Today, more than half of our population suffers from chronic or recurring pain of some sort; the most common being back and knee pain. Thus, there is a tremendous demand for physical therapy in this country. Physical therapists provide services that help restore and/or improve mobility, function, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities in those individuals who suffer from injury or disease. Overall, they help to restore, maintain, and promote good fitness and health by encouraging patients to utilize their muscles in order to increase flexibility and range of motion. read more »
Physical therapists (PTs) treat accident victims and individuals who have disabling conditions such as chronic back pain, arthritis, fractures, heart disease, head injuries, and cerebral palsy. They examine patients’ medical histories and test and measure patients’ range of motion, strength, balance and coordination, muscle performance, and respiration. Then they develop treatment strategies to help improve patients’ physical condition. PTs also educate patients on how to use adaptive devices such as prosthesis. In some instances, physical therapists utilize electrical stimulation, cold compresses, hot packs, and ultrasound in order to reduce swelling and relieve pain. In addition, they may also use deep-tissue massage or traction to alleviate
When treating patients, the physical therapist will document their progress, conduct periodic assessments, and modify treatments when deemed necessary. Often, PTs consult with other professionals such as physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and dentists. Some PTs treat a wide array of ailments, while others specialize in certain areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, sports medicine, orthopedic, neurology, or cardiopulmonary disabling disease therapy. PTs typically work in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities that are furnished with special equipment, but some work as independent consultants and provide therapy in patients’ homes, long-term care facilities, and schools.
If you are interested in such a rewarding career, you can obtain certification and training online as a physical therapist aide, which will qualify you for an entry level position working with licensed therapists. Today, there are a number of colleges and universities that provide online programs where you can earn your degree in just a matter of months. Coursework generally includes biology, chemistry, physics, neuroanatomy, human growth and development, examination techniques, and therapeutic procedures. Individuals seeking to obtain licensure and their Master’s or Doctorate degrees can also benefit from accredited physical therapy programs that are offered online. Licensure requirements include individuals possessing a Master’s degree or higher from an accredited physical therapy program.