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  1. What is a Physical Therapist?
  2. How do I obtain the services of a physical therapist?
  3. What kinds of services and treatments can I expect?
  4. Where do physical therapy professionals practice?

What is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists (PTs) are a licensed health professional that evaluate a patientís condition and then plans and administers treatments to promote optimal health. They provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health. Their patients include accident victims, orthopedic conditions, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and individuals with disabling conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and neurological insults.

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How do I obtain the services of a physical therapist?

Physical therapists practice with referrals from dentists, nurse practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, and podiatrists. Although physical therapists may perform an evaluation without a referral, generally you must have a referral from one of these health care providers before you can receive treatment from a physical therapist.  Once you have a referral, the physical therapist will evaluate your condition, discuss the evaluation with you, and implement a personalized treatment plan and therapy goal.

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What kinds of services and treatments can I expect?

Physical therapists take your health history, observe your posture and movement, and use their hands to feel and evaluate problem areas. Treatments include the following:

  • Therapeutic use of hands
  • Exercise and conditioning
  • Application of therapeutic techniques such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Training in daily living activities
  • Patient education

 

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Where do physical therapy professionals practice?

Physical therapists practice in a wide variety of settings, including the following:
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private Practices
  • Home Care
  • Schools
  • Industry
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