Physical therapy or physical rehabilitation is the attempted repair of a physical or medically abnormal condition, typically after a medical diagnosis has been made. Physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists work together to diagnose, plan and implement rehabilitation. In some cases they will work in tandem with other health care providers, but many physical therapy specialists work by themselves. Usually physical therapists will have extensive training in their specific field and years of experience doing physical rehabilitation or physical therapy. Physical therapy specialists can be found in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, colleges and private practices.
Most physical therapy specialists will have a long standing experience in their particular field. They may also have experience working with people who are unable to perform normal activities. The number of years of experience required to become an effective physical therapist varies from state to state. Most physical therapy specialists will seek additional education to further their practice.
Most physical therapy specialists work one on one with patients suffering from injuries, illnesses, or disabilities that prevent them from performing typical tasks. Physical therapists will work with patients on a one-on-one basis, sometimes working closely with them in an operating room. Some physical therapists will perform diagnostic tests and help patients make daily life modifications such as eating meals, using the bathroom, getting up from a seated position and standing. Other physical therapy specialists will perform specialized exercises for a specific patient. Some specialize in treating athletes. Physical therapists are licensed and trained to do everything from helping patients with spinal cord injuries to helping patients suffering from neuromuscular disorders and neuromuscular conditions like Multiple Sclerosis.
In most states physical therapists are required to obtain a license and meet specific education and training requirements. To receive certification as a physical therapist must meet state-specific standards. It is possible for a physical therapist to take education classes online to become a certified physical therapist. Many physical therapists choose an advanced practice of medicine, like anesthesiology, in order to become better educated about their profession.
Advanced practice of medicine includes an entire field of study that involves the application of science and technology to help patients who suffer from debilitating physical conditions. This field of medicine includes sports medicine, pediatric, adult and geriatric. There are many other advanced practice options that include sports orthopedics, neurological surgery, pediatrics, occupational therapy, women’s health, men’s health and physical therapy. These specialty areas require different educational and training standards.
Physical therapy is an essential part of the medical community. If you or someone you love has a physical limitation, it is best to consult with a licensed and qualified physical therapist. To find a physical therapist, search “physical therapy” or “physical therapy specialties” on Google. There are also numerous specialty societies that provide information and resources regarding physical therapy.