the preservation, enhancement, or restoration of movement and physical function impaired or threatened by disease, injury, or disability that utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities (such as massage and electrotherapy), assistive devices, and patient education and training.”

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Physical Therapists work in various settings from sports and fitness to healthcare and education, research centers, and government agencies. Physical therapists are professionals licensed by the state to provide physical therapy to individuals. They are trained to assess the patient's condition and create a fitness and wellness program to help encourage a healthy, active lifestyle, improve movement, and gain their independence back.

Physical Therapists are trained to use a variety of treatment styles and techniques to help the patient heal better and faster. They conduct an evaluation to create a very personalized plan tailored to the specific patient. Treatments can be hands-on at a facility or virtual. They will also teach exercises that can be done outside of PT to help with the recovery process, movement, and function.

Who Should Get Physical Therapy?

PT offers many benefits, such as pain management, mobility, flexibility, balance, and muscle strengthening. Some of the most common reasons for doing physical therapy include recovery after a sport-related injury, accident, post-surgery recovery, diminished balance, poor strength, or general debility.

Every patient is different even if they have similar goals. A physical therapist creates a unique and specific plan for each individual that best suits their needs and goals.

Where Do I Get Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is offered in a variety of settings including:

  • At Home

  • Assisted Living

  • Cardiac Rehab Centers

  • Hospital