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Five Things You May Not Know About Physical Therapists

Five Things You May Not Know About Physical Therapists

Most of us are familiar with physical therapy on some level. Either we know someone who’s undergone physical therapy, or we’ve been to a physical therapist ourselves. But do you really know what all a physical therapist does?

For instance, did you know that physical therapists are the “movement experts” of the health care field? According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), they specialize in “optimizing quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education.”

Here are five things you may not know about physical therapists:

  1. Physical therapists can be involved with their patients across their lifespan. They provide care for people of all ages and abilities. The APTA says physical therapists diagnose and treat existing health conditions, but they also provide patient education, customize plans of care and preventative treatments that help people avoid health problems before they occur.
  2. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings. You can get access to a physical therapist almost anywhere. They can see patients in hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, nursing homes and even your own home.
  3. Physical therapists have advanced education and training. Physical therapists receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited physical therapist educational program before taking a state-administered national licensure exam.
  4. Physical therapists can help patients reduce the need for pain medication. While prescription opioids may be a necessary part of medical treatment in some cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives like physical therapy for most long-term pain. Physical therapists use various resources and techniques for treating pain. One of these methods that’s growing in popularity is dry needling, in which small, dry needles are strategically placed in the painful areas of the body to trigger the body’s natural healing responses.
  5. Physical therapists help with a wide range of issues. Physical therapists are trained to help patients with many different types of issues, including – but not limited to – back pain, sprains/strains, post-orthopaedic surgery, neurological conditions, women’s health, wellness and prevention. 

Hattiesburg Clinic offers physical therapy and rehabilitation services at several locations throughout South Mississippi. For more about these services, visit Physical Therapy.

Katie Townsend


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