Physical Therapy

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. 

  • Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
  • Restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but optimal wellness and fitness and optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
  • Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries.

Role of a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists (PTs) diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily live

Physical therapists establish diagnoses, prognoses, and plans of care, physical therapists perform evaluations, synthesizing the examination data and determining whether the problems to be addressed are within the scope of physical therapist practice. Based on their judgments about diagnoses and prognoses and based on patient/client goals, physical therapists:

provide interventions (the interactions and procedures used in managing and instructing patients/clients),
conduct re-examinations,
modify interventions as necessary to achieve anticipated goals and expected outcomes,
and develop and implement discharge plans.

PTs examine individuals and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.

Source: Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, 2nd Edition (2003)

Physical Therapy evaluation is warranted if you notice any of the conditions below:

1) Delays in gross motor development: Rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking

2) Asymmetrical body use: favors use of one leg/arm/etc. over the other

3) Abnormal or poor posture

4) Excessive clumsiness

5) Limited or excessive joint mobility

6) Floppiness or stiffness in muscle tone

7) Difficulty with balance and coordination

8) Awkward jumping or running patterns

9) Toe walking

10) Genetic disorders