therapists help patients recover from illnesses and injuries. After
evaluating the physicians’ referral and the patients’ medical records,
they plan, administer and conduct physical therapy treatment for patients
in order to restore muscle function, relieve pain, and prevent disability
following disease, injury, or loss of body parts. Physical therapists
treatment program may include exercise, electrical stimulation and
ultrasound message therapy. They also instruct and motivate patients in
isometric and ambulatory exercises. They evaluate the effects of each
treatment and adjust the treatment regiment to achieve maximum benefits.
Physical therapy is used to improve the patients' endurance, coordination,
increase strength, decrease pain, and prevent further injury.
They also work with the patients to overcome the emotional and physical
barriers that may hinder recovery.
Most physical therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers,
clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, home health agencies, adult day
care programs, schools, wellness and community centers, and in private
High School Preparation:
Students who want to become physical therapists should take the most
challenging high school courses including biology, chemistry, medical
assisting, algebra, trigonometry, health occupations /medical professions
education, computer skills, humanities, and geometry.
To become a physical therapist, an individual must complete a four-year
degree, graduate from an accredited school of physical therapy and pass an
examination. Students interested in physical therapy should contact
schools for information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
This increase in the demand for physical therapists is due to the aging
baby boomer generation. As more of this generation moves into late middle
age or old age, they are more susceptible to diseases such as arthritis,
stroke, heart disease, and other conditions common in older people. Many
of these conditions include physical therapy as a recovery or treatment
option. Also, because the nation's population is increasing its
participation in sports and physical activities, more physical therapists
will be needed to treat and help prevent knee, leg, back, shoulder and
other musculo-skeletal injuries.
Average Annual Salary
$51,900 to $82,700
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488
Phone: (800) 999-2782
Phone: (703) 684-2782
Fax: (703) 684-7343
Physical Therapy Association
921 North Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39202-2554
Phone: (601) 354-3629
Fax: (601) 355-1506
Physical Therapy brochure here.
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