Let’s Get Physical: What Exactly Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

There are around 47,000 people who work as physical therapists in the United States. But what do therapists do?

Are you curious about how a physical therapist might be beneficial to you?

Let’s go through everything you need to know about physical therapists.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

A physical therapist examines your ability to move, and evaluates ways you can improve your movement. A physical therapist may ask you to sit, stretch, walk, run, and perform other movements in order to see if you may be causing problems by doing these actions incorrectly. A physical therapist may also use different equipment for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

Physical therapy can be preventative, to prevent future problems, or it can be used to help stop symptoms of problems you’re already having. Your primary care physician may refer you to a physical therapy, or you may need to seek out a physical therapist on your own.

Another word for a physical therapist is a physiotherapist. However, an occupational therapist does not do the same things as a physical therapist, and has a completely different sphere of expertise.

There are also specific types of physical therapists that work in different specialties. These include neurological physical therapists, geriatric physical therapists, pediatric physical therapists, orthopedic physical therapy, pelvic floor rehabilitation therapists, and many others.

With all that physical therapists do, you’re probably wondering, “Are physical therapists doctors?” They are, although they’re not physicians. 

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How Can a Physical Therapist Benefit You?

There are lots of different ways that physical therapy can be beneficial. If you suffer from chronic pain, a physical therapist may be able to help alleviate the issue. This is true whether your pain is from sitting at a desk all day or if it’s due to you suffering from a chronic health condition.

People who suffer from sports injuries or who have physically injured themselves in other ways can also really benefit from physical therapy. It can help speed up the rehabilitation timeline and get them back to being active much more quickly. This is also true for people who were in larger accidents, such as car accidents.

People who are getting older can really benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapy can help them adjust to illnesses that result from the aging process. It can also help improve your balance, which is extremely important to older people who may be more prone to falls which could cause injury. The same is true for children!

And, physical therapists can be a great resource for people with disabilities. They can help people with disabilities reduce some of their symptoms and help them come up with ways to prevent injury in their everyday lives.

Book a Physical Therapist Appointment Today

Clearly, there are lots of ways a physical therapist can help you improve your health and your quality of life generally.

If you’re looking for more health and wellness tips, you won’t have to search much longer. Go through some of our other posts for all the help you need.

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