A physical therapist develops a treatment plan using therapy and various other techniques, often prescribing assistive technology such as walking devices, standing frames and mobility aids. Therapists teach their patients how to use these devices along with prostheses, crutches and wheelchairs when a patient needs them. They often use exercise for immobilized patients, to help them with endurance, coordination, flexibility, range of motion, balance and strength, while encouraging their patient to use their muscles.
A physical therapist uses electrical stimulation, traction, cold compresses, ultrasound, deep tissue massage and hot packs to reduce swelling and help relieve the patient's pain. They often work with or consult other professional healthcare givers such as physicians, nurses, occupational therapists and audiologists.
Common work activites include:
Meeting with physicians and treatment teams to understand overall goals for the patient with regards to physical mobility. Consulting with patients and performing initial assessments as to the...