Physical Therapy (PT) is the conservative rehabilitation and management of physical dysfunction and injury through the use of therapeutic exercises and physicaltreatments. The primary goals of physical therapy is to provide patient education, pain relief, facilitate healing, restore normal functional movement due to an injury or illness, and prevent injuries. People who can benefit from physical therapy are those who suffer from overuse injuries, patients with arthritis, pre and post surgical patients, patients with poor alignment, patients that have been involved in an accident, and patients who have nerve involvement such as Neuromas, neuritis and neuropathy, etc.
Sometimes patients make comments that they do not need physical therapy because they already know how to manage their injury because a neighbor or a friend who had a similar problem told them what exercises to do. Or maybe they did some research on the internet about their illness. What patients do not know is that each person is different and what has worked on others does not necessarily mean it would work for them. Patients are different in many ways such as the state of disease process (acute vs. chronic), body type, conditioning, age and etc. A Licensed Physical Therapist is specifically trained and educated to recognize these differences through proper evaluation and implementation of an individualized treatment program tailored according to the patient needs. A physical therapist is highly skilled in the evaluation of treatment of orthopedic pathologies resulting from accidents, occupational or sports injuries, activities of daily living and post-operative complications. Treatment can consist but not be limited to joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, therapeutic exercises, neuromuscular education, gait training, heat/cold application, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, strapping or tapping and hydrotherapy. A physical therapist also closely monitors the patient for progress, correct poor alignment, and technique during exercise, and constantly educates the patient about the disease process and how to prevent future recurrences. Adjustments or modifications are made if the patient is not responding well to treatment.