Physical Therapy: Objectives, Methods, And Treatments

Physical therapy is the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise, rather than by drugs or surgery. Physical therapy done by physical therapists (PT’s) provides care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, private practices, and outpatient clinics.  State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

physical therapy



Physical Therapy: Objectives

Physical therapy (PT) is care that aims to ease pain and help you function, move, and live better. Specifically, physical therapy looks to achieve these objectives for their patients:

  • Relieve pain
  • Improve movement or ability
  • Prevent or recover from a sports injury
  • Prevent disability or surgery
  • Rehab after a stroke, accident, injury, or surgery
  • Work on balance to prevent a slip or fall
  • Manage a chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis
  • Recover after you give birth
  • Control your bowels or bladder
  • Adapt to an artificial limb
  • Learn to use assistive devices like a walker or cane


Physical Therapy: Methods And Treatments

At the first physical therapy session, the physical therapist assesses your needs. A history of your pain, symptoms, ability to move and your medical history will be taken.

Tests will measure:

  • How well you can move around, reach, bend, or grasp
  • How well you walk or climb steps
  • Your heartbeat or rhythm while active
  • Your posture and balance

Treatments can include the following:

  • Exercises or stretches
  • Massage, heat, or cold therapy, warm water therapy, or ultrasound to ease muscle pain or spasms
  • Rehab to help you learn to use an artificial limb
  • Practice with gadgets that help you move or stay balanced, like a cane or walker


Physical Therapy: Benefits

Physical therapy is the conservative approach to managing health problems, and in many cases the first resort advocated by doctors and health professionals.  Indeed, it may help people of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their regular ability to move and function.

Physical therapy can be a benefit for the following conditions:

  • Reduce or eliminate pain
  • Avoid surgery
  • Improve mobility
  • Recover from a stroke
  • Recover from or prevent a sports injury
  • Improve your balance and prevent falls
  • Manage diabetes and vascular conditions
  • Improve age-related issues
  • Manage heart and lung disease
  • Monitor and manage Women’s Health and other conditions



Here is an informative video of physical therapy with young children. It’s therapy with a heart.



And here is a video showing physical therapy for a meniscus tear of the knee: