You may have heard of physical therapy (PT) but are not quite sure what it is or when you might need to see a PT. PT is a healthcare profession that treats individuals of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
In order to become a PT, one must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited program and then pass a state licensure exam. Common treatments performed by physical therapists include exercises, stretching, manipulative therapies, and electrical stimulation.
There are many reasons why an individual might need to see a PT as per Robert Stravinsky. Perhaps you were in a car accident and are now experiencing neck pain. Or maybe you had surgery and need help regaining your strength and range of motion. No matter the reason, a PT can help!
If you have never been to physical therapy before, you might be wondering what to expect during your first visit. Once you have made an appointment with a PT, you will likely be asked to fill out some paperwork that provides background information about your health history and current symptoms.
The therapist will then spend some time talking with you about your symptoms, concerns, and goals for therapy. After this initial meeting, the therapist will perform a thorough evaluation which may include tests and measures such as movement assessments, strength testing, range of motion testing, posture analysis, and gait analysis. Based on the evaluation findings, the therapist will develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.
Treatment sessions typically last 30-60 minutes and occur 1-2 times per week depending on your individual needs. As noted earlier, common treatments performed by PTs include exercises, stretching, manipulative therapies, and electrical stimulation.
During each session, the therapist will progress you through your individualized treatments based on how you are feeling that day. The number of visits required varies depending on your diagnosis as well as your response to therapy; however, most people start to feel better after 4-6 visits.
In addition to receiving treatment from a PT in the clinic setting, you will also be given specific exercises to do at home between visits in order to help you meet your goals. It is important to follow through with these exercises as they are an integral part of the healing process. Your PT can provide guidance on how often to perform the exercises as well as any modifications that may be necessary based on your level of pain or discomfort.
If you are experiencing pain or reduced function due to an injury or medical condition, physical therapy may be right for you! During your first visit, the therapist will perform an evaluation and then develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.
Treatment typically lasts 30-60 minutes and occurs 1-2 times per week depending on your individual needs; however, most people start to feel better after 4-6 visits. In addition to receiving treatment in the clinic setting, you will also be given specific exercises to do at home between visits in order to help you meet your goals. Following through with these home exercise programs is essential for achieving optimal results from physical therapy!