What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy is a field of physical medicine and rehabilitation that addresses injuries and ailments of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. Physical therapists are professionals in rehabilitation who diagnose and treat individuals with conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities of daily living. These conditions are often caused by medical or surgical problems, health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

Education: As of 2010, physical therapists complete a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that lasts about 3 year. They must also pass a state licensing exam.  

Diagnostics: Physical therapists are extensively trained on diagnostic tests and measurements used to narrow in on diagnoses and determine appropriate courses of treatment.

Treatments: Physical therapists perform treatments including manual therapy and mobilizations, prescribe exercise programs, and administer treatment modalities (such as heat, ice, TENS, ultrasound, IFC, NMES, laser, PEMF, etc.). 

Specialties: There are currently eight specialties recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). These specialties are Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Sports, and Women’s Health. Advanced Soft Tissue Release (ASTR) is a new specialty revolutionizing how patients experiencelong-term pain relief.