Physical therapy (or physiotherapy), often abbreviated PT, is ahealth care profession primarily concerned with the remediation ofimpairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functionalability, quality of life and movement potential through examination,evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention carried out byphysical therapists (known as physiotherapists in somecountries) and physical therapist assistants (known as physicalrehabilitation therapists in some countries). In addition to clinicalpractice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapyprofession include research, education, consultation, andadministration.Definitions and licensing requirements in the United States varyamong jurisdictions, as each state has enacted its own physicaltherapy practice act defining the profession within its jurisdiction, butthe American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has also drafted amodel definition in order to limit this variation, and the APTA is alsoresponsible for accrediting physical therapy education curriculathroughout the United States of America. In many settings, physicaltherapy services may be provided alongside, or in conjunction with,other medical or rehabilitation services.
OverviewPhysical therapy involves the interaction between physical therapist,patients/clients, other health care professionals, families, care givers, andcommunities in a process where movement potential is assessed anddiagnosed and goals are agreed upon. Physical therapy is performed by aphysical therapist (PT) or physiotherapist (physio), and sometimesservices are provided by a physical therapist assistant (PTA) acting undertheir direction. Physical therapists and occupational therapists often worktogether in conjunction to provide treatment for patients. In some cases,physical rehabilitation technicians may provide physiotherapy services. PTsare healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of allages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems orother health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilitiesto move and perform functional activities as well as they would like intheir daily lives.PTs use an individuals history and physical examination to arrive at adiagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary,incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies.Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conductionvelocity testing) may also be of assistance. PT management commonlyincludes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manualtherapy, education, manipulation and other interventions.
PTs use an individuals history and physical examination to arrive at adiagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary,incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies.Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conductionvelocity testing) may also be of assistance. PT managementcommonly includes prescription of or assistance with specificexercises, manual therapy, education, manipulation and otherinterventions.In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobilitybefore it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programsfor healthier and more active lifestyles, providing services toindividuals and populations to develop, maintain and restoremaximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan.This includes providing services in circumstances where movementand function are threatened by aging, injury, disease orenvironmental factors. Functional movement is central to what itmeans to be healthy.Physical therapy has many specialties including sports, wound care,EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic andpediatrics. PTs practice in many settings, such as outpatient clinics oroffices, health and wellness clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities,
skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes,education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and thisworkplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers andsports training facilities.Physical therapists also practice in non-patient care roles such ashealth policy, health insurance, health care administration and ashealth care executives. Physical therapists are involved in the medical-legal field serving as experts, performing peer review andindependent medical examinations.Education qualifications vary greatly by country. The span ofeducation ranges from some countries having little formal educationto others having doctoral degrees and post doctoral residencies andfellowships.Physical TherapistsThe primary physical therapy practitioner is the Physical Therapist(PT), who is trained and licensed to examine, evaluate, diagnose andtreat impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients orclients. Currently, most Physical Therapist education curricula in theUnited States culminate in a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree,but many currently practicing PTs hold a Master of Physical Therapydegree and some hold a Bachelors degree.
• The World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) recognizes there is considerable diversity in the social, economic, cultural, and political environments in which physical therapist education is conducted throughout the world. WCPT recommends physical therapist entry-level educational programs be based on university or university-level studies, of a minimum of four years, independently validated and accredited as being at a standard that accords graduates full statutory and professional recognition. WCPT acknowledges there is innovation and variation in program delivery and in entry-level qualifications, including first university degrees (Bachelors/Baccalaureate/Licensed or equivalent), Masters and Doctorate entry qualifications. What is expected is that any program should deliver a curriculum that will enable physical therapists to attain the knowledge, skills, and attributes described in these guidelines. Professional education prepares physical therapists to be autonomous practitioners, that may work in collaboration with other members of the health care team. Curricula in the United States are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). As of 2011, APTA reports that 222 out of 227 entry-level professional degree programs accredited in the United States are at the doctoral level. According to CAPTE, as of 2012 there are 25,660 students currently enrolled in 210 accredited PT programs in the United States.
The physical therapist professional curriculum includes content andlearning experiences in the clinical sciences (e.g., content about thecardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, metabolic, gastrointestinal,genitourinary, integumentary, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscularsystems and the medical and surgical conditions frequently seen byphysical therapists).Specialty areasBecause the body of knowledge of physical therapy is quite large,some PTs specialize in a specific clinical area. While there are manydifferent types of physical therapy, the American Board of PhysicalTherapy Specialties list eight specialist certifications.Cardiovascular & pulmonaryCardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation respiratory practitionersand physical therapists treat a wide variety of individuals withcardiopulmonary disorders or those who have had cardiac orpulmonary surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasingendurance and functional independence. Manual therapy is used inthis field to assist in clearing lung secretions experienced with cysticfibrosis. Disorders, including heart attacks, post coronary bypasssurgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonaryfibrosis, treatments can benefit from cardiovascular andpulmonary specialized physical therapists.[verification needed]
Cardiovascular & pulmonaryCardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation respiratory practitionersand physical therapists treat a wide variety of individuals withcardiopulmonary disorders or those who have had cardiac orpulmonary surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasingendurance and functional independence. Manual therapy is used inthis field to assist in clearing lung secretions experienced with cysticfibrosis. Disorders, including heart attacks, post coronary bypasssurgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonaryfibrosis, treatments can benefit from cardiovascular andpulmonary specialized physical therapists.[verification needed]GeriatricGeriatric physical therapy covers a wide area of issues concerningpeople as they go through normal adult aging but is usually focusedon the older adult. There are many conditions that affect many peopleas they grow older and include but are not limited to the following:arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimers disease, hip and jointreplacement, balance disorders, incontinence, etc. Geriatric physicaltherapists specialize in treating older adults.NeurologicalNeurological physical therapy is a field focused on working withindividuals who have a neurological disorder or disease.
These include Alzheimers disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease(CMT), ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonsdisease, spinal cord injury, and stroke. Common impairmentsassociated with neurologic conditions include impairments of vision,balance, ambulation, activities of daily living, movement, musclestrength and loss of functional independence. Physiotherapy canaddress many of these impairments and aid in restoring andmaintaining function, slowing disease progression, and improvingquality of life.In laymans terms, neurological massage is directed toward correctingand healing out-of-normative body systems, unlike traditionalmassages, such as Swedish massage, that are directed towardcomfort and relaxation.OrthopedicOrthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disordersand injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitationafter orthopedic surgery. This specialty of physical therapy is mostoften found in the out-patient clinical setting. Orthopedic therapistsare trained in the treatment of post-operative orthopedic procedures,fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back andneck pain, spinal conditions, and amputations.
Joint and spine mobilization/manipulation, dry needling, therapeuticexercise, neuromuscular reeducation, hot/cold packs, and electricalmuscle stimulation (e.g., cryotherapy, iontophoresis, electrotherapy)are modalities often used to expedite recovery in the orthopedicsetting.[verification needed] Additionally, an emerging adjunct to diagnosisand treatment is the use of sonography for diagnosis and to guidetreatments such as muscle retraining. Those who have suffered injuryor disease affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons willbenefit from assessment by a physical therapist specialized inorthopedics.PediatricPediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problemsand uses a wide variety of modalities to treat disorders in the pediatricpopulation. These therapists are specialized in the diagnosis,treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents witha variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, oracquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus on improving gross andfine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance aswell as cognitive and sensory processing/integration. Children withdevelopmental delays, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or torticollis maybe treated by pediatric physical therapists.[verification needed]
Sports Physical therapists can be involved in the care of athletes from recreational to professional and Olympians. This area of practice includes athletic injury management, including acute care, treatment and rehabilitation, prevention, and education. Physical therapists are also active in sports medicine programs. Physical therapists who work for professional sport teams often have this specialized certification. Womens health Womens health physical therapy addresses womens issues related to child birth, and post-partum. These conditions include lymphedema, osteoporosis, pelvic pain, prenatal and post partum periods, and urinary incontinence. POSTED BY ATTORNEY RENE G. GARCIA: For more information:- Some of our clients have suffered injuries that require Physical Therapy treatment due to a serious accident. The Garcia Law ease call us at 1-866- SCAFFOLD or 212-725-1313.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_therapy