A physical therapist is charges with helping you to feel better when you are having difficulties functioning in a normal capacity. Physical therapy is often ordered after treatments or surgeries from injuries or other medical conditions. The physical therapist works with patients to strengthen various parts of the body and to help manage pain and swelling from injuries or medical problems. It is often continued therapy that is required to promote proper healing.
When you make your first appointment to the physical therapist, you will need to bring your relevant medical records, your physician’s order for PT treatment, and any other health-related information that will allow the therapist to go over your complete medical history. The therapist will perform an evaluation physically and discuss with you your functioning capabilities. Typically they will discuss and measure your strength, balance, range of motion, posture, and flexibility abilities in your legs, arms, and overall body. They will be able to plan a course of treatment based on their findings and the information you provide.
Likely the treatment will begin on the initial visit with an overview of exercises and motions the patient should perform as part of their therapy. The goal initially will be to relieve pain and any swelling that is being experienced. Eventually, their treatment plan will include progressive steps to increase strength and range of motion to improve your health. Depending on the nature of the injury or condition, special attention will be given to getting the patient to return to their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities.
The physical therapist will also be able to recommend special equipment such as footwear, crutches, braces, and the like that can be implemented to improve your functioning ability. Their office will also contain much of the equipment necessary for you to complete your exercises like stationary bikes, treadmills, weights, and other exercise-related machines necessary to aid therapy. Many offices also offer spa therapies, massages, and other therapeutic services.
Physical therapy treatments can last from a few days to several months depending on the recommendations of the therapist and your physician. There will be communication between your treating physician and the therapist as to the best course of treatment for your continued improvement.