For the Public

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physical therapists treat people of all ages and abilities. Here are some ways a physical therapist can help you.

Maximize Your Movement

Pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of life, your ability to earn a living, and your independence. Physical therapists are movement experts who can identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems.

Participate In Your Recovery

Physical therapists work collaboratively with their patients and clients. Treatment plans are designed for each person’s individual goals, challenges, and needs.

Avoid Opioids

Opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. In some situations, dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives like physical therapy for most long-term pain.

Avoid Surgery

Before you undergo expensive or invasive surgery, try physical therapy. For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritisrotator cuff tearsspinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease, treatment by a physical therapist has been found to be as effective as surgery.

 

About Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs)

Physical therapists are movement experts who treat people of all ages and abilities, helping them improve and maintain function and quality of life.

Physical therapists create individual treatment plans to match each person’s goals, helping people improve their fitness and function, avoid surgery, reduce the use of opioids and other drugs, and partner in their own care.

What to Expect from a Physical Therapist:

Evidence-Based Treatment to Meet Your Needs

Physical therapists combine extensive education, clinical experience, and the latest research to create treatment plans tailored to a person’s specific needs and goals.

Care Across the Lifespan

Physical therapists care for people of all ages and abilities. They diagnose and treat existing health conditions, but they also provide patient education, customize plans of care, and preventative treatments that can help people avoid many health problems before they occur.

Accessibility

You can see a physical therapist almost anywhere, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, people’s homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. You do not need a physician’s referral to make an appointment with a physical therapist for an evaluation.

What to Expect From Physical Therapist Assistants:

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are educated and licensed clinicians who work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

PTAs must complete rigorous academic and clinical education associate degree programs, pass a national licensure examination, and be licensed or certified by the state(s) in which they work (the exception is Hawaii, where there is no licensure/certification for PTAs).

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