Any athlete, senior citizen, post-operative patient, or car accident survivor will tell you that physical therapy not only works but for some people it has changed their lives for the better. For those of you unfamiliar with physical therapy, it is typically carried out by a licensed physical therapist that is thoroughly trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of physical injuries. The therapy that they provide usually seeks to restore range of motion, improve flexibility, rebuild lost muscle tissue, and promote proper physical activity in patients that are suffering from an injury or disability.
Defining Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is usually prescribed to a patient by their primary care physician or a postoperative surgeon. Once these primary doctors are able to diagnose and correct a medical issue, the patient is then sent to visit a licensed physical therapist. Physical therapists work within a broad range of in and outpatient facilities including private clinics, hospitals, schools, research centers, hospices, assisted living facilities, rehab centers, and sports training facilities.
When seeing a patient, the physical therapist will familiarize themselves with a particular patient’s case file in order to know exactly what sort of physical therapy to administer. Physical therapists work with a range of different programs depending on the patient’s specific needs. When it comes to physical therapy itself, there are nearly unlimited ways this might be conducted. For example, a patient that has suffered a shoulder injury might do a series of light exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist, or they might work with a complex biofeedback machine that the therapist is trained to use.
Does Physical Therapy Help?
Nearly every piece of research ever conducted on the practice of physical therapy has concluded that not only does it work, but it can greatly improve range of motion, help restore damaged tissue, rebuild atrophied muscle, and help alleviate other disease and injury-related symptoms. In cases where physical therapy does not work, this is usually due to an unlicensed therapist or poorly trained individual attempting to administer therapy that is not in the best interests of the patient. In other words, physical therapy will only fail to work when negligence or medical malpractice is involved.