Physical Therapists (PT) are healthcare professionals that assist patients in recovering from surgeries, injuries, or illnesses that affect the body’s ability to move and function normally. PTs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and even home health care. They are often part of a team of medical experts and work closely with doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, and speech therapists to ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients.

During the first session, Physical Therapists in NYC take a detailed history and evaluate their patient’s pain and movement dysfunctions in order to develop a treatment plan that aligns with the patient’s goals. This may include modifying the patient’s environment to allow for easier mobility, or instructing them on exercises and stretches to strengthen or stretch muscles that help alleviate pain.

In addition to taking a detailed history, physical therapists also use diagnostic tools like x-rays and ultrasounds to identify the problem areas and create a plan of care. They often design individualized treatment plans and utilize interventions that are based on the most up-to-date research and best practices, along with the patient’s unique situation and goals. They regularly reexamine their patients and adjust their treatments to achieve optimal results.

Some PTs choose to complete a one-year post-graduate residency or fellowship in order to specialize in a particular area of physical therapy, such as orthopedics or geriatrics. They can then become board certified in their chosen field, though this is not always necessary.

Many PTs are also involved in preventive medicine, working as consultants to industrial settings to advise on how ergonomic equipment can be improved and minimize the risk of injuries from repetitive movements. They may also provide services to athletes of all levels to screen for problems and institute preventive exercise programs.

Whether they are helping injured workers return to the job after an accident or advising a marathon runner on how to train for a healthy knee, the work of a physical therapist is vital to the health and wellbeing of all types of individuals. The dedicated efforts of pioneering PTs, such as Mary McMillan, Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Janet Travell, Florence Kendall, Bobath, and Gerty Cori, have helped to shape the principles and techniques that guide this important profession today. This makes physical therapists an ideal choice for anyone interested in careers in healthcare and helping others live happier, healthier lives.