The Who, What, Why, And How Of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy: two words that are thrown around frequently, but what do those words really mean? ‘PT’ is sometimes referred to as ‘pain and torture.’ You can be assured that is not the purpose of this profession.

Physical therapy, or physiotherapy, is a wonderful profession that exists for one purpose: to help people feel and move better, meet their goals, and get back to a life that they want to live. No matter if you’ve been challenged by injury, illness, or pain, we’re here to help.

There Is A PT For Every Stage Of Life

Physical therapy covers every corner of life: from birth to ‘old age,’ from little aches and pains, to major injuries. We can help children learn how to walk, help the marathoner finish with a smile on their face, help grandparents keep up with the grandkids, and help men regain their continence after surgery for prostate cancer. There are certified specialists in over 11 different areas.

Physical therapists can employ a number of interventions to help you regain your optimal function. We start with an assessment of what’s going on. It’s important to start out with an honest conversation. To best help you achieve your goals, we need to know your history, how you came to need physical therapy, and what exactly you want to get out of physical therapy. Really: we are here for you.

A Physical Therapist Will Help You Meet Your Goals

Once you’ve shared your story, we will take a look at where you are. We know how to test your flexibility, your strength, your coordination, your balance, and your general function.  We can identify areas for improvement, as well as let you know where you’re doing OK! Once we have your story, and have looked at your current ability, we will work with you to set your goals. Physical therapy is most helpful if the goals that are set are important to you.

Now that your goals are set, it’s time to get to work! We can use exercise, manual therapy, education, and other modalities to help you meet your goals. It will be lots of hard work, but Physical Therapists know lots of ways to make things more efficient and less painful. You will need to be patient with the process, and patient with yourself. Changes will happen, but it will take some work, and some time.

That being said, it’s important for you to know that you should be getting better. We’re here to help, and if you feel worse when you’re done with PT, then it’s time to have a chat with your PT. They want you to get better too! If you don’t let them know how you’re really doing, they can’t adjust what you’re working on.

In the United States, access to Physical Therapy is variable. In some states, you can go straight to a physical therapist without checking in with a doctor first. In other states, you will need a referral from your doctor in order to get physical therapy. Some insurance plans require a prescription from a doctor if physical therapy is going to be paid for by insurance, with Medicare and Medicaid the most obvious examples.

Think of physical therapist as an amazing resource: we’re trained in anatomy and physiology, we know how to screen for pathologies that would require more medical intervention, and we can tailor a program to your specific needs and desires.

If you’re not sure if PT can help you, may we suggest an evaluation? One visit with a PT and you’ll see that we’re the perfect teammate to help you get to where you want to be.