What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a health profession that strives to increase movement and mobility for those with physical disabilities or recovering from illness, injury or surgery. A physical therapist assists those affected by these disabilities by performing exercises and treatments based on physical stimuli such as heat, cold or electrical currents.
Treatment methods vary between clinics, but a physical therapist typically begins by performing an evaluation to understand your body’s mechanics. They may then perform manual therapy – which involves applying hands-on pressure to treat muscles and the tissues surrounding them – for added relief.
Your therapist will then assess your strength and flexibility. This will give them insight into the condition of your muscles, where they need to work on strengthening them, whether or not you’re ready to begin exercising or returning to sports, as well as how long it may take you to resume these activities.
Your therapist can teach you how to move better and safely, which can reduce pain and prevent future injuries. They’ll also instruct on posture and how to make necessary adjustments like setting up your desk for improved ergonomics.
Physical therapists can work with infants to teach them proper walking and running mechanics, as well as adults to discover new ways of performing daily activities, according to the American Physiotherapy Association. They may help treat conditions like dizziness or balance issues, in addition to providing treatment for sports injuries.