Physical therapists held about 198,600 jobs in 2010. Physical therapists, sometimes referred to as PTs, help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. Physical therapists work as part of a healthcare team, overseeing the work of physical therapist assistants and aides and consulting with physicians and surgeons and other specialists. Physical therapists also work at preventing loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries. Physical Therapist work in a variety of settings, require education and the job outlook for a physical therapist is very promising. Physical therapists typically work in private offices and clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. They spend much of their time on their feet, being active. Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; stroke; birth conditions, such as cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports; and other conditions. They diagnose patients’ dysfunctional movements by watching them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods. They set up a plan for their patients, outlining the patient's goals and the planned treatments. They use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain and to help them increase their ability to move. They evaluate a patient’s progress, modifying a treatment plan and trying new treatments as needed. They educate patients and their families about what to expect during recovery from injury and illness and how best to cope with what happens. Some physical therapists are self-employed, meaning that they own or are partners in owning their practice, however they...
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