Many people seek out physical therapists to reduce symptoms of health conditions, like pain and stiffness. Others work with a PT while recovering from surgery or managing chronic diseases.
Licensed Physical Therapists in Jackson MS perform a thorough evaluation to pinpoint a patient’s physical impairments and prepare a treatment plan. Depending on your insurance, you might have to pay for a copay or deductible.
A physical therapist specialist in orthopedics treats patients with diseases, injuries and conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. They often work with a team of medical professionals, including physicians, physician assistants and occupational therapists.
Physiatrists who specialize in neurological physical therapy treat patients with brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. They work to help their patients regain as much independence as possible in daily activities.
Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapists work with patients who have heart attacks, open-heart surgery and respiratory diseases like bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They help patients to increase their endurance and improve their ability to do activities of daily living.
To become a board-certified physiotherapist specialist, an individual must complete up to 14 years of education and training. This includes four years of undergraduate studies, four years of traditional medical school (a doctor of medicine degree, or MD), and an orthopedic residency. They also must pass an accreditation exam in their clinical specialty area.
Neurological physical therapy specialists work with patients who have diseases or conditions of the spinal cord and nervous system. These may include brain or spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, sciatica, neuropathy and fibromyalgia. They help patients reduce motor defects and improve their balance, coordination and sensations.
Clinical electrophysiology involves the use of electrotherapy, a treatment that uses electrical stimulation to prevent blood clots, accelerate wound healing and relax muscle spasms. It also helps treat chronic wounds, such as pressure sores and diabetic ulcers.
Cancer is one of the most challenging and rewarding medical treatments in the United States, and specialized physical therapists in oncology provide valuable care to patients who have undergone or are undergoing cancer therapy. With life-extending cancer treatments, this patient population is growing in number. The specialized skills, knowledge and experience needed to achieve board certification in this field are substantial. The process includes passing an exam and accumulating a minimum of 2000 hours of direct patient care or completion of an APTA-accredited residency program.
Women’s health is a newer subspecialty of physical therapy. It encompasses conditions affecting females at different stages of life, such as pelvic pain and osteoporosis. This also includes the ability to work with female athletes and understand how gender-specific musculoskeletal conditions may affect them differently than men.
For some, it’s a relief to have a healthcare provider who knows the nuances of how their body works and feels. But, it’s important to remember that women’s health encompasses anyone who was assigned male at birth but identifies as female or nonbinary.
For example, if you have incontinence, your women’s health specialist can teach you how to do Kegel exercises, which are meant to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. This can help alleviate symptoms of incontinence and reduce future incidents, like urinary tract infections. In addition, this area of specialization can include instruction on how to do a breast self-exam and other important aspects of women’s health.
Sports medicine is a subspecialty that works to alleviate and heal injuries sustained during exercise. Physical therapists who specialize in sports medicine work to improve the strength, flexibility and speed of their patients to allow them to return to their desired athletic endeavors.
They have a deep understanding of the musculoskeletal systems and how they impact the body’s performance. They use strengthening, stretching, manual therapy and heat or cold application to help their patients recover from injuries and illnesses that may result from participating in sports.
You might see a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine on the sidelines of a major sporting event or at hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centers. These therapists are skilled in treating both amateur and professional athletes. They also understand the nuances of each sport and can work with clients to help them improve their performance. They can also teach patients how to prevent future injuries and illnesses that could be caused by their chosen sports.