Physical therapists, or PTs work with patients to mend impairments and improve limited physical functions. PTs are essential to rehabilitation, treatment and prevention. Some of their patients can be diagnosed with chronic conditions, illnesses or injuries. These types of conditions can include arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal stenosis. Not all injuries are chronic, some can be acute. Therapists that work with acute problems can range from swallowing disorders, speech and communication problems, limited strength and range of motion.
Therapists evaluate, and diagnosis patients to achieve the highest level of function. Physical therapist will examine a patient’s medical history, test and measure their strength, and their range of motion. Therapists will also look at a patient balance, coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration and motor function. A therapist will decide if a patient should work independently, or work in a group. A patients returning to a community and workplace is also decided by a PT.
A team is in place for a person or people to reach their potential. This team can be composed of a physical therapist, a physical therapist assistant, a supervisor or manager. After learning about a patient, a physical therapist will develop a treatment plan that will help a patient. The plan and will try to look for an anticipated outcome that both patient and physical therapist can work toward. Once a goal is determined treatment beings. This can start off as the smallest of tasks. From sitting up straight to neck rolling, to catching a balloon, to rolling one’s side. Patients are encouraged to use all forms of movement, and range before moving to a next task. The tasks steadily grow from small to large tasks. Larger tasks can include working weights and walking long distances. After several physical therapy sessions, a patient may still have low level pain. This pain should be manageable, and hopefully does not exist.