Physical therapy is used to prevent physical disabilities, and also for the evaluation and rehabilitation of people who have pain, disease or injury.
Physical therapists (or physical therapist assistants) treat and prevent disability, relieve pain and help individuals return to normal, functional activities. In the hospital, physical therapists work with patients who have fractures, joint replacements, back and neck injuries, burns, amputations, arthritis, neurological problems such as stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease or acute and chronic illnesses.
Your physical therapist may:
- Evaluate your strength, joint flexibility, body movement, balance, sensation, coordination and functional mobility
- Identify impairments that make movement and function difficult for you
- Design an individualized treatment plan to help you reach your goals
Treatment may include:
- Endurance activities
- Functional training in areas such as walking, standing up, getting in and out of bed, moving from one surface to another, wheelchair use and going up and down curbs and stairs
- Balance re-training
- Neuromuscular re-training
- Use of therapeutic modalities such as electrical stimulation or ultrasound to decrease pain and increase performance
- Home exercise programs
- Safety education
- Family and caregiver education and training
- Wound care