Physical therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses mainly on the restoration of physical function, enhances mobility, prevention of physical restrictions, and relieves pain. Physical therapists treat and help patients who had stroke or cerebrovascular accident, vehicular accident, sports injuries, fractures, low back pains, muscle spasms, arthritis, paralysis, and cerebral palsy. They assess the condition of the patient and formulate the most suitable care plan for the patient.
Physical therapists usually provide their services with the use of electrical stimulation, exercise programs, application of hot and cold compress, massage therapy, and the use of other therapeutic machines and equipment. They also teach patients on proper usage of wheelchair, crutches, walkers, and other devices needed for mobility. Furthermore, they help a patient during active and passive exercises and activities.
They are commonly found in hospital setting, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facility, clinics, and home care facility. Patients who cannot go to rehabilitation center or hospital can be visited by a physical therapist. At home, they teach their patients proper ways of exercising, lifting techniques, walking, and other activities of daily living.
Physical therapists motivate their patients to perform exercises to improve their physical performance as well as their physiological functions. They can assist and treat their patients at home. For instance, they teach their patients appropriate activities and exercises to increase blood supply and improve oxygenation. For instance, a stroke patient can be treated by a physical therapist at home by teaching him or her proper breathing techniques and activities that will improve his range of motion.
Patients may have a direct access to a physical therapist. Some patients however, prefer to be referred by their physician to a physical therapist for assessment and treatment. Physical therapists make necessary assessment, treatment and evaluation concerning the condition of the patient. They also make an evaluation report about the progress of the patient after each therapeutic approach. They also provide health teaching and instruction to family members regarding the kind of exercises and activities needed by their patients.
Being a physical therapist needs expertise, knowledge, skills, patience, and determination to perform the job well. They have direct interaction with the patient and they must know how to communicate with their patients properly. People with disorders have the tendency for mood swings or behavioral changes. With this, the therapist must be aware of the needs as well as knowing the mental, emotional, physical, cognitive, and physiological capacity of the patient.