Understanding Physical Therapy Types and Outcomes
With diverse applications and multiple focus areas, physical therapy is one of the most commonly used rehabilitative treatments to restore function and mobility after an injury, illness or surgery. If you or your loved one has opted for physiotherapy, you may have experienced a range of treatment methods such as therapeutic exercises, hot/cold therapy, electrical stimulation or functional training. Your therapist may also have performed some manual therapy techniques or recommended a set of home programs. The top goals of any physical therapy treatment are:
- Recovery and Rehabilitation: Reduce and eliminate pain
- Optimal Function and Movement: Address physical impairments and restore movement
- Injury Prevention: Focus on preventing a repeat of the injury and improving physical longevity
However, what may not be commonly known is that based on its sub-specialties, physical therapy can be categorized into seven distinct areas and the desired outcomes for each practice area may be slightly different.
Physical Therapy Application and Key Goals
- Orthopedic: Usually recommended for sports injuries to restore function to musculoskeletal systems such as joints, tendons, bones and ligaments.
- Geriatric: Typically focused on the movement problems of seniors, especially patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease. Geriatric physical therapy aims to reduce pain and restore mobility.
- Neurological: This line of physical therapy addresses neurological impairments such as brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or spinal cord injuries. The aim here is to prolong independent functioning and living, hence the therapist focuses on improving the patient’s movements in terms of performing daily activities.
- Cardiopulmonary: Meant for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, or heart conditions, this type of physical therapy tries to increase the patients’ endurance and improve their functional independence.
- Pediatric: As the name suggests, this physiotherapy addresses the unique needs of children, from infants to adolescents. This may include birth defects, genetic disorders, limb deficiencies, developmental delays, orthopedic disabilities, or any other acute injuries that inhibit the child’s natural movement.
- Vestibular Rehabilitation: Addresses and reduces balance related issues caused by inner ear deficiencies, such as vertigo or dizziness.
- Women’s Health: Targeted towards problems related to pelvic pain, lymphatic swelling, urinary or bowel incontinence. Physical therapy is also emerging as a line of treatment for certain health needs during pregnancy and post pregnancy care.
If you or a loved one are looking for physical therapy treatments in and around the Greater Philadelphia Area, rely on the licensed physical therapists at Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania (MRCP). With access to the latest physical therapy techniques, our qualified therapists will create tailor made plans to address your specific concerns. Our treatments begin with comprehensive, multidimensional evaluations to determine the root cause of your problems and focus on alleviating pain, as well as restoring mobility.