What is a Physical Therapist?

If you’ve ever been injured or suffered some other form of physical disability or discomfort, you might have been referred to a physical therapist. From the elderly, diseased, and disabled to the healthy, dedicated athlete, physical therapists’ patients include a wide and diverse segment of the population.

A physical therapist is a licensed medical professional who works with patients to help develop, maintain, or restore overall physical health. They do so by taking steps with the patient to restore mobility, reduce pain, restore bodily functions, and limit or eliminate the possibility for physical disabilities. Physical therapists work with their patients on an individual basis to evaluate the condition or situation, set goals, develop a treatment plan, and implement treatment procedures. This treatment often occurs over a prolonged number of office visits, as improvement of physical health is generally a gradual process.

Physical therapists use a variety of treatment methods to help restore their patients to optimal health. Often, they will work with the patient to prescribe various exercise, strengthening, and stretching techniques as part of the patient’s rehabilitation plan. These exercises aim to improve the strength, endurance, posture, and movement of the patient’s affected areas.

Physical therapists use a variety of unique techniques to help their patients regain optimal physical health. For example, physical therapists often use ultrasound on affected areas of the body, as ultrasound benefits the muscles by providing thermal and vibrational stimulation. Physical therapists may also use various temperature techniques to help aid in healing, or they may utilize electrical stimulation. Therapeutic massage techniques are also part of most physical therapists’ treatment plans.

In order to become a physical therapist, one must become certified and licensed, as physical therapists are medical professionals. All licensed physical therapists have graduated from a physical therapy education program with either a master’s or doctoral degree and have also passed all state licensing exams. The most well-qualified physical therapists also enroll in continuing education classes to ensure that they can deliver the best and most current pain reduction and rehabilitation techniques to their patients.

Your physical therapist’s mission is to help you rehabilitate quickly. Whether you have an illness or disease, whether you were injured, or whether you experience unexplained chronic physical problems, a physical therapist could be the answer you’re looking for. Your physical therapists’ goal is to help you regain your physical independence and comfort and teach you ways to prevent a similar physical problem from occurring in the future.

If you are in need of a physical therapist, consider Daniel Baumstark. Dan’s office is located in downtown Washington, D.C. where he serves patients from throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia, and northern Virginia. Visit Dan’s website at www.physiodc.com or call him at 202-223-8500.

Note: This article was written for PhysioDC, a physical therapy office located in Washington, D.C.