A physical therapy or rehabilitation is the sought after recovery of an injured body part, generally after a certain medical diagnosis. Physical therapists perform a variety of tasks that are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of human beings who are afflicted by various injuries such as broken bones, sprained ligaments, herniated discs, muscle strains, and dislocations. Usually, physical therapists may work with patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and other brain related problems.
The field of physical therapy is a relatively new field but has gained enough popularity to warrant more than a dozen specialties, each with its own subspecialty. Most physical therapy specialists are engaged in diagnosing and treating disorders and diseases associated with the musculoskeletal system. Specialists are also responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive body imaging system used in many clinical practices. Some physical therapy specialists perform elective and specialty classes in sports medicine.
A physical therapist can provide a wide range of services. These may include such common practice procedures as exercises and stretches, muscle tone and strengthening, rehabilitation and exercise programs, and arthralgia, the treatment of osteoarthritis. For example, hip replacement surgery helps to restore motion that has been lost due to a debilitating hip joint condition. Physical therapy can also help people suffering from back pain. With the use of manual therapies such as ultrasound, laser therapy, heat therapy, and passive laser therapy, physical therapy specialists treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, muscular pain, spasms, neurological problems, and low back pain.
To become certified as a physical therapist, a graduate degree in any field with a grade of bachelors is required. Students must also complete a minimum of three years of anatomy, physiology, and psychology courses and complete approved clinical training in a licensed medical doctor’s office before pursuing graduate studies in the field. All students wishing to pursue physical therapy must pass a board certification exam in their state. These board certifications are offered through colleges or hospitals nationwide. The American Board of Physical Therapy offers a national certification exam that is taken in conjunction with the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
In order to become a physical therapist, you must first complete an education program at an accredited university or college. After graduation, you will need to pass the certification exam that is administered by the Board of Physical Therapy. Once you have successfully completed your undergraduate degree, you can begin working as a physical therapist in a hospital, physician’s office, outpatient care facility, or other facility. There are also opportunities for employment in the pharmaceutical, academic, and insurance industries.
In addition to working in the healthcare setting, physical therapy specialists have opportunities available to them at the college and university level. They may teach a part or full time course in Sports Management, or work as an assistant professor in a university’s recreation department. Many physical therapy specialists begin their careers as student coordinators for intercollegiate athletic programs. Others choose to conduct research or serve on a committee.