Physical therapy is a healthcare specialty concerned with diagnosing, evaluating, and treating disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. The purpose of physical therapy is to help each patient restore the maximal level of independence. Physical therapy helps you move better, relieves pain, and speeds your recovery after surgery. Physical therapy includes various treatment options such as heat, cold, ultrasound, stimulation, and hands-on techniques such as manipulation, massage, and exercise programs. Interventions in physical therapy may include therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy techniques, assistive and adaptive devices, equipment, and physical agents.
Your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan specifically for your needs. The physical therapist will first manage your pain and swelling, then will work with you to increase your flexibility, strength, coordination, endurance, and/or balance.
Physical therapy may be recommended for patients with the following conditions:
- Back and neck pain
- Spine and joint conditions
- Sports-related injuries
- Neurological conditions
Physical therapists treat patients with common, minor conditions as well as those with very severe conditions. The therapist recommends effective strategies for managing even the most complex physical complications.