What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists are registered healthcare professionals who specialize in how the human body moves.

What Can I Expect From a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists treat people who have a loss of function from health conditions, injuries, or disabilities.

The first step is assessment. When you first visit a physical therapist, they will:

  • talk to you about the history of the problem you’re experiencing
  • examine your muscles and joints to assess your movement and strength
  • they may also do some on-the-spot tests and take some measurements

Once the assessment is complete, your physical therapist will:

  • explain their initial thoughts and findings with you
  • discuss possible goals and treatment options available
  • work with you to make a plan based on your goals
  • monitor your progress and modify treatment as needed

One key aspect in all physical therapy is education. Throughout your treatment, your physical therapist will teach you:

  • about your body and how it moves
  • how to do exercises safely and effectively
  • how to manage your condition and prevent future problems

Throughout your care, your physical therapist keeps a written record of your treatment. If needed and you agree, the physical therapist communicates with others involved in your care.

What Can I Expect From Telerehabilitation in Physical Therapy?

Telerehabilitation is the use of information or communication technologies to allow you and your physical therapist to connect via telephone, video or other remote monitoring technology to receive physical therapy services at a distance.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about telerehabilitation in physical therapy.

What is a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Some physical therapists have physical therapist assistants working for them. An assistant’s work is always directed and closely supervised by the physical therapist. Assistants can help with exercises and other treatment activities.

The physical therapist might assign part of your therapy to the assistant, but only after you have talked about this and agreed to it.