Physical therapy is a medical practice that helps those with injuries, diseases, and other physical limitations move and function better, as well as manage pain, through various treatments. The overall goal of physical therapy is to improve the life of the patient. Reaching that goal may involve the use of exercise, manipulation, manual therapy, electrophysical modalities, devices, and medication. The origins of physical therapy date back to the time of the famous Greek physician Hippocrates, who used hydrotherapy to help people with skin, joint, and muscle problems.
Anyone who is interested in a career in physical therapy and related practices should be interested in helping others better themselves. You should be able to maintain a positive attitude, even through trying circumstances, and you should be an excellent communicator. It's also important to be a keen observer and pay close attention to detail. You'll need to be physically strong as well, since the job sometimes requires you to lift and hold patients who can't stand on their own.
Learning about physical therapy can lead to an exciting career as a physical therapist. Physical therapists who enter this profession can help patients in private offices, hospitals, hospice facilities, nursing homes, home health care, schools, and rehab clinics. They may also open their own practices. Even if you don't want to pursue a career in the field, learning about physical therapy can help you better understand your own body. You'll discover new ways to stay physically healthy.
Most people who study physical therapy become physical therapists. However, there are several other options in this area. You may go on to become an athletic trainer for sports teams or a chiropractor with your own practice. You can become a personal trainer, exercise instructor, or exercise physiologist. Some people who study physical therapy go on to explore other therapeutic careers, such as speech, recreational, or occupational therapy. You can use your education as the basis for a career as a physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, or audiologist too.