Physical therapy is treatment provided by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant that helps people improve their movement and physical function, manage pain and other chronic conditions, and recover from and prevent injury and chronic disease.
Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement.
Physical therapists, and the licensed physical therapist assistants (PTAs) they may team with, provide care across the lifespan to anyone of any ability.
Here are some of the benefits of physical therapy:
Maximize Your Movement
Physical therapists can identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems. Pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of life, your ability to earn a living, and your independence.
Personalized Care That Meets Your Needs
Physical therapists design treatment plans for each person's individual needs, challenges, and goals. PTs and PTAs help people improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.
Care Where You Need It
PTs and PTAs provide care almost anywhere, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes.
Participate In Your Recovery
PTs and PTAs empower people to be active participants in their care. As needed, they also work collaboratively with other health professionals to ensure patients receive the best care.
In some situations, dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives like physical therapy for most long-term pain. Opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.
Before you undergo expensive or invasive surgery, try physical therapy. For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease, treatment by a physical therapist is as effective as surgery.
Find a Physical Therapist
Although direct access laws vary by state and insurance plans differ, you do not need a physician's referral to make an appointment with a physical therapist for an evaluation.
Locate a physical therapist near you by using the Find a PT directory.