Physical therapy is a health care specialty involved with evaluating, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to restore maximal functional independence to each individual patient. Physical therapy is provided by physical therapists, who are licensed health care professionals. Physical therapists evaluate, diagnose, and manage the physical therapy treatment plan, customizing it to each individual’s needs. Physical therapy is ordered by a physician when it is felt that such a course of treatment would be beneficial. It is offered to a wide variety of patient’s including newborn babies, children, adults, and geriatrics. Physical therapy is useful in treating many different medical disorders, such as sports and orthopedic injuries, neurological and muscular illness, as well as cardiopulmonary diseases.
Physical therapy can help a variety of conditions, including:
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.
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