What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists diagnose and treat people of all ages. They provide care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings and nursing homes. They have extensive clinical experience and are able to examine, diagnose, and then prevent or treat conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life.
What is Their Education?
Physical therapists are required to earn a Masters Degree or a Clinical Doctorate from an accredited physical therapy program. They must pass a national licensure examination in order to practice. The American Physical Therapy Association has a Professional Code of Ethics and a Standards of Professional Practice that ensures the delivery of quality care and protects the consumer.
A Physical Therapist Can Help With:
In many cases a physical therapist can help you achieve and maintain mobility and quality of life without surgery or medication. The physical therapist will evaluate your condition and develop a customized plan of care to improve motion, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. Your physical therapist can also help you improve your health and function by developing a fitness and wellness-oriented program for your specific needs. The physical therapist will work with you to help you achieve long-term health benefits.
Some of the common conditions physical therapists treat include:
- Neck and Back Pain
- Knee Pain
- Overuse Injuries
- Shoulder Pain
- Sprains, strains, and fractures
- Balance Problems
- Much more
In Colorado, you DO NOT need a referral from your physician to see a physical therapist. You can make an appointment with a physical therapist directly.
Reference: Colorado Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. www.aptaco.org.