What Is Physical Therapy?

Americans had 43.2 million emergency room visits for injuries in 2017 alone. Still, many people are wondering, “What is physical therapy?”

In 2016, Americans went to 72.6 million physician appointments due to injuries. That number includes those who suffer from the adverse effects of medical treatment. If your doctor refers you to a physical therapist, please know that you’re not alone.

Sure, injuries are painful, but they’re also stressful. Learning more about physical therapy will relieve some of that stress.

Here’s what you should know about physical therapy:

What is Physical Therapy?

The physical therapy definition is care or services that help patients restore their movement. It also helps ease pain and other symptoms associated with injuries that affect your functioning.

Physical therapists are also called PTs. As of 2015, they must earn a Doctoral of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in order to practice physical therapy. This degree must come from an accredited institution of higher learning.

A physical therapist works with a physical therapy aide to oversee your treatment. These assistants need an associate’s degree from an accredited program. They also need any applicable state licenses or certifications to work.

Physical Therapy Treatment

What kind of treatment you receive depends on your injury’s type and severity. Optimal physical therapy looks different for everyone—Unfortunately, some people need more therapy than others to recuperate.

For instance, anyone with joint, muscle, or tendon pain should seek out orthopedic physical therapy. A physical therapist will then prescribe specific exercises, heat, and electrical stimulation as part of their treatment.

Exploring these services (including physical therapy) will give you a better idea of the types of rehabilitation programs available to you. The aforementioned link will direct you to the best therapy services out there.

Physical Therapy at Home

At-home physical therapy sessions take place via teleconferencing/video through a person’s cell phone or computer. From there, a physical therapy assistant will assess your symptoms and assign you exercises to improve your condition.

Due to COVID19, in-home physical therapy is becoming more common. It’s also a great option for people with disabilities and limited mobility. That way, they’ll still receive exercises and advice as treatments to manage their symptoms without leaving the house.

However, the downside is that you don’t have access to physical therapy equipment at home. For example, if you need electrical stim, then you’ll have to show up to the office in person to get it.

You Deserve to Feel Better

Physical therapy’s history traces back to a professional group connected to Per Henrik Ling, the “father of Swedish gymnastics.” He founded the Central Institute of Gymnastics in 1813, where his group practiced the earliest form of physical therapy as we know it on gymnasts. Today, physical therapy is still the best option when you’re recovering.

So what is physical therapy? It’s a tried-and-true method to bounce back from an injury. Some sources even trace physical therapy back to Hippocrates, the renowned “Father of Medicine” from ancient Greece.

Benefit your health—read more of our articles on health and wellness. The knowledge will change your life.