Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


Exploring the Different Types of Physical Therapy

Published July 9th, 2022 by Mfarin42

Most people go through some physical therapy after major surgery or when recovering from an injury. After all, your doctors won't expect you to return to full strength the second your cast comes off. It takes time to recover, and physical therapy helps make sure you heal in the best way possible. 

However, there are more types of physical therapy than the kind you see after a visit to the hospital. Some people seek physical therapy to help with persistent issues such as their balance or other health conditions. You can also find children's PT to address an issue early on. 

Here's some information you should know about physical therapy treatments and how they can help. 

What Does PT Do?

Physical therapy is a health profession that promotes good health like any other medical position. The difference is that PT focuses more on helping their patients function, move, and live better. 

A physical therapist will evaluate and record a patient's progress as they seek recovery. For example, a person who has broken their legs may struggle to build up the strength to walk again. Their assigned physical therapist will work with them to slowly strengthen their legs while preventing further damage in the process. 

Types of Physical Therapy

There are a lot of different medical fields that make use of physical therapy. After all, every type of medical issue directly affects your body and how it functions.

Not every type of physical therapy has to do with injuries, though. Some can address issues you've lived with your whole life or help you cope with the natural problems that come with growing older. 

Skilled Nursing

Physical therapists may find themselves placed in nursing facilities, which offer some of the most in-demand jobs. At a skilled nursing facility, physical therapists work to evaluate and assess patients and their mobility levels. 

If these patients have deteriorated in some way, then the PTs work with them to improve their physical abilities. This ongoing care is not meant to completely reverse a patient's condition but rather to help them maintain a certain quality of life. 

Neurological PT

Neurological physical therapy focuses on neurological conditions. These conditions may stem from spinal or brain injuries. Other neurological conditions include Alzheimer's disease or damage from a stroke. 

The problem with neurological conditions is that they are almost always permanent and will last the rest of an individual's life. As such, the aim of this physical therapy is not complete recovery. Instead, the hope is to improve a person's mobility and coordination as much as possible. 

Neurological PT usually isn't as intense as other types of physical therapy. If pushed too hard, a neurological condition may grow worse. The specialist must work carefully to encourage positive growth while considering an individual's limitations. 

Rehabilitative PT

Rehabilitative physical therapy is the kind most people know about. It happens after a person undergoes a major surgery or has some serious injury. The most common injury that leads to rehabilitative PT is sports-related.

This type of physical therapy begins in the hospital while a patient is recovering. However, most of the heavy lifting happens when they return home. At-home health care allows for a personalized regimen that is more convenient.

A patient will undergo rehabilitative PT until they regain full or acceptable mobility of the affected body part. The therapy is considered complete when they're able to pursue further strengthening safely on their own. 

Occupational PT

Occupational therapy is focused on returning patients to the conditions required for them to return to work. It teaches manual laborers how to lift objects without straining the wrong parts of their bodies. Most importantly, it helps to prevent back injuries associated with improper lifting. 

A person pursues occupational physical therapy when they get injured on the job outside of accidents. 

Geriatric PT

Geriatric physical therapy is a type of therapy that addresses issues elderly individuals face. The older a person gets, the more problems they develop pertaining to their mobility. All the various conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis can also affect their natural movements. 

A geriatric physical therapist addresses the movement limitations of elderly people. In doing so, they also help to reduce the associated pain with those movements. 

An additional benefit to this type of therapy is improving their fitness levels and overall health. 

PT for Children

Senior citizens aren't the only age groups that could benefit from physical therapy. Some children can benefit from PT to help address areas before they grow into problems in adulthood. 

Both operational therapy and physical therapy look at a child's safety, strength, endurance, and range of motion. The goal is to improve their quality of life while pursuing the activities they enjoy.

Some of the mobility and motor tasks include walking, running, and improving their balance. 

How to Find a Physical Therapist

Do the minimum research into a physical therapist before you hire them. You should be sure you're receiving the best possible care possible.  

First of all, make sure that they're certified as a physical therapist. An easy way to do this is by using a referral from the local hospital or your primary physician. 

Since you'll be seeing this person regularly for at least a few weeks to a few months, try to find someone you'll get along with. The physical therapy provider should also be able to accommodate your religious beliefs. 

Your insurance may restrict your options to providers within their network. If you're confused about your options, give your insurance company a call. 

Schedule Your First Visit

Even though you've gotten used to pain in your life, that doesn't mean you have to settle for it. There are different types of physical therapy that can help in all areas of your life. It'll take commitment, but you're sure to see some kind of result in time. 

New York Therapy Placement Services, Inc is dedicated to helping our clients find trained professionals across the five boroughs of New York City. We're partnered with experts from diverse backgrounds with various specialties. Contact us to learn more or if you want to join our network. 

‹ Back


Signup to our monthly newsletter for updates.

latest tweets