Before talking about who can benefit from physical therapy, it might be helpful to answer the question, "Who are physical therapist and what do they do?"
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists are considered to be neuro-musculoskeletal specialists. They are specialists for those who are struggling with nerve issues, muscular or soft tissue issues, bone issues, and joint issues.
Any of these issues can lead to a movement dysfunction which will eventually lead to pain. Physical therapists can examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability--in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physical therapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems make it hard to move around for everyday tasks. The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities easier. For example, it may help with walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed. Physical therapy can help with recovery after some surgeries. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy for injuries or long-term health problems such as arthritis.
Who Can Benefit?
Physical therapists see patients with variety of conditions. The first type would be those with an acute injury or traumatic injury. It could be from a fall or a particular injury. The second type would be the person who is experiencing chronic pain, where they have been experiencing pain for a long time.
The third might be the weekend warrior who has been injured through overuse or too intense use after not conditioning to a proper level. Lastly, the patient might be an athlete that needs to perform at a higher level. From young to old, from head to foot, from neurological to orthopedic conditions, we are able to evaluate and treat all these conditions.
Am I a Candidate?
If you have a problem with three particular aspects, a complimentary pain assessment is for you. The first is loss of range of motion. This means any part of your body that does not move the way it ought to is a problem or may eventually lead to a problem. The second is pain. You might have pain from an injury or pain you might have been dealing with a long time. The third is if you can't do a functional activity you were able to do before. Your physical therapist will perform a screening and talk to you about your symptoms and your daily activities. After explaining what might be happening to produce your symptoms, he or she will advise you on what the best next steps might be.