Physical therapists play a key role in helping patients regain mobility and strength to lead a community life. They help patients attain the highest level of individual freedom and self-sufficiency.

In recent years, physical therapy has become a much sought after service to treat patients suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis, developmental disorders, cerebral palsy, fractures and injuries. Physical therapy services are also widely recommended to address body pain related to the neck, back, shoulder, knee and leg. In this dynamic medical profession, importance is given for comprehensive treatment and care to restore maximum functionality of the affected body parts. Physical therapists have a great role to play in helping people suffering from pain to get back to a normal lifestyle.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Physical therapists examine, evaluate and treat the root cause of physical impairments using the latest diagnostic techniques. CAT scans, bone scans, MRI scans, X-rays and electromyography are used to detect diseases or other causes precisely. The jobs of physical therapists include:

  • Assessment and evaluation of the patient’s health status, physical strength, mobility, body mechanics and posture. They also evaluate the functioning of the muscles, bones, joints, spine and spinal discs.
  • Scheduling physical therapy programs for patients that will help restore functional mobility and physical strength. These programs are designed to relieve pain and prevent further impairment of musculoskeletal functions.
  • Helping the patient regain overall health and fitness and lead an active routine life.
  • Designing special devices such as splints, altered footwear and ambulation equipment according to individual patient requirements. Also, teaching the patients to use devices including crutches, canes, walkers and other assistive equipment independently.
  • Planning therapeutic exercises and personalized treatment plans to achieve desirable outcome and maximum pain relief.
  • Scheduling rehabilitation programs and awareness classes for patients and family members to help achieve the treatment objectives quickly. Physical therapists also perform detailed therapeutic interventions to ensure quick recovery after surgery.
  • Taking the initiative to educate patients about self-management abilities that will enable them to lead an independent life and modifying their physical therapy exercises according to the changes in health conditions.
  • Recommending and providing treatment modalities such as heat/cold packs, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction and massage to reduce pain, muscle spasm and inflammation.
  • Educating the patient as to how to prevent chances of reoccurrence of diseases or pain in the future.
  • Monitoring physical therapy treatment progress to evaluate present health conditions. Changes are recommended in the treatment protocol depending on overall physical findings.
  • Keeping updated documents of treatment plans and procedures for further reference.

Where One Can Get the Service of Physical Therapists

Different healthcare settings such as hospitals, specialized physical therapy centers, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home care centers and doctors’ offices offer the service of qualified and experienced physical therapists. In a reputable physical therapy center, a physical therapist works in a team along with occupational therapists, neurologists, psychologists and other physicians to achieve the same goal of providing utmost patient care.

Author's Bio: 

Igor Stiler is a medical consultant at HealthQuest, an established multi-specialty health care center based in Brooklyn, New York. HealthQuest offers a comprehensive range of basic and advancedphysical therapy services. We treat all types of musculoskeletal disorders to give you quick relief from pain and discomfort.