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physical therapy

Choosing Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a medical specialty that promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through improved physical movement. Physical therapy services may be provided as primary care treatment or alongside other medical services.

Initial visits to your physical therapist are often to relieve acute pain or discomfort. However, physical therapists are also expected to show ongoing improvement of conditions.

There should never be a “therapy loop” where you need to return each time pain returns. Their ultimate goal is to get you strong and then keep you there. By working together, you and your PT can often solve the issue for good.

Treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation and a detailed treatment plan. Treatment plans are designed for each person’s individual goals, challenges, and needs. These plans are often made in coordination with your primary care physician, surgeon or other medical professional. During treatment, you will learn about your injury or condition. Together you will work to regain your movement and deliver long-term results.

You will also learn the ways to maintain your gains once therapy is complete.

50% of Americans are affected by musculoskeletal conditions. 
Twice the rate of chronic heart and lung conditions.

Consider your physical therapist your partner in maintaining a healthy, mobile life. Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals that help patients reduce pain and improve or restore their mobility. Their training includes pathological understanding of disease processes and systemic disorders, and the most effective routes for healing.

Your physical therapist develops an individualized treatment plan that promotes your ability to move in more effective ways, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Additionally, physical therapists prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by designing fitness and wellness-oriented programs to maintain healthier and more active lifestyles.

The Physical Therapy Approach

Physical therapists, like all medical professionals, strive for an improved quality of life for all their patients. In physical therapy, this is accomplished by integrating the best available research evidence with clinical expertise in cooperation with the patient’s own personal values.

This approach is often referred to as Evidence-Based Medicine. Physical therapy should be considered a quality filter for care, constantly reassessing research, diagnostic tests, and clinical techniques for the betterment of the patient.

Your physical therapist also understands the road to recovery is a personal journey. The evidence-based approach integrates the patient’s own preferences and concerns into care. As a patient, you will play a vital role in the direction of your own healing.

Evidence Based Medicine demands well-researched results for any course of medical care. As exciting as the thought of the latest “miracle cure” can be, the results can ultimately become deflating and potentially harmful.

In contrast, the methods a physical therapist uses with patients have stood up to rigorous medical standards. Independent studies must show improvement in recovery and movement move before it is used in practice. Treatments that are unfounded, or do not reach this standard, simply aren’t used. Physical therapists believe these unfounded promises are dangerous to the health of patients, delaying proven treatments, and leading to feelings of hopelessness when the promises don’t turn into results.

Physical therapy is considered non-denominational, not subscribing to any one physical philosophy, but rather collecting and perfecting the best from the best techniques within one profession. You will find similar physical therapy techniques in a variety of other movement-based practices including yoga, Pilates, strength training, and chiropractic.

Because of their evidence-based approach and documented patient results, physical therapy is an integral part of the medical community and patient care. Physical therapists often work collaboratively with physicians, together determining the solutions to often complex and variable physical injuries or conditions.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. They are guided by a strict code of ethics. Health insurance companies and Medicare recognize physical therapy as a necessary component of recovery.

healthcare visits related to musculoskeletal injuries.

What Can PT Do for Me?

A physical therapist will improve your quality of life by helping you move freely again without pain and discomfort. Your physical therapist can even help you prevent future injury altogether. In many cases your physical therapist will find a way to make life easier without the need for long-term pain medications or other invasive approaches. Physical therapy is the standard in integrated, holistic care.