This post is to introduce those of you who are unfamiliar with the physical therapy profession to what it is that PTs have to offer. For those of you reading who are familiar with the profession, keep reading-- maybe you’ll learn something new.
What Is A Physical Therapist?
Let me start with a brief description of what a physical therapist (PT) ACTUALLY does. Many people have the misconception that physical therapists are only used for post-surgical rehabilitation. Knee replacement, back surgery, or ACL repair? Well then here’s your script for physical therapy. While this is true, it is only a piece of the pie as to what a PT has to offer. PTs spend seven years in school studying to earn their Doctorate in Physical Therapy. We extensively study the human body, joints, muscular biomechanics, and everything else there is to know about the body and the way it moves. We are movement experts! Once school is completed, we are required to take and pass a nationally certified board exam to demonstrate entry level competence to the profession.
What Diagnoses Can a Physical Therapist Treat?
A PT can treat a wide variety of orthopedic and neurological conditions. The list below includes any injury, or diagnosis of the following:
Spine including cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), or lumbar (low back)
Arm including elbow, wrist, and hand
Hip including Sacroiliac (SI) joint
Ankle and foot
Temporomandibular (TMJ) joint
Neurological conditions such as; stroke, TBI, MS, Parkinson’s, CRPS, ALS and many more
Vertigo or BPPV
Just like other medical professionals, there are better suited and specialized physical therapists that treat different diagnoses. Do your homework and find a PT in your area who has the best knowledge and experience to treat your specific condition.
Where Can I Find A Physical Therapist Best Suited For Me?
Many people do not have a PT that they routinely visit like they would with their family physician, dentist, or optometrist. This makes it difficult for people to know where to go once they’re in need. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has a “Find A PT” search bar that makes it convenient for you to find a certified PT within your area. Once you select your zip code or search area, you’ll also be able to find what specialty that PT treats. Click on the link below to begin your search!
Matt Franklin is a licensed physical therapist who practices at Grandview Primary Care and Performance Medicine Inst. Please contact me if you have any questions or are looking to setup an appointment! Be sure to keep an eye out for future Blog posts!