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October is National Physical Therapy Month, an annual opportunity to recognize and appreciate the efforts of physical therapists in restoring motion and mobility to the lives of their patients. Physical therapists come from a variety of specialties and backgrounds, but their main focus is teaching patients to prevent and manage their movement dysfunction through a variety of treatment techniques. In general, physical therapists plan and implement wellness and fitness regimes that emphasize physical body movement in order to improve functional limitations caused by injuries, medical procedures, or pre-existing conditions. Physical therapy is sometimes provided as primary care or in conjunction with other medical services.
In order to become a physical therapist, individuals must complete extensive education requirements in addition to state licensure. Because of their important role in pain management and wellness, today’s physical therapists are also required to have a master’s degree from an accredited university program before taking the national exam and completing state requirements. As a result, physical therapy is one of the most specialized career paths with a highly educated workforce. Many physical therapists go on to practice in hospitals, however, more than 80% perform their work in places such as schools, private homes, and even workplace environments.
With their wealth of knowledge and continued education, physical therapists help patients achieve long-term health benefits and improved quality of life through examination, diagnosis, and physical intervention. One essential use for physical therapy, for example, is is postoperative recovery. The techniques and movements used in physical therapy help minimize scar tissue and retrain the muscles. Physical therapists are also familiar with the different stages of healing, so they can adjust the treatment program to fit the unique needs of the patient. Working with a physical therapist also encourages individuals to take a more active role in their health and recovery.
Despite its emphasis on body movement and recovery, physical therapy has a number of other applications as well. In fact, the profession uses a multidimensional approach to health and healing that sometimes incorporates eastern and alternative medicine techniques such as cupping and scraping. Physical therapists can also incorporate soft tissue therapy, which relieves tight muscles and nerve pressure points through a mix of osteopathic techniques. Overall physical therapy is an essential healthcare practice that helps individuals recover from pain, improve their health, and enhance their mobility. If you have any questions about physical therapy, please reach out to your doctor or a local PT.
Overall, the key to success is to be mindful and in the moment. Be Active Be Well
DISCLAIMER: This article contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed regarding exercise and health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.