Physical therapy is not just massage!
Physical therapy is a science-based profession that focuses on correcting movement dysfunction. Yes, physical therapists employ massage techniques in treating their patients. Pain, stiffness, trigger points, muscle tension and other conditions respond well to massage, but it is just one modality in a long list of treatments that physical therapists carry out.
Other physical therapy functions are:
- Improve endurance and overall fitness level for work or play through exercise.
- Strengthen and develop key muscles needed for optimum performance in sport.
- Correct muscle imbalance.
- Improve postural imbalance that may later cause neck and back pain.
- Provide stretching exercises to increase range-of-motion and flexibility.
- Design environments that are ergonomically safe.
- Decrease pain and stiffness caused by arthritis or any other musculoskeletal conditions
- Re-educate muscles and improve function in neurologically-impaired patients
- Provide relief for patients with cardiothoracic conditions.
- Rehabilitate patients after surgery or car accidents.
- Educate patients to prevent injury.
There is much more that can be said about the role of physical therapy in health care, but these points are just an indication that our profession entails much more than massage. Why not come in and see for yourself?
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