What is Physical Therapy?


According to the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, by the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapy (PT) is a branch of healthcare that revolves around the "preservation, development, and restoration of optimal physical function." There are many areas in which physical therapists are involved in providing care. These areas can include hospitals, rehabilitation centers and outpatient clinics.

At Fitness Forum Physical Therapy, we provide PT in an outpatient setting providing services for orthopedic, neurological, developmental and sports related conditions. In this settign, our therapists are specialists in the areas of movement and joint function.

Many times, injuries occur for no apparent reason, and are therefore classified as repetitive stress disorders. The main factor contributing to the development of these conditions is faulty or altered mechanics in how a joint functions or moves. Being specialists in movement and joint functino, physical therapy is a necessary intervention for the treatment of such disorders.

Similarly, injuries resulting from a specific accident or trauma will produce alterations in how a joint functions or how a person moves. For the same reason as above, physical therapy becomes a necessary intervention for these types of conditions to ensure proper heaing and return to activity.

Lastly, alterations in movement or joint function can be the result of a specific disease process. One of the most common examples is arthritis. In these situations where joint damace can occur that cannot be restored, physical therapy strives to develop healthy ways in which the body can compensate for such losses. This may include buiding adequate strength in muscles surrounding degenerative joints to ensure added stability, or maintaining as much available joint motion to prevent further disability. Examples of conditions treatable by physical therapy include:

- Arthritis

- Pain

- Work Injuries

- Sports Injuries

- Post surgical rehabilitation/Total joint replacements

- Tendinitis (ankle, foot, knee, hip elbow, shoulder, etc)

- Neck and Back pain (disc disorders, stenosis, etc)

- Weakness

- Deconditioning due to illness or surgery

- Neurological impairments (Stroke, Parkinson's disease, MS, etc)

- Developmental Delay

- Pre and Post Partum care

- Balance loss (frequent falls)

Hot Tip:

Just like building a working relationship with your doctor is beneficial; estabilishing a relationship with a physical therapist can also reap benefits. When seeing your doctor for a physical ailment, requesting a prescription to see your physical therapist is not only a good way to help heal your condition, but may also help speed up the overall management of it.

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