Physical therapy is used to improve a patient's physical functions through physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, physical intervention, rehabilitation and patient education. It is practiced by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in many countries). In addition to clinical practice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapy profession include research, education, consultation and administration. Physical therapy is provided as a primary care treatment or alongside, or in conjunction with, other medical services.
Physical therapists also practice in the non-patient care roles such as health policy, health insurance, health care administration and as health care executives. Since the profession's inception, spinal manipulative therapy has been a component of the physical therapist practice. Modern physical therapy was established towards the end of the 19th century due to events that had an effect on a global scale, which called for rapid advances in physical therapy. During the First World War, women were recruited to work with and restore physical function to injured soldiers, and the field of physical therapy was institutionalized. In 1918 the term "Reconstruction Aide" was used to refer to individuals practicing physical therapy. The first school of physical therapy was established at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., following the outbreak of World War I. Research catalyzed the physical therapy movement. The first physical therapy research was published in the United States in March 1921 in "The PT Review.In 1924, the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation promoted the field by touting physical therapy as a treatment for polio. Specialization for physical therapy in the U.S. occurred in 1974, with the Orthopaedic Section of the APTA being formed for those physical therapists specializing in orthopaedics. Most U.S. states have physical therapy practice acts that recognize both physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) and some jurisdictions also recognize physical therapy technicians (PT Techs) or aides. Following admission, physical therapy students work on a bachelor of science with a major in physical therapy and rehabilitation. In the province of Quebec, physical rehabilitation therapists are health care professionals who are required to complete a three-year college diploma program in physical rehabilitation therapy and be member of the Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec (OPPQ) in order to practise legally in the country. Current training is specifically aimed to enable physical therapists to appropriately recognize and refer non-musculoskeletal diagnoses that may presently similarly to those caused by systems not appropriate for physical therapy intervention, which has resulted in direct access to physical therapists in many states. Physical therapist assistants may deliver treatment and physical interventions for patients and clients under a care plan established by and under the supervision of a physical therapist. Curricula for the physical therapist assistant associate degree include:
Anatomy & physiology Some jurisdictions allow physical therapists to employ technicians or aides or therapy assistants to perform designated routine tasks related to physical therapy under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. Some jurisdictions require physical therapy technicians or aides to be certified, and education and certification requirements vary among jurisdictions.
A study from 2013 states that 56.4% of physical therapists were globally satisfied with their jobs. Emotional exhaustion is significantly higher among physical therapists working with adults and employed in hospitals. To meet their needs, many healthcare and physical therapy facilities hire "travel physical therapists", who work temporary assignments between 8 and 26 weeks for much higher wages; about $113,500 a year. The body of knowledge of physical therapy is large, and therefore physical therapists may specialize in a specific clinical area. Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation respiratory practitioners and physical therapists offer therapy for a wide variety of cardiopulmonary disorders or pre and post cardiac or pulmonary surgery. This specialty area includes electrotherapy/physical agents, electrophysiological evaluation (EMG/NCV), physical agents, and wound management.
Geriatric physical therapists specialize in providing therapy for such conditions in older adults.
Integumentary physical therapy includes the treatment of conditions involving the skin and all its related organs. Neurological physical therapy is a field focused on working with individuals who have a neurological disorder or disease. The techniques involve in neurological physical therapy are wide-ranging and often require specialized training. Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery. This speciality of physical therapy is most often found in the out-patient clinical setting. Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problems and uses a variety of modalities to provide physical therapy for disorders in the pediatric population. treatment Physical therapists who work for professional sport teams often have a specialized sports certification issued through their national registering organisation. Manual physical therapy has been demonstrated in multiple studies to increase rates of conception in women with infertility.
Outcomes includes: ability to perform activities of daily living, manage pain, complete specific physical function tasks, depression, global assessment of physical health, treatment adherence, and treatment satisfaction. Physical therapists need to be able to effectively communicate with their patients on a variety of levels. Furthermore, patients value when physical therapists possess excellent technical skills that improve the patient effectively. Telehealth (or telerehabilitation) is a developing form of physical therapy in response to the increasing demand for physical therapy treatment.
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