Physical therapy, a major factor in recovery from injury
|April 23, 2012||Posted by Joy Ejiofor under Physical Therapy|
Physical therapy as a clinical health science has area of concentration. Physical therapy has five most common specialty areas. These areas are orthopedic physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, neurological physical therapy, Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation physical therapy and pediatric physical therapy. It is common to see a physical therapist working in any of these top five specialty areas.
Branches of physical therapy
It is the job of the orthopedic physical therapist to treat injuries and disorders that may have arisen in the musculoskeletal system. They also help to rehabilitate patients who have undergone some form orthopedic surgery. Simply put, an orthopedic physical therapist is an expert in the treatment of injuries sustained from sports, post operative joints pain, arthritis, amputations and diseases (as well as injuries) affecting bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons.
A geriatric physical therapist concentrates on making life easier for the elderly. They deal mostly with the problems associated with the elderly. Such common medical problems that affect the elderly are urinary incontinence, arthritis and issues with balance. These are the main areas geriatric physical therapists deal with. It is also common to find a geriatric physical therapist treating diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip replacement, joint replacement, and osteoporosis. It is important to remember that the main goal here is not to eradicate the disease per say but to help the patients become mobile by optimizing their level of fitness and be able to manage pain resulting from their disease and injuries.
A physical therapist specializing in neurology manages and oversees the treatment of people with a neurological disease or disorder. The commonly treated neurological diseases/disorders through physical therapy are multiple sclerosis, paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, walking difficulties, stroke, impaired vision, spinal cord injuries and other related diseases/disorders affecting balance. The goal once again is not to stop the progression of the disease but to help the patient manage the disease and live a normal life.
Physical therapists working on cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation seek to increase the independence and endurance levels of the patients. They mostly work with those that have a disease/disorder of the heart, pulmonary or circulatory system. A specialist in this field helps patients recovering from cardiac arrest, those who have had a bypass surgery, patients with pulmonary fibrosis, and those with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Pediatric physical therapist as the name implies deals with cases relating to disorders and diseases affecting children. They make early diagnosis and help to arrest a developing problem so it doesn’t escalate. Cerebral palsy, spina bifida, tortocollis are some of the disease conditions that may be handled by a pediatric physical therapist.
Ways physical therapy helps the physical therapist
A rundown of the responsibilities of a physical therapist is to help restore function, relieve pain, prevent a permanent disability from arising, improvement of mobility and also limit the possibility of a permanent disability arising from a disease or injury. When it comes to general fitness and health of a patient, the physical therapist sees to the promotion, restoration and maintenance of the overall health.
Physical therapy takes on a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of patients. When a physical therapist liaises with doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and parents or caregivers, a multidisciplinary approach is being taken to ensure the best possible health outcome for the patient.