Physical therapists (PTs) are known by many as “the movement specialists.” PTs study how the body moves and functions. PTs are specialists in the body, both how it works and what to do when the body doesn’t function ideally. Although thoughts of prescribed exercises shoot to the forefront of most people’s minds when PTs are mentioned, their jobs include much more.
Responsibilities of Physical Therapists
Typically, PTs are in charge of the following responsibilities:
- “Review patients’ medical history and referrals or notes from doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare workers.”
- “Diagnose patients’ functions and movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns.”
- “Develop individualized plans of care for patients, outlining the patients’ goals and the expected outcomes of the plans.”
- “Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness.”
- “Evaluate and record a patients’ progress, modifying the plan of care and trying new treatments as needed.”
- “Educate patients and their families about what to expect from the recovery process and how to cope with challenges throughout the process.”
Physical Therapists Treat Many Medical Conditions
Physical therapy “grew out of the many nurses who helped rehabilitate soldiers following World War I. This filled a gap in the medical field that gave individuals who would have been unable to walk or function independently a chance to lead a fulfilling life with a maximum amount of function.”
Whereas other medical professionals focus on specific areas and functions of the body, physical therapists consider the body as a whole. PTs devote their lives toward making sure other people’s bodies function at their highest possible level. Yes, they help people after accidents and injuries, but they also help people with conditions that simply develop with age, such as urinary incontinence. In fact, “physical therapists can treat a wide variety of medical conditions, depending on their specialty. Some conditions that can benefit from this type of treatment are:
- Cardiopulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), and post-myocardial infarction (MI)
- Hand therapy conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger
- Musculoskeletal dysfunction such as back pain, rotator cuff tears, and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, vestibular dysfunction, and traumatic brain injuries
- Pediatric conditions such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy
- Sports-related injuries, such as concussion and tennis elbow
- Women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary incontinence and lymphedema
- Other cases that may benefit include burns, wound care, and diabetic ulcers.”
Invest in PT As Quickly As You Invest in Shoes and Gas
You are fortunate. You do not have to walk through life accepting every ache and pain, nor do you need to immediately jump to medication to lessen and numb those aches and pains.
Just like you don’t hesitate to buy shoes to protect your body and don’t shy away from purchasing gasoline to fuel your vehicle, don’t hesitate to invest in physical therapy. Consider physical therapists like those at Performance Physical Therapy & Wellness (Performance), who are known just as much for their superb bedside manner as they are for their exceptional ability to identify an effective course of action to tackle physical ailments and help bodies function at their best.
You only have one body, so take care of it; it’s worth your investment.