Physical therapy
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the goal of physical therapy or physiotherapy is to improve mobility, restore function,...

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Background

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the goal of physical therapy or physiotherapy is to improve mobility, restore function, reduce pain, and prevent further injury by using a variety of methods, including exercises, stretches, traction, electrical stimulation, and massage. Special tools are used, such as hot or cold packs, crutches, braces, treadmills, prosthetics, compression vests, computer-assisted feedback, lasers, and ultrasound. Patients range in age from newborns to the elderly.

Physical therapy was first documented in China around 3000 BC with the use of joint manipulation and massage to relieve pain. The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates wrote about massage and hydrotherapy in 460 BC, and splints and exercises were used to treat wounded Roman gladiators. The modern discipline of physical therapy emerged to treat soldiers wounded in World War II.

Physical therapy (PT) is commonly used for musculoskeletal injuries, joint pain or disorders, low back pain, cerebral palsy, and rehabilitation after injury or surgery, including heart surgery or mastectomy. Physical therapy, especially early physical therapy, can be painful, and many patients use medications for pain during therapy.

In the United States, all states require physical therapists to graduate from an accredited physical therapy program and pass a licensing exam before they practice. A physical therapy program includes supervised clinical experience and coursework in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and therapeutic techniques. Physical therapists work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and patients' homes. Patients may be referred to a physical therapist by a doctor or may directly contact a physical therapist.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the goal of physical therapy or physiotherapy is to improve mobility, restore function, reduce pain, and prevent further injury by using a variety of methods, including exercises, stretches, traction, electrical stimulation, and massage. Special tools are used, such as hot or cold packs, crutches, braces, treadmills, prosthetics, compression vests, computer-assisted feedback, lasers, and ultrasound. Patients range in age from newborns to the elderly.

Physical therapy was first documented in China around 3000 BC with the use of joint manipulation and massage to relieve pain. The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates wrote about massage and hydrotherapy in 460 BC, and splints and exercises were used to treat wounded Roman gladiators. The modern discipline of physical therapy emerged to treat soldiers wounded in World War II.

Physical therapy (PT) is commonly used for musculoskeletal injuries, joint pain or disorders, low back pain, cerebral palsy, and rehabilitation after injury or surgery, including heart surgery or mastectomy. Physical therapy, especially early physical therapy, can be painful, and many patients use medications for pain during therapy.

In the United States, all states require physical therapists to graduate from an accredited physical therapy program and pass a licensing exam before they practice. A physical therapy program includes supervised clinical experience and coursework in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and therapeutic techniques. Physical therapists work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and patients' homes. Patients may be referred to a physical therapist by a doctor or may directly contact a physical therapist.

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