A physical therapist (PT) is a healthcare professional who helps individuals to achieve optimum health through a combination of diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and preventive management. Physical therapists perform their duties in a person’s living quarters, but may also be employed in other locations. Physical therapists are divided into specialized categories depending on the area of expertise they perform. PTs who specialize in orthopedic conditions, pediatric physical therapy and neurological disorders can work in hospitals or other medical facilities, while those specializing in geriatric and cardiac care are often employed by the hospice or nursing homes. Physical therapists also provide primary care for patients in various settings, such as outpatient practices, offices, hospitals, medical facilities and home health agencies. Do you want to learn more? Visit Movement 101
Physical therapists work to improve movement, health and function of patients. They help patients overcome pain and restore mobility, rehabilitation and strength. Physical therapists use a range of treatment tools, which include exercise balls, weights, lasers, pressure equipment and therapeutic tubing to help patients overcome movement limitations and improve their health and well-being. Many physical therapists combine manual therapy, manipulation and exercise to improve symptoms and prevent future injury or disability. The majority of physical therapists work in hospitals, clinics or outpatient health care centers, but some may work in other health care settings such as colleges and gyms.
The Physical Therapy Association, an organization dedicated to the practice of physical therapy, defines the following as a physical therapist: A licensed and practicing physical therapist who provides a comprehensive range of therapeutic services for the correction of physical disabilities and the restoration of normal functioning. The physical therapist aids in the recovery of patients after invasive surgery, severe accidents or acute illness. A physical therapist must have a graduate degree in physical therapy and have experience in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of injuries, diseases and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The physical therapist career is a promising career for someone interested in improving their health and wellness.