Physical therapy deals with an immense range of different conditions, injuries, illnesses and more. It’s also a field which is active both in intensive rehabilitation, long term or semi-permanent treatment and therapy, and also preventative care and wellness. What this means for the physical therapy assistant is that there is a very broad range of different conditions which they may be involved in treating.
A lot of what the PTA sees will largely depend on where he or she is working, whether it’s in the hospital, a private clinic, or any number of other settings. Below, you’ll find an overview of the types of conditions that physical therapy assistants help to treat and provide care for.
One of the most important types of conditions that a PTA will be involved with treating is a major, traumatic injury. Individuals who suffer severe injury from an accident such as a car crash or another accident will be in acute rehabilitation care in a hospital, and PTAs will be heavily involved with that treatment. Other types of major conditions will be those in the hospital recovering from major, comprehensive surgical procedures, or those recovering from a severe health episode, such as a heart attack, stroke or traumatic brain injury of another kind.
Other subfield of sorts for physical therapy is the world of sports and sports-related injuries. Here, physical therapy assistants will be involved in helping patients either alleviate pain or recover from an injury or a surgical procedure. It could be a knee replacement or a knee injury, broken bones or dislocations of various kinds, and really all types of sports injuries.
In the private clinical setting, a general purpose physical therapy office may welcome individuals with a huge scope of different conditions or problems. PTAs may be involved in treating everything from headaches to carpal tunnel syndrome. Individuals with arthritis, general back pain and more all seek physical therapy.
As individuals age, treatment for conditions such as osteoporosis also becomes important, as well as various other age-related conditions which impair or limit mobility and physical comfort. Other conditions in this sect may be incontinence, partial paralysis or severely limited functionality following strokes or even comas, and more. Individuals recovering from extended periods of inactivity for any reason may simply need strength training to boost muscle mass and basic functionality to get them back towards a normal everyday life.
Physical therapy assistants will also work with children and a younger demographic which may be dealing with developmental issues and delays, birth defects of various kinds which have made a physical impact, and more.
The truth is that if you can name a condition or circumstance where physical pain is involved, where mobility is reduced by any measure, where recovery is needed and on down the line, physical therapy assistants can end up treating that patient with that condition. There are many different groups or types of conditions, and what an individual PTA sees in his or her career will of course largely depend on where she works.