What does a physical therapist do?

Now that we’ve discussed the differences and similarities between PT and OT, let’s break down what a physical therapist does in more detail.

What are the goals of physical therapy?

The overall goals of PT focus on:

  • improving or restoring movement, strength, and range of motion
  • decreasing pain
  • preventing your condition from getting worse
  • educating you on ways to maintain your overall fitness and functionality

When is physical therapy needed?

PT is often recommended when a condition affects your movement or range of motion. PT can be used for:

What type of therapy can you expect?

The type of therapy you’ll receive will be tailored to your specific needs. The physical therapist will carefully review your medical history and current health condition to develop a plan and goals for your therapy.

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques, including:

  • targeted exercises
  • stretching
  • hands-on manipulation
  • application of hot and cold
  • massage
Where can you receive physical therapy?

Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including but not limited to:

  • outpatient clinics or offices
  • inpatient facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes
  • home health agencies
  • schools
  • fitness centers



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