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.