Physical therapy is a health care service that is used to restore and maintain optimal health and quality of life. Whether addressing limitations caused by an injury, chronic condition, or lifestyle choices, the goal in physical therapy is to restore and improve function, activity, and movement. This is achieved by addressing the neuromuscular impairments that are identified during a comprehensive physical therapy evaluation and creating a plan to assist the patient in meeting the goals set by the therapist-patient team.
Doctors of physical therapy practice a drug-free, patient-centered approach that includes a patient evaluation, diagnosis, and hands-on treatment. A multitude of treatment techniques may be utilized including manual therapy to restore joint and tissue mobility, therapeutic exercises to improve strength and flexibility, and movement assessments for education and correction of suboptimal movement patterns.
Physical therapists work in conjunction with other members of the healthcare team to provide high level care in planning treatment programs for a wide variety of problems including cervical and low back pain, post-operative conditions, upper and lower extremity injuries, headaches, overuse syndromes, and musculoskeletal-related pregnancy and postpartum issues.
Most musculoskeletal conditions are appropriate for physical therapy treatment, but in cases where further investigation is required, patients will be assisted in connecting with appropriate health care providers to determine the best course of treatment for their condition.