Do You Have a Physical Therapist? Here’s Why You Need One.

October is National Physical Therapy Month! Chances are you have heard about physical therapy or even seen a physical therapist at some point in your life. Despite this, many people don’t know all that physical therapy has to offer. 

Did you know physical therapists now need a doctorate degree to obtain their license? This is because physical therapy has become one of the most flexible careers in health care today! 

What is physical therapy?

At its core, physical therapy is a profession that helps people optimize their health through their ability to move. Physical therapists work with people of all ages from birth to older adults, even supporting people through end-of-life care. 

Here are just some of the conditions that physical therapy can help with:

  • Orthopedic joint injuries, fractures and sport-related injuries
  • Neurologic injuries including stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury
  • Movement disorders including multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions
  • Rehabilitation from severe life changing illness or injury including cancer or trauma
  • Dizziness and balance issues including fall prevention
  • Women’s health and pelvic floor disorders
  • Wound care
  • Developmental delays

Where do physical therapists work?

Here are six places physical therapists are helping you get moving:

  • Hospital: Physical therapists in a hospital setting help to get you moving after surgery or an accident. They help decide what the best next rehabilitation steps are to prepare you for discharge.
  • Inpatient rehabilitation: Provide intensive therapy to you to help you regain independence as part of a specialized rehabilitation team after serious illnesses or injuries. UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute provides extensive therapy across a number of specialties for inpatient rehab needs.
  • Skilled nursing facility: Simply put, a skilled nursing facility is another term for a nursing home. Physical therapists who work in these facilities collaborate with a skilled interdisciplinary team to help you recover and regain independence over a longer period of time compared to inpatient rehabilitation.
  • Home health: Traveling to your home to provide care when you are too sick or weak to leave the house.
  • Outpatient: Physical therapists in the outpatient setting provide care to you in a clinic with specialized equipment and tools to optimize your recovery. Frazier Rehabilitation Institute is one of the most comprehensive therapy centers in the region for adolescents, adults and geriatrics.
  • School-based: Many schools have a dedicated physical therapists who work with children who need extra help accessing the classroom or to engage in the learning environment within the school.

As a profession, it is your physical therapist’s goal to keep you moving and staying healthy throughout your life. Your physical therapists know that life happens and often things change when least expected. If you do experience an accident, injury, illness or condition that affects your ability to move, know a UofL Health physical therapist will be there to help you through it and get you moving again.

Learn more about our physical therapy treatment options at UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute.

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About Laura Stebbins PT, DPT

Laura Stebbins PT, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor for U of L Health – Frazier Rehab Institute at Trager. As a physical therapist, Laura has over 10 years of experience caring for patients of all ages with various conditions. Her clinical interests currently include geriatrics, stroke, acquired brain injury, movement disorders, and vestibular conditions. Laura received her undergraduate training in exercise science at Indiana University before going on to receive her doctorate in physical therapy from The Ohio State University. When she is not in the clinic, she enjoys staying active and exploring the outdoors with her family and 2 dogs.

All posts by Laura Stebbins PT, DPT