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How to Choose a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility – in many cases without surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. A growing number of programs are now offering the Doctor of  Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This advancement of degree allows for better evidence based treatment, diagnosis, and understanding of the plan of care to get patients back to full health.

Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment based techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles. They also work closely with patient’s physicians in order to achieve synergistic results and to get people back to the things they love.

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

To establish diagnoses, prognoses, and plans of care, physical therapists perform evaluations, interpret the examination data, and collaborate with physicians in determining whether the problems to be addressed are within the scope of physical therapist practice. Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. For more than 750,000 people every day in the United States, physical therapists:

  • Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
  • Restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but wellness, fitness and quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
  • Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries.

Physical therapy is covered by federal, state, worker’s compensation, motor vehicle, and private insurance plans. Idaho is recognized as a “Direct Access” state. This means if you are injured and you do not have government insurance, you can be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a prescription a good majority of the time.