How To Start Physical Therapy

Physical therapist at work

Physical therapies are health services that aim to restore, maintain and develop the body’s abilities to function and move.  Conditions such as injuries, illnesses and aging as well as factors in the environment affect how the body functions and move negatively.  The goal of physical therapy is to counteract these effects.  Here is how to start physical therapy:

  1. Find a physical therapist.  Physical therapists can be found in directories or by searching for them in the Internet.  You could also go to your hospital or clinic to find a physical therapist.
  2. Choose the place where you will receive your physical therapy.  You may be given physical therapy in schools and universities, research labs, clinics, fitness and sports centers, hospitals, health facilities and even in your own home.  
  3. Wear comfortable clothes when going to the physical therapist so that you could move as freely as possible.  Also, if you have equipment with you such as body braces or crutches, bring this along with you so that your therapist could examine them.
  4. Discuss your medical history with your physical therapist.  You will be asked about your experiences such as illnesses or injuries you’ve had, operations you’ve taken, your health conditions and if you have unusual symptoms.  You will then be given a physical assessment.  You will also be given laboratory tests to examine the condition of your muscles, bones, organs and body systems.
  5. Physical therapy deals with a lot of areas.  Pediatric physical therapy takes care of babies, children, and teenagers while geriatric physical therapy deals with aging people.  Cardiopulmonary physical therapy treats those with diseases and abnormalities in the heart, blood vessels and the lungs.  Orthopedic physical therapy deals with illnesses and injuries of the muscles and bones.  Integumentary therapy treats various conditions of the skin and other organs related to it.  Neurological physical therapy treats those who have disorders and illnesses of the brain and nervous system.  Choose which area you want your therapists to focus on, or get an assessment to see which area you need to prioritize.
  6. You will need physical therapy when you are experiencing difficulty in moving and functioning properly.  Conditions to look out for are genetic disorders, birth defects, developmental delays, heart and lung illnesses, bone and muscle abnormalities, head trauma and accidents. 
  7. Treatment options vary according to what the therapist prescribes as well as your specific condition, your preferences, your tolerance, your budget and your schedule. You could take different treatments such as weightlifting, balancing activities, aqua therapy, blood circulation improvement methods and an education of how to prevent injuries and avoid hazards. 
  8. Your responses to the treatments given to you will then be evaluated for effectiveness.  If your symptoms and illnesses return or become worse, go to your physical therapist and get assessed again.
  9. You could also do self-treatments at home if your therapist recommends it.  Just make sure you follow the program he has given you and inform him if you haven’t done what you’re supposed to do in order to prevent complications and to remedy negative effects of not doing self-treatment properly or constantly.

Start physical therapy as soon as you can if you experience difficulty in moving and functioning properly.  The earlier the condition is treated, the higher the chances of recovery.



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