What Does a Physical Therapist Do?


Quick Answer

Physical therapists, or PTs, work with patients who seek physical therapy as part of rehabilitation from an injury or as treatment for chronic physical ailments. During an initial consultation with a client, a PT reviews referral notes from a physician and discusses therapy goals, strategies and concerns with the patient.

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Full Answer

PTs may also observe patients performing various stretches and physical movements to gauge range of motion and pain felt during such activities. After evaluating the patient's current condition, the PT develops a therapy program with different exercises, stretches and therapy treatments. This plan is communicated to the patient, and a schedule is set for physical therapy sessions.

At each PT session, the therapist guides the patient through the exercise and therapy program. During the session, the therapist is able to advise the patient on how to execute different stretches and movements properly. At each session, the PT also reviews progress with the patient toward established goals. As progress is made, the therapist may suggest new exercises and goals for the patient to achieve.

Physical therapists may also collaborate with other doctors and medical care providers in delivering a holistic health and wellness program for the patient. Therapists must also stay on top of current therapy techniques.

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