A physical therapist is an essential part of many rehabilitation programs. Physical therapists use exercise and mobilization to help those who have been injured. Physical therapy, also referred to as physiotherapy, helps people with the effects of repetitive movement or injury and the ways in which they can improve their condition. It uses a combination of techniques to assist those who need them.
A physical therapist’s practice is focused on helping a patient to gain full or partial independence by rehabilitating and reintegrating the body to a normal and functional state. Physical therapists use techniques such as strength training, cardiovascular training and flexibility exercises to help their patients to develop strength, increase flexibility, develop and maintain the ability to balance and coordinate the body, and regain mobility in their joints. In addition, they use massage, traction, electrotherapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser, and physical therapy rehabilitation systems to help their patients regain mobility, function, and strength.
While there are many schools that teach physical therapy, it is important to note that most physical therapy schools offer both classroom and clinical settings. A physical therapist’s classroom experience is different from that of a physical therapist who works in a clinical setting. Both of these professions use similar modalities and methods of treatment. Both are highly specialized, however. Students who work in a clinical setting are more likely to learn about biomechanics, neurology, physiology, neurology, psychology and behavioral sciences. Those who work in a classroom setting will learn about anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
Many physical therapists are licensed in a state other than where they live. For example, a physical therapist who practices in Texas can practice in Minnesota or New York. To become licensed physical therapists must complete a number of hours in a physical therapy school supervised by a board-certified physical therapist, pass state examinations and obtain a degree in physical therapy.
There are many different areas in which a physical therapist can practice physical therapy. Some physical therapy schools offer physical therapy services in hospital environments. Other physical therapy schools offer specialized services such as sports medicine, cardiothoracic surgery, geriatric and orthopedic surgery, pediatric care, and neurological rehabilitation. As a physical therapist, you will typically be required to complete a number of hours in a classroom setting and several weeks in the field to complete your coursework.
Physiotherapy is a job that takes a great amount of patience and commitment. As with any career, you will not start seeing immediate results and it can take time for your practice to pay off.