10. Physical therapists can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practices, home health agencies, schools, nursing homes, and even the Emergency Room.
9. In addition to working in different settings, there are different types of physical therapy. These may include orthopedic, acute care, post-operative care, wound care, and neurologic rehabilitation.
8. Physical therapists can treat vertigo. Positional vertigo is a dysfunction of the vestibular system in the inner ear and can be treated through various exercises taught by a physical therapist.
7. Physical therapists hold advanced graduate degrees. The scope of practice and knowledge of medicine has grown tremendously in the last few decades that most graduate programs offer an entry-level 4-year Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Physical therapists have to pass national and state board exams in order to obtain their license to treat patients.
6. In many states, you can be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without seeing your doctor first. These states have Direct Access. More states are leaning towards this practice since the profession of physical therapy is growing so rapidly with the requirement of an advanced degree. Oregon is a Direct Access state.
5. Physical therapy is successful when the patient and the therapist work together on creating a treatment plan in order to meet the patient’s goals. Treatment is usually not successful if the patient does not play an active role in the process.
4. If you tell your physical therapist that you cannot do an exercise, they will find a way to ensure that you can. There is always a specific purpose to performing an exercise and a physical therapist is a movement specialist that will help you perform exercises pain free and with proper form.
3. When a physical therapist tells you they are going to manipulate a muscle, it may not feel like the nice relaxing massage you get at the spa. Soft tissue treatment performed in therapy is to decrease tightness/tone and to improve tissue mobility of a specific muscle that may be very inflamed or the source of joint pain.
2. “No Pain, No Gain” is a myth. Most of the time, treatments and exercises should be relatively pain-free. If being treated for low back pain or an overuse injury in a tendon, you want to stay away from certain movements or positions that may aggravate the condition.
1. It is so important to do your home-exercise program! There is a reason that your physical therapist puts in the time and effort of designing a home program specifically for you. If you don’t follow their recommendation during therapy or after you are discharged, you will get to know your therapist very well because you will be seeing them again and again for the same problem.