Physical therapy involves the evaluation and treatment of people who have limited functional mobility, or who have experienced an injury that impacts their physical functionality. Surgery and medication are not used in physical therapy. The goal of physical therapy is to help individuals develop and restore the highest level of movement and functional ability possible. 

A physical therapist is a licensed professional who uses a wide variety of techniques to help people regain strength and mobility, with a focus on decreasing pain and stiffness. Individuals will often engage in physical therapy after experiencing an injury or having surgery, or may need physical therapy to help remedy some of the common side effects of aging. 

Some of the techniques used in physical therapy are: 

  • Massage
  • Heat
  • Ice
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Ultrasound 
  • Strengthening exercises

Before determining the right course of treatment for you, a physical therapist will assess your:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Range of motion
  • Balance
  • Pain
  • Mobility 

After completing an assessment, your physical therapist will determine your diagnosis and prognosis. They will develop an individualized treatment plan for you, and will decide on the best techniques to use to help you regain strength and mobility. Your physical therapist will likely take time to educate you about your injury/mobility limitations. They will also teach you about why you are engaging in certain techniques to improve your flexibility, strength, and range of motion.

Learn more about physical therapy.