10 Things you might not know about Physical Therapy

10 check points on Physical Therapy

We are all somewhat familiar with how physical therapy can help people with various developmental and physical problems. However, with so much information available to the public it is easy to get misinformed. That is why we created a quick list of top 10 things you might not be aware about physical therapy.

  1. Physical therapists do much more than just treating injuries they can help you avoid repetitive injuries like joint and muscle traumas, as well as provide manual therapy, and modalities to assist with pain management.
  2. Physical therapy is a rehabilitation science that promotes health by enabling their patients through an active life style to “live life to the fullest” and overcome their physical suffering. Physical therapists evaluate and treat people across their lifespan. Many people are unaware that physical therapists treat new born as well as young children. After birth, some babies require assistance achieving their developmental milestones. Physical therapists are movement experts who help everyone reach their full functional potential, regardless of age.
  3. Physical therapy is a vital part of health care that provides treatment that helps patients regain and/or develop their abilities after a life altering injury or illness.The American Physical Therapy Association has created a vision statement called Vision 2020 which states that by 2020, physical therapy services will be provided by physical therapists trained at the doctorate level (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/cwp/vision2020_nyc_cwp.pdf).
  4. Like a good coach physical therapist should challenge you if your exercises become too easy. A good treatment should constantly be adapt to your needs and push you to the limit to turn an “I can’t” into “I can”.
  5. Best results are achieved through teamwork. Collaborating with physical therapists can speed up your recovery time. The patient and the therapist work as a team to create a treatment plan and home exercise program in order to meet the patient’s goals.
  6. All fifty states have at least some access to a physical therapist. Depending on your state and insurance policy you might not be required to get a referral from you Primary Care Physician to see a physical therapist. This means that if you are experiencing problems with mobility, pain, or a loss of function, your physical therapist can evaluate, and in many cases, treat your condition without the additional visit to your primary Physician.
  7. Physical therapy should not be confused with a massage at the spa or exercises in a PE class. Physical therapist are trained doctors that treat patients by perform specialized exercises that are designed to decrease tightness and tone as well as improve tissue mobility. Moreover they are equipped with the latest rehabilitation technologies like C.A.R.E.N (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment) and Antigravity treadmills. These technologies include various censors and cameras to conduct the best possible treatment.
  8. Physical therapists treat much more than just physical injuries. Positional vertigo is the most common cause of dizziness and it can successfully be treated in a single visit to a physical therapist.
  9. As there are different types of environments that physical therapists work in, there are also many different types of Physical therapy available. PT’s are trained to treat a great number of different cases, like, orthopedic, post-operative care, cardiovascular and pulmonary rehab, wound care, and neurologic rehabilitation. Also, sports physical therapy helps athletes to improve their performance and prevent traumas. Just to name a few.
  10. Physical Therapists work in many different environments like private practices, home health agencies, some schools, gyms, nursing homes, and hospitals. With so many channels available it is now easier than ever for individuals to locate a physical therapist close to home.

In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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