What is Physical Therapy?
In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, we have decided to start our blog series with a celebration of the profession of physical therapy and how it can help you reach your health and wellness goals. Physical Therapy made its debut during WW1 as a way to provide injured soldiers rehabilitation in an effort to restore function and quality of life. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “a physical therapist is a movement expert who improves quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education”. A physical therapist in our current society must complete an undergraduate college degree related to the field of physical therapy, complete a doctoral graduate program in the field of physical therapy, and pass a board exam to complete licensure in the state of which they choose to practice. Therefore, a physical therapist will likely complete 7 years of education after high school to receive a clinical doctorate in this field. This rigorous academic journey trains physical therapists to utilize their skills to treat across all generations any movement restrictions related to injury, disease, or disabilities, as well as work with clients to optimize health and prevent future issues.
Licensed physical therapists will normally start with a full musculoskeletal evaluation of the involved areas of concern with a complete screen to rule out any other conditions that may require referral to a doctor. From this initial evaluation, a plan of care is developed to restore healthy movement, reduce/manage pain, improve functional independence, prevent disability, and optimize recreational/sports performance. Prescribed therapeutic exercise may be recommended to restore alignment, flexibility, joint mobility, strength, coordination and balance. Manual therapy may be provided to reduce pain, release muscular restrictions, promote healing, and restore normal joint mobility as well as alignment. Other supportive treatments may be administered to alleviate pain and promote healing including but not limited to therapeutic ultrasound and taping techniques. Client education is one of the most important aspects of physical therapy care. The education provided is to enhance self-awareness, improve coordination, provide self-care strategies, promote proper work station set up, ensure proper body mechanics, discover optimal shoe support, improve gait mechanics for walking, improve sports performance, and develop an appreciation of how nutrition, sleep, and stress affect our healing.
There are many benefits to starting with physical therapy when you are struggling with movement, pain, and restriction including but not limited to conservative healing of injury, reduced pain without need of pain medication, recovery without need of surgical intervention, improved movement and function, fall prevention and better balance, better management of chronic diseases, improved overall health and wellness, reduced overall health care costs, and optimized quality of life. You will find physical therapists in a variety of settings including school corporations, outpatient physical therapy clinics, inpatient hospital settings, home healthcare, and skilled nursing homes. There are also specialties among physical therapists including sports medicine, orthopedics, neurological, geriatric, pelvic floor physical therapy, pediatric physical therapy, and more.
At Flourish Columbus, we offer physical therapy for any acute injury, chronic pain, sports related injury, pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy support, labor prep and delivery education, and postpartum healing. We have fused our skillsets to provide services including pelvic floor physical therapy, orthopedic physical therapy, and sport medicine. We offer free 30-minute consults to listen to your concerns and goals as well as educate on how physical therapy may help you. We then allow you to make the choice to follow through with a 75-minute one on one physical therapy evaluation discovering your personal needs and plan of care. We pride ourselves on ensuring that your physical therapy care is a one-on-one experience focused solely on your goals, physical therapy needs, schedule, and lifestyle.
Flourish Columbus exists to empower women and men of all ages to reach their health and wellness goals through a holistic and personalized physical therapy and wellness experience.
Cheers to all of the physical therapists out there working hard to improve the health and wellness of the people living in their communities! If you are interested in learning more about how physical therapy may be able to help you, reach out to us to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.
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Kelly Weisner PT, DPT and Aubrey Jackson-Conner PT, DPT