October is National Physical Therapy Month

What is physical therapy?

By Joseph M. Harris, PT, ATC, CEAS - President/Clinical Director - Physical Therapy Solutions, PSC

Many times in our life we may have difficulty doing our daily activities due to pain, weakness, decreased motion, fatigue, or tightness. Whether your daily activity is planting flowers, working on a factory line, sitting at a desk, cleaning your home, caring for a family member, throwing a football, playing golf, running, cooking, sewing, or any number of things we do through the day, pain or movement problems can hamper our lifestyle significantly. Sometimes these problems come from an injury such as a fall, a car accident, or a strain at work, home or the field of play. Sometimes they may come on gradually. At first we notice a slight bit of fatigue or difficulty, then it just plain hurts to do activities. Still other times, pain or movement problems may be the result of a disease process or hospitalization. No matter what the cause of your pain, weakness, or stiffness, many times physical therapy is the most appropriate and most conservative treatment for your problem and can help you get back to living, working, or playing.

Physical therapists are experts in the science and art of movement and movement dysfunction or impairment. A physical therapist is a skilled health care professional who is licensed by the Kentucky State Board of Physical Therapy. Physical therapists are experts in the examination and treatment of problems related to muscles, nerves, and joints—conditions that limit a person’s ability to move and live as they wish. Whether patients are recovering from knee surgery, experiencing neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis, or learning to walk again after a stroke, physical therapists help them regain function by improving the ability of muscles, nerves, and joints to move efficiently and effectively. Physical therapists use therapeutic exercise, education, joint mobilization, electrical stimulation, heat, cold, ultrasound, and other forms of treatment to meet the patient’s needs.

Some reasons to visit a physical therapist include low back pain; neck pain; shoulder, arm, or hand problems; knee, ankle, or foot problems; carpal tunnel syndrome; sprains and muscle strains; arthritis; cardiac rehabilitation; rehabilitation after a serious injury; work or sports related dysfunctions; chronic respiratory problems, stroke rehabilitation; problems with balance; disabilities in newborns; pre- and postnatal programs; hip fractures; incontinence; and fitness and wellness consultation and education. Ask your doctor if physical therapy is right for you. To find a physical therapist who is right for you, you can ask for recommendations from family and friends, recommendations from your doctor, check your health plan, or check your telephone listing and do your own research. Consider the qualifications and experience of the therapist you choose.

What is physical therapy?

By Joseph M. Harris, PT, ATC, CEAS

President/Clinical Director

Physical Therapy Solutions, PSC

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