October is National Physical Therapy (PT) month, so we wanted to showcase some aspects of Physical Therapy that may be less known to most.
1. Did you know that DPT stands for Doctor of Physical Therapy?
That’s right, the DPT behind your therapist’s name means that they have a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy, and completed a minimum of 7 years of schooling to earn it. Physical therapists have to go through schooling to understand the deep intricacies of the human body and any system that may be effecting it, all the while paying attention to systemic red flag symptoms. These symptoms may mean that the patient is not a good candidate for therapy, and needs to be referred to the appropriate provider. Some therapists do not have a DPT, which means that they became a therapist when a doctoral degree was not required. This therapist has years of experience. Now it is a universal requirement across the country to obtain a DPT before you can begin practice as a therapist.
2. Did you know that physical therapists have extensive training in musculoskeletal pathologies and are considered movement specialists.
Physical Therapists need to have a vast understanding of the neurological and musculoskeletal systems in the body to evaluate, diagnose and treat impairments, and facilitate a safe return to your daily activities.
There is a lot that goes into administering each exercise that you are given, and often patients will require external or internal cues to facilitate appropriate mechanics of the body during exercise performance. When patients come in, their therapist has an idea of which exercises to implement in the plan of care based on their diagnoses and the patient’s presentation, but that can change from day to day. Often, the therapist needs to be able to alter the exercise, and will do so utilizing biomechanical and physiological principles to facilitate appropriate loading for the individual situation.
Physical Therapy can help at all stages of the injury/pain cycle – preventative, pre-operative, post-operative, post-injury, performance. The guidance and support you will receive from your therapist can be instrumental in getting your body back to where you can do the things you want to do. Your therapist works one to one with you, tailoring a program specific to your needs.
If you have any questions, please call Missoula Bone & Joint Physical Therapy at (406) 542-4702