What Is the Goal of Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists (PTs) work with patients to develop individualized treatment plans to restore or improve their physical abilities and reduce pain. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to help you regain function and independence so you can get back to your normal activities and improve your quality of life.
A physical therapist is a licensed healthcare professional. PTs work with people of all ages and backgrounds dealing with health conditions or injuries. These concerns range from acute sports injuries to chronic conditions such as arthritis or neurological disorders.
Physical therapy can be a stand-alone treatment option or work in conjunction with other treatments. Treatments offered at Moreau Physical Therapy include:
- Orthopedic and Manual Physical Therapy
- Pediatric Therapy
- Vestibular Rehabilitation
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Certified Hand Therapy
- Aquatic Therapy
- Dry Needling
- And More
One of the primary goals of treatment is to improve or maintain your ability to do daily tasks and activities. To reach this goal, your PT may target pain, swelling, weakness, or limited motion. They will continuously assess your response to each treatment and adjust as needed.
What Injuries & Conditions Can Physical Therapy Treat?
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for various conditions, injuries, and illnesses. Here are the most common conditions and injuries we treat at Moreau Physical Therapy:
- Musculoskeletal injuries, such as sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations
- Back and neck pain, including such as herniated discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis
- Sports injuries, like torn ligaments, sprains, and fractures
- Stroke and neurological conditions that affect mobility, balance, and coordination
- Chronic pain that affects one’s quality of life
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
By working with a PT, patients can develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs and goals, ultimately leading to a better quality of life.
Direct Access to Physical Therapy
If you have been injured or are experiencing pain and discomfort, the experts at Moreau Physical Therapy are available by appointment through Direct Access, or the Louisiana Physical Therapy Practice Act 396. This law allows patients to access physical therapy services without a referral or prescription from a physician.
Your PT will provide an initial examination of a condition within the scope of physical therapy. If you have not experienced improvement after 30 days, or if your therapist suspects you have a condition outside the realm of their practice, they will refer you to an appropriate healthcare provider for further evaluation.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
Your first appointment with a physical therapist is an important opportunity to discuss your concerns, learn about your condition, and begin developing a recovery plan. Here’s what you can expect from your first visit:
- Your PT will evaluate your physical condition, medical history, and goals for therapy. This assessment may include asking questions about your home or work environment, health habits, activity level, and leisure or recreational interests.
- Next, they may perform a physical examination testing your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, blood pressure, and heart rate. They may use their hands to examine or “palpate” the affected area or to test the mobility of your joints, muscles, and other tissues.
- Based on the evaluation, your physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan addressing your specific needs and goals. This plan may include exercises, manual therapy techniques, and other interventions.
In addition to your examination and evaluation, your physical therapist will educate you about your condition, how physical therapy can help, and what to expect during the course of treatment. They may also provide guidance on lifestyle modifications or home exercises you can do on your own to support recovery. Your PT will also schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, adjust the treatment plan as necessary, and ensure you achieve your goals.