therapists, sometimes referred to as simply PTs, are healthcare
professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns
to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related
conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and
perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily
examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to
promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent
disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of
mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented
programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who
have functional problems resulting from, for example, back and neck
injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations,
stroke, multiple sclerosis, conditions such as cerebral palsy and spina
bifida, and injuries related to work and sports. Physical therapy care and
services are provided by physical therapists and physical therapist
assistants who work under the direction and supervision of a physical
therapist. Physical therapists evaluate and diagnose movement dysfunction
and use interventions to treat patient/clients. Interventions may include
therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy techniques,
assistive and adaptive devices and equipment, and physical agents and
Physical therapists often consult and practice with a
variety of other professionals, such as physicians, dentists, nurses, educators, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists.
also may show patients how to do exercises at home
to expedite their recovery.
Some physical therapists treat a wide range of ailments;
others specialize in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics,
sports medicine, neurology, and cardiopulmonary physical therapy.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor