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Physical Therapist

What is a physical therapist?

A physical therapist is a healthcare professional who helps injured or ill patients improve their movement and manage their pain.

Through physical therapy, patients follow a treatment plan that reduces or manages pain, improves their ability to move, prevents disability, and restores function.

The treatment plan can involve:
-    teaching patients how to correctly complete therapeutic exercises
-    assisting patients with equipment use (e.g., walkers or wheelchairs)
-    providing massage or manual stimulation

When meeting with a physical therapist, patients will work through a set of tasks and exercises that stretch or strengthen muscles with the goal of addressing problem areas, reducing pain, and increasing mobility.

Why is physical therapy important in healthcare?

Physical therapy plays an essential role in healthcare because it helps patients recover or manage their conditions in a way that improves their quality of life.

Additionally, physical therapy can be part of a patient’s preventive care, curative treatment, or rehabilitation, and it can evolve with the patient based on their progress. For example, physical therapy before joint replacement can help manage pain, whereas physical therapy after joint replacement will have a greater focus on maintaining mobility and strengthening muscles.

Because of physical therapy, patients are able to regain or maintain their independence, achieve their fitness goals, and lead active lifestyles, ultimately leading to a better quality of life.