An aging population and a population that gets into a lot of accidents and injuries have made physical therapy one of the more sought after careers in the country today. That’s because these professionals are the ones who plan and execute any rehabilitative program that will help anyone with a debilitating injury get back up and return to normal as soon as possible.
Physical therapists do a lot for the people under their care. One of the things that they do, not just in the beginning but throughout the rehabilitation process is to look at a patient’s movements by the way they walk and move all around. This way they are able to diagnose what is dysfunctional with that person’s movements so they can plan a course of action to fix the issue.
Along with listening to the patient themselves, these professionals will then set up a rehabilitation program specific to that patient. This will include what needs to be done, the various milestones along the way and the specific target that both the therapist and the patient wants to achieve within the given time frame of the rehabilitation.
Using different techniques, physical therapists will use exercises, stretching, exercise equipment as well as hands-on treatment in order to help the patient achieve the goals they have set up for themselves in collaboration with the therapist.
The diagnoses part is a very important tool for the therapists. That’s because this will basically help them create a regimen that will tackle a specific injury and person. The reason why each program is specific to a person is simple enough – that’s because no one injury is the same for everyone.
Take for example a leg injury. While you would think it would be the same for everyone it’s really not. A leg injury suffered by someone as a result of a disease or illness is different from someone who suffered it as a result of an accident. The same is true if the injured person was 70 years old versus one that was 25 years old or if the other person was an athlete compared to one that wasn’t.
Each injury is special and should be treated as such. While there may be basic exercises that will work across the board, the intensity and duration as well as the scope of each will vary depending on the injury cause and the person involved. This is something physical therapists have to know and be careful with.
That’s why they do work closely with doctors and surgeons so they know the medical history of the patient they are caring for. For example, if the patient just came from surgery the collaboration with the surgeon or doctor will help the therapists understand the nature of the injury and what was done by the surgeon or doctor in order to fix it.
In order to become a physical therapist you need to have the proper education and then licenses. A bachelor’s degree and a masters (or the recommended doctor) of Physical Therapy is mandatory. Passing the national board exam is also mandatory and along with the state level licensing requirements you can be on your way to becoming a physical therapist if you so desire.
Learn more about what physical therapy can do for you from Deborah Koval.