A physical therapist can help you move freely again when a part of your body is hurting. Your physical therapist will come knocking on your door to get you up and moving with rehab at home and help you avoid an injury altogether.
Physical therapists are commonly called in for patients with arthritis and joint pain, joint replacements, soft tissue injuries, chronic pain syndromes, gait and balance disorders, stroke, head injuries or other neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis or ALS.
On the first visit, your PT will do a functional assessment to get an idea of your strength and functional mobility.
Next, the therapist will help you identify your goals and provide counseling on what's realistic. Depending on your unique circumstances, your PT might work with you to help you improve your walking, balance, pain relief, range-of-motion, posture, strength or mobility. You'll be educated on what movements and habits to avoid. And, in most cases, you'll get homework - exercises for you to do on your own.
One major reason doctors order physical therapy is to help patients recover from and prevent falls. Studies show that falls are the leading reason for admission to skilled nursing facilities. In the U.S. alone, one of three adults over the age of 65 falls each year, and more than half fall more than once. This annual rate increases over the age of 80.