There are around 233,000 licensed physical therapists in the United States. If you’ve never been to see one, though, you might still be wondering what exactly they do. Or, more specifically, what they could do for you.
A physical therapist can help with a number of different conditions, so read on to learn if it might be time for you to seek out a licensed physical therapist.
Types of Physical Therapy
Often, physical therapists choose to specialize in a certain area of expertise when they do their training. This means there are many different types of physical therapy. These can include orthopedic, geriatric, vestibular, or even neurological physical therapy. They all focus on different treatment protocols.
If you’re looking for physical therapy for seniors, for example, you might find a geriatric physical therapist. They can help older adults with conditions that affect their mobility or function. Someone with arthritis, osteoporosis, or a balance disorder might benefit from a geriatric physical therapist.
What Can Licensed Physical Therapists Do?
In their day-to-day jobs, licensed physical therapists can perform a variety of different roles. If this is your first appointment, they may start with a physical exam in order to better understand your condition.
If they determine that you would benefit from further physical therapy, they might develop a treatment plan. This could include exercise regimens or stretching. They would be designed to improve movement and range of motion.
Physical therapists can be particularly helpful in designing an individual care plan for your situation.
Common Conditions Treated by Physical Therapy
Just as there are many different types of physical therapy, it can be a helpful addition to treatments for a number of different conditions.
Whether you’re dealing with an acute injury or more of a chronic condition, physical therapy might be a good solution for you.
If you’ve recently suffered a sports injury, such as a concussion or another condition related to physical stress, physical therapy can aid recovery. Or, if you’ve been experiencing back pain or other joint or muscle issues, physical therapy can help you regain mobility and function.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
Since you might begin physical therapy for a variety of different reasons, your benefits might vary as well. They could include:
- Pain management
- Reducing the need for surgery
- Improved mobility and movement
- Optimized injury recovery
- Improved balance
In addition to more general benefits, physical therapy can also help in specific cases such as recovering from a stroke or from another condition that caused paralysis.
Find the Best Physical Therapist for You
Licensed physical therapists can help with a number of different conditions. If you think you might benefit, it’s important to consider your insurance plan, the physical therapist’s specialty, as well as what’s available in your geographic location.
Since physical therapy can be helpful in so many situations, there’s no time to waste. Start looking for your licensed physical therapist today.
If you found this post helpful, make sure to check out some of our other lifestyle articles!