What is a physical therapist?
Physical therapists are health care providers who are trained in the examination and treatment of problems that affect an individual’s abilities to move and function day to day. These abilities are driven by four major systems in the body: musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary.
Because PTs are required to understand an array of problems that can affect movement, function and health, all PTs are college graduates. In fact, the majority of students in current physical therapy education programs graduate with a clinical doctorate (DPT) in physical therapy. Following graduation, all PTs must pass a national examination and be licensed by the state in which they practice.
Conditions commonly treated by physical therapists include but are not limited to:
- TMJ Dysfunction (jaw pain)
- Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Post-Surgical Rehabilitation
- Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Trochanteric Bursitis
Working in conjunction with licensed physical therapists are physical therapy assistants (PTAs). All PTAs must complete a 2-year college program and may only work under the direction and supervision of a licensed therapist.