About Physical Therapy
What is the physical therapy?
Physical therapy often abbreviated “PT”, is the combination of art and science that deal with physical care and rehabilitation. The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) defines physical therapy as “providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.”1
According to WCPT, Physical therapy is focused on identifying and maximizing quality of life by providing promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation. It has multidirectional effects physically, psychologically, emotionally, and socially well being. It needs interaction between physical therapist, patients/clients, other health professionals, families, care givers, and communities to draw the optimum goals. It is performed by a physical therapist (PT), and sometimes services are provided by a physical therapy assistant (PTA) acting under their direction.1,2
Physical therapists practice in many settings, such as outpatient clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities. They also practice in non-patient care roles such as health policy, health insurance, health care administration and as health care executives. Moreover, Physical therapists are involved in the medical-legal field serving as experts, performing peer review and independent medical examinations.2,3
Some of the Conditions Treated by Physical Therapists4
How to visit a physical therapist?
Most of the states now have direct access which means that patients are able to refer themselves to a physical therapist without having a referral from health professions. Now, 46 states plus DC are providing the direct access to physical therapy. With direct access to physical therapy, the Physical Therapists take an individual's history and do physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan. In some cases, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies. Physical therapy management includes prescription of assistive device, specific exercises, manual therapy, education and other interventions.5,6