Physical Therapy Definition
Physical therapy helps patients suffering from disease or injuries improve mobility; relieve pain; increase strength, coordination, and balance; and decrease or prevent deformity. Physical therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs. In addition to "hands-on" care, which consists of joint and soft tissue mobilization and spinal manipulations, physical therapists also educate patients in proper posture and body mechanics and design home exercise programs for patients to address their specific impairments. Many physical exercises are used in conjunction with therapeutic modalities such as heat, cold, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, whirlpool and traction.
MOST COMMONLY SEEN CONDITIONS BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST
- Neck and Back: Herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, sciatica, radiculopathies and bone spurs.
- Shoulder: Rotator tendinitis/tears, bursitis, dislocations, labral tears, impingement, AC joint separations, scapular instabilities, thoracic outlet syndrome, and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).
- Elbow: Medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow), lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), and cubital tunnel.
- Wrist and Hand: See Hand/Wrist Upper Extremity.
- Hip: Total hip replacements, bursitis, labral tears and SI joint dysfunctions.
- Knee: Meniscal tears, ACL tears, ligament sprains/strains, bursitis, chondromalacia patella (patellofemoral pain) and patellar tendinitis.
- Ankle/Foot: Ligament tears, flat feet (over pronation), plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and ankle instability.
- Other: Degenerative Joint Disease (Arthritis), fracture, dislocation, sprain and strain, post-stroke rehabilitation, balance deficiency, fitness and wellness training, and sports injuries rehabilitation.
Methods of Treatment
- Connective Tissue Massage
- Cranial Sacral Therapy
- Joint Mobilization
- Manual Traction
- Myofascial Release (MFR)
- Neuromuscular Re-education
- Postural Correction
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Therapeutic Exercise
- Electrical Stimulation
- Functional Electrical Stimulation
- Infrared Laser
- Mechanical Traction