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What Types of Problems Do Physical Therapists Treat?

What Types of Problems Do Physical Therapists Treat? 

Many people are not aware of the types of problems that physical therapists manage. Physical therapists treat a variety of conditions. The common denominator of all of these conditions is that they involve movement dysfunction. Anything that impacts your ability to move in a relatively pain-free way can fall within the scope of physical therapy practice.

Most of the time physical therapy care is associated with injuries or for post-surgical conditions. But there is a much wider range of conditions treated by physical therapists. These include any chronic illness that leaves an individual weak, neurological conditions, pediatric developmental problems, cardiovascular conditions, and cancer rehabilitation.

Although the following list is not exhaustive, it will provide some examples of conditions that are commonly treated by physical therapists:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Nerve entrapment syndromes (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
  • Chronic pain
  • Amputation
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Post-stroke
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cardiac disease
  • Pulmonary disorders
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Woman’s health problems
  • General deconditioning
  • Vertigo

Today’s physical therapist receives a doctoral degree, and can treat patients without the need for a physician referral. Although there is tremendous variety in the types of problems physical therapists treat, those working in outpatient settings like STAR Physical Therapy generally specialize in orthopedic conditions.

Marcia Spoto PT, DC, OCS




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