As long as there are human bodies, there will be a need for doctors. No-one is perfect. Our posture, breathing, body mechanics, genetics, and sometimes just rotten luck can put us in conditions of pain, weakness, immobility, and decreased function.
There are many different types of doctors and many different treatment philosophies. Some write medication prescriptions, some perform surgery, others use manual techniques, and others make monumental discoveries in labs. A doctor of physical therapy is trained extensively in musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology, neuromuscular conditions, and gait patterns. Basically, PT’s are experts in human movement, and their goal is to restore that movement using the body’s natural strengthening and healing processes.
One might visit a physical therapist shortly after an acute injury, surgery, or due to chronic pain. A comprehensive PT evaluation uses multiple modes of analysis to provide a complete picture of a patient’s overall physical state. Physical therapy treatments are unique to it’s field of medicine and consist of manual techniques, therapeutic exercise prescription, cupping, taping, neuro-biologic-stimulation, and movement recommendations all based on the patient’s goals.
Because physical therapy seeks to use the rehabilitation mechanisms innate to the body, successful physical therapy outcomes depend not only on the therapist’s evaluation and plan of care, but on the patient’s commitment to the recommendations such as habit modifications and exercises at home. Just like a patient can’t expect to benefit from medicine without actually filling the prescription, one cannot truly benefit from physical therapy without adhering to the treatment schedule and prescribed movements.
Physical therapy is safe, individualized, and has no abnormal side effects other than feeling better than you may have thought possible.