Healthy Living

What Are the Types of Physical Therapy?

What Are the Types of Physical Therapy?

Key Takeaways

  • Orthopedic therapy is the most common form of physical therapy available.
  • Physical therapists diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders. 
  • Most types of physical therapy are usually done in out-patient clinical settings. 

There are several specialties of physical therapy. Although it’s a well-known field by many professionals, it’s usually overlooked by the public. Below are some of the common types of physical therapies:

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Physical therapists diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders. They also help patients to fully recover from an orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic physical therapy is usually done in out-patient clinical settings. These medical professionals are highly trained in the treatment of sports injuries, amputations, post-operative joints, and arthritis, among many other conditions and injuries. Joint mobilizations, electrical stimulation, strength training, cold packs, and hot packs are usually used to speed up the recovery process in orthopedic settings. People who have suffered injuries affecting the tendons, muscles, ligaments, or bones of the body might benefit from a physical examination performed by an orthopedic specialist.

Geriatric Physical Therapy

Geriatric therapy covers multiple issues regarding the elderly people as they undergo the normal process of aging. These conditions include cancer, arthritis, hip or joint replacement, osteoporosis, incontinence, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and balance disorders. Geriatric physical therapists devise specialized programs to help reinstate mobility, increase fitness, and reduce pain.

Neurological Physical Therapy

This form of treatment is administered to people who have a brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and stroke. The common problems experienced by patients suffering from neurological disorders include vision impairment, loss of independence, paralysis, poor balance, and difficulty in walking. Therapists work closely with patients to improve such areas of dysfunction.

Pediatric Physical Therapy

This kind of therapy helps in the detection of health conditions, diagnosis, treatment, and management of newborns, children, and young adults. Therapy includes managing different injuries, diseases, and disorders affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. The treatments aim at improving fine motor skills, endurance, balance, strength, cognitive and sensory integration, and coordination.

Children experiencing developmental delays, torticollis, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida are usually treated by pediatric physical therapists.

Cardiovascular or Pulmonary Rehabilitation

This therapy helps treat people with cardiopulmonary illnesses and those who have had pulmonary or cardiac surgery. The main objective of this special therapy is to increase the patient’s endurance and practical independence.

Wound Care Physical Therapy

Physical therapists may perform certain treatments that focus on improving wound care. This form of physical therapy entails an assurance that the body gets sufficient blood and oxygen supply to the wounded area. These include chronic wounds, which aren’t healing following a surgery, as well as necrotic wounds. Therapists can utilize manual techniques to facilitate an enhanced circulation of blood. They could as well use electro-stimulation therapies to speed up the healing process. It’s more likely that your therapist will regularly clean the wound and remove dead cells through the use of compression procedures.

Vestibular Physical Therapy

This type of therapy involves treating people who have persistent damage to the internal mechanisms of the ear, which interferes with balance and coordination. Vestibular therapies utilize numerous manual techniques to help patients acclimatize to the signals. The therapy focuses on teaching the brain to adapt to any changes occurring in your inner ear. This might improve the mobility and coordination of patients.

Decongestive Physical Therapy

This treatment deals primarily with patients who have lymph node disorders or edema. Such people accumulate excess fluids in certain parts of the body including their legs and arms. Therapists can carefully drain these fluids in case they become severely painful or problematic. They can also utilize compression, physical exercise, and many other treatments so as to reduce the buildup of unnecessary fluids in the patient’s body. Frequent decongestive therapies may also help in keeping serious conditions such as lymphedema under effective control.