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What Is Physical Therapy?

What Is Physical Therapy?

by Peter Batz, PT, DPT, OCS, CMTPT/DN, AIB-VR/CONLeave a Comment

Many have heard the term “physical therapy” before, but while you may be familiar with this practice by name, there are still misconceptions out there about what physical therapy actually is. Traditionally, physical therapy is thought of as a plan of treatment for those who have undergone surgery or professional athletes experiencing a career-altering injury. While physical therapists do treat this population, physical therapy is so much more! Physical therapy is a practice that looks to provide personalized care to patients who are looking to relieve pain, improve range of motion and strength and to get back to their previous level of function.

Physical therapy either begins by getting a prescription or referral from your physician or, depending on the state you are in, can be done via Direct Access. Direct Access allows a patient to come straight to physical therapy without needing to obtain a prescription or referral from their doctor. This means starting the care you need sooner so you can get back to a life without limitations!

Once you show up for your first appointment you will be evaluated by a physical therapist. The evaluation can typically take up to 60 minutes and will consist of you and your therapist asking questions about your current condition and concerns, followed by a physical assessment of strength and range of motion. Once the evaluation has concluded, your therapist will create a personalized home exercise program that will help to progress your care between visits.

Follow-up appointments after the evaluation will look to improve the areas in which deficits and areas of weakness were found. Treatment may include manual therapy, stretching, strengthening and modalities (such as ice, hot pack, electrical stimulation, etc.). If there are certain activities that you wish to return to, your therapist will include parts of those activities into your treatment plan so that you are comfortable returning to these activities. Periodic progress notes will be performed to make sure that you are making improvements and achieving your goals.

Our team is here to help you achieve your goals pain-free so you can get back to doing the things you love most sooner! If you are curious if physical therapy is right for you, get started with a free assessment at an Athletico location near you. Our team will fully assess your current condition and help to identify the best treatment plan based on your needs. Free assessments are available in person at one of our clinic locations and virtually through our telehealth platform for your convenience.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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Peter Batz is a Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in orthopedics, vestibular therapy, headache/TMD, dry needling, ACL rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Peter graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He also completed an orthopedic residency through Evidence in Motion and obtained his Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS). He strives to get his patients back to performing at their peak levels so they can enjoy life to the fullest.

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