What Is Physical Therapy

What is physical therapy? If this is a question that bothers you, read this little article to find out about it. This health care specialty deals with the disorders of the muscular and skeletal systems which interfere with and impede normal movements. In this specialty, therapists diagnose, evaluate and treat the disorders of the two systems mentioned above, in order to enable each and every patient to move freely again. To reach this goal, specialists use different approaches such as massages, physical exercise, electricity, heat, cold, etc. The techniques used in treating the patients obviously differ from patient to patient, depending on the type of disorder in question. There are different approaches and techniques in physical therapy. The sensory integration approach and occupational therapy are just two of them.

What is physical therapy? It is necessary to get into more detail if you want to get a real, comprehensive picture of what physical therapy is. The main interest of physical therapy is represented by gross motor skills, that is walking, climbing stairs, kicking, and jumping. It is so because these are the basic movements which, when impeded, affect daily routine. Gross motor movements are those which involve a large number of muscle groups and they are normally broader and more energetic than fine motor movements. In the case of children, when a therapist assesses the child s/he may look at the following: the flexibility and strength of the child, the way the child runs and walks. Then the therapist will be able to spot potential and existing problems. S/he may need to discuss with other medical, psychiatric and school personnel about an individualized education plan, and then will provide appropriate instructions for exercising at home. It is obviously the therapist who will decide when it is OK to return to sports.

What is physical therapy? If you want to put it in a different way, you can say physical therapy is “the science of healing and the art of caring” because within this specialty you are helped to move and function again and at the same time you have the advantage of maintaining your health and general fitness. In many situations, patients are sent to the physical therapist instead of surgeon, as the former is able through various techniques to manage a wide variety of conditions, in a non-invasive way. Physical therapy can make a difference for people suffering from orthopedic conditions such as osteoporosis or back pain, soft tissue and joint injuries, fractures, dislocations, connective tissue injuries cardiopulmonary and circulatory conditions, workplace injuries, stress disorders and injuries produced during sports activities are just some of the situations in which physical therapy has a say.

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