All About Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be an important part of the recovery process after an injury. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy if they feel you can improve. 

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a form of healthcare. The goal of physical therapy is to improve a patient's ability to move and function without pain. 

Physical therapy provides treatment through the following methods:

  • Guided exercises
  • Guided stretches
  • Massages
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Education

Who Provides Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy services will be provided by a trained and licensed physical therapist. Your physical therapist will be educated and experienced in the practice of improving your health through exercise and hands-on care. You can find experienced physical therapists at clinics, hospitals, or healthcare agencies. Physical therapists are not meant to replace your doctor. You will still be expected to follow up with your regular doctor during your physical therapy treatment. 

Who Receives Physical Therapy?

Anyone in need of improving their quality of life can receive physical therapy services. 

It is most common for the disabled, injured, and elderly to receive physical therapy.

Places to Receive Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be received in many different places. Physical therapists are often known to travel to their clients in need.

Places you can receive physical therapy services include:

  • A clinic
  • A hospital
  • Your home
  • Work
  • School
  • Nursing homes

What Happens During Physical Therapy?

When beginning physical therapy, your therapist will perform an evaluation to check for your strengths and weaknesses. After your therapist has determined your weaknesses, you will need to set your goal for treatment. Once a goal is set, your therapist will create a treatment plan that is best designed to help you reach your goal. 

During your physical therapy sessions, your therapist will guide you through exercises and stretches to improve your movement abilities. If your goal was to relieve your pain, your therapist will provide massages or hot/cold therapy on the areas that hurt. 

Physical therapy does not stop once the session is over. Oftentimes, your physical therapist will give you exercises and stretches to continue to complete between sessions. This helps ensure that you do not lose any progress you make during your sessions. If your therapist notices at any time that you've stopped improving, they may make changes to your treatment plan to ensure that you can still reach your goal. 

Cost of Physical Therapy

The cost of physical therapy services can vary widely depending on your insurance, the amount of services, and the location where you are receiving services. The average out-of-pocket cost for a single physical therapy session is $150, but it can range anywhere from $75 to $350.