What is physical therapy? We all know the words and have a vague notion of what it does and what it can accomplish but chances are physical therapy is more in depth that you realize.
Physical therapy is as old as Greece. During the 1800’s physical therapists formed the first known group of their professionals and in the 1920’s the foundation of what would be the American Physical Therapy Association was created in America. This gave rise to a far more organized and efficient organization that promotes and enhances the care of physical therapist to their patients. During World War One and Two, as well as the polio epidemic, physical therapists were instrumental in the care and rehabilitation of patients. In fact, one of the key focuses of physical therapy is the rehabilitation of those in need. No matter the ailment or cause, the therapist is capable of assisting the patient with quality care that will improve mobility and function. The physical therapist is able to work on back pain, muscle stiffness and even teaching those with a loss limb to attain a desirable quality of life despite the disability. That is the short answer to the question “what is physical therapy”. But there is more to it.
Physical therapists are highly trained individuals with degrees in the necessary fields which give them the appropriate information to properly treat and handle any number of conditions. Occupational therapists help to improve the day to day functions of those suffering. Sports therapy focuses on athletes that continually place their bodies through rigors and activities that others may not be subject to.
Some of the basic treatments such as back pain and arthritis are easily accomplished by both the therapist and patient. The therapist has many techniques and exercises from massages to electrical stimulation. Such procedures can reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness. Also, the education of the patient to the particular condition and how to exercise properly falls under physical therapy.
Physical therapy is often used after surgeries to reduce recovery time and to help the patient regain full use of the region that was operated upon. Used in tandem with the care of the acting physician, physical therapy is capable of achieving any number of goals. The duration of the physical therapy is dependent upon what brought the patient into the office in the first place and how well they take to treatment. The therapy does not end once the patient leaves the office, but continues on at the home which is why the therapists instruct patients in proper exercise habits. It may help to not look at therapy in terms of time but in terms of what the patient would like to achieve through the visits. Such goals are more tangible and provide a healthy attitude.
So what is physical therapy? Basically put, physical therapy is the restoration and rehabilitation of movement and increasing range of motion and achieving normalcy after any manner of conditions, ailments, illness or symptoms of operations.