10 things you didn’t know about Physical Therapy

August 17, 2018 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

Physical therapy holly springs

When you’ve had an injury or illness that makes it hard for you to perform your daily activities, your doctor might suggest physical therapy. PT aims to ease pain and help you improve your quality of life by treating a variety of health problems. Here, we have compiled 10 facts about physical therapy you may not yet know:

1.   There are different types of physical therapy

Physical therapy doesn’t only treat joints or low back pain, as most patients seem to think. Physical therapy has specialties in different practice areas:

  •         orthopedic
  •         geriatric
  •         neurological
  •         cardiopulmonary
  •         pediatric

There are additionally two rising sub-specialty practices in physical therapy – vestibular rehabilitation, or the treatment of vertigo and other imbalance issues, and women’s health.

2.   Physical therapy helps you manage age-related issues

Geriatric physical therapy focuses on specific conditions that come with age. Fortunately, most of them can be eased or prevented by fitting physical therapy into your life. Physical therapy is the best prevention and healing tool when it comes to dealing with age-related conditions.

3.   Setting goals is important

Setting realistic and attainable goals at the beginning of your therapy is the best way to achieve successful results in your rehabilitation. When setting your target, you must consider what it is that you want to accomplish by the end of your program. Your physical therapist is your partner in making this decision and seeing it through, so cooperate with him or her in devising an appropriate treatment plan. You will also need your therapist’s help in re-adjusting these goals, when needed.

4.   Physical therapists hold advanced degrees

Until the 1990s, you could work as a physical therapist with only a bachelor’s degree. This later changed, requiring anyone who wanted to become a physical therapist to enroll in a Master of Science program. Nowadays, most graduate programs offer a 3-year Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Physical therapists have to pass a medical board exam in order to get their license.

5.   North Carolina has Direct Access

  In many states, North Carolina included, you can be diagnosed and treated by a physical therapist without having to see your primary care physician first. So if you need physical therapy in Raleigh, you can make an appointment with our Physical Therapist directly.

6.   Physical therapy helps you manage diabetes

Exercise can be a vital element of a complete diabetes control program as it effectively helps to manage blood sugar levels. Diabetes patients are also at risk of developing neuropathy in their extremities due to nerve damage. Our Physical Therapist in Raleigh can offer advice and care programs for effectively reducing pain, and, by doing so, increasing your quality of life. He or she will also assist you in preventing additional nerve damage.

7.   Physical therapists and acronyms

Have you noticed your PT’s name with lots of letters after it and wondered what they meant? Current standards say that a physical therapist should be identified by their name, their profession (in this instance ‘PT’), and the highest degree obtained. If your physical therapist has a clinical doctorate degree, he will sign his name, and then write “PT, DPT” after it. You may see other letters after these basic ones. They represent other earned academic degree(s), specialist certification credentials in alphabetical order, other credentials, and other certification or professional honors (e.g., FAPTA). If you have any doubts, ask your physical therapist about the meaning of their initials.

8.   An experienced physical therapist can read your body like a book

Your physical therapist knows more about you than he or she lets on. Your body tells a story about your lifestyle, eating, drinking and exercise habits, the position you like to sit in, and so on. The best strategy for your health is to be forthcoming when it comes to your life and your health. The more you say about yourself, the more your physical therapist can help you.  

9.   Your physical therapist is not a personal trainer.

Physical therapists are licensed professionals with years of education and plenty of experience. Your therapist will motivate you, push you to reach your limits, hold your hand through the process and encourage you. Nonetheless, the level of healthcare education is notably different between trainers and physical therapists.

10.   Questions in physical therapy are good!

We are used to being asked a series of questions by our physical therapist that help him or her evaluate your PT needs. However, questions asked by a patient have at least the same value for your therapy program. First and foremost, they serve to establish trust and good rapport between you and your therapist; you will feel well informed and at ease. There is an informative significance in your questions, too, and they can help your therapist understand your needs and condition better.

Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic’s mission is to provide the highest level of care, treatment, respect and courtesy. Our goal is to improve your and your family’s quality of life. Make an appointment today! Our Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic will be more than happy to attend to your physical therapy needs.

Our physical therapy centers -choose one closest to you:

Physical Therapy Cary

Physical Therapy Holly Springs

Physical Therapy Garner

Physical Therapy Raleigh

Physical Therapy Morrisville

Find out more about our Clinic here.