Pain Management What is a physical therapist?

Physical therapy is the health profession that focuses on the evaluation, management, and prevention of disorders of human motion. Physical therapists, or PTs, are important members of the rehabilitation team. They evaluate and provide treatment for persons with health problems and disabilities resulting from injury, disease, overuse of muscles or tendons, pain, or loss of a body part. Physical therapy treatments and services focus on restoring the individual's mobility and function, as well as preventing further disability.

Physical therapists may provide treatment and education regarding any of the following:

  • Mobility (movement)
  • Balance and gait retraining
  • Muscle retraining
  • Pain management
  • Heat and cold therapy and massage
  • Activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Wheelchair, walkers, canes, and crutches
  • Use of orthotics (braces, splints) and prosthetics (artificial limbs)
  • Exercise programs