Patients receive physical therapy if they have a disability, disease, or injury. The reason people get physical therapy treatment is often to help them with a disability. Patients with orthopedic, neurological, vascular, or respiratory problems often receive therapy from a physical therapist. Physical therapists work at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, nursing homes, and schools. Physical therapists sometimes teach a patient.
Physical therapists test the patients to see their progress. A physical therapist may treat a patient with different treatments, such as heated water treatments or diathermy( applying electric currents in the body to produce heat in the tissue). One of a physical therapists most important jobs is to have the patient exercise. This strengthens weakened muscles and improves coordination. A patient may practice walking or moving with canes, braces, sticks, or crutches. Physical therapists may use massaging or bandaging techniques to relax muscles.
Physical therapy started in England in the late 1800's. It was then established in the U.S. shortly afterwards.
To become a physical therapist, you must complete three programs: Baccalaureate Degree Program, a certificate program, and a Masters Degree Program. Licensing or registration is a must to practice in most states and Puerto Rico.
Taylor, Eugene. Physical Therapy. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopledia 99.(December 2003).
Images of school and crutches from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?cag=1> Images free for non-profit and personal use. (October-February, 2003-2004).
Bernstein, Joanne E. and Paul Cohen. Dizzy Doctor Riddles. Niles, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company. 1989.