A Physical Therapy Center has the mission to enhance the function, maintenance, and performance of individuals by addressing pain, limitations, stress, injury, dysfunction, or abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system. Physical therapy includes the assessment and treatment of movement, sensory integration, motor function, flexibility, bone stability, and balance. The primary focus of physical therapy is to promote optimal functioning through prevention, exercise, rehabilitation, and counteracting injury. Physical therapy deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal system through research, education, practice, and assessment. Physical therapy also includes the coordination of therapeutic and rehabilitative programs for patients with chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system, that require special attention.
A physical therapy center offers different kinds of services. There are physical therapists who are primarily trained in manual therapy. Manual therapy includes such procedures as strength training, stretching, balance and coordination, manual transferring, soft-tissue manipulation, electrotherapy, and electro-therapy. Other physical therapists include chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports medicine physicians, neurological specialists, orthopedic surgeons, and nurses. These practitioners work together in a team to provide the patient with the best care.
The National Certification Board for Physical Therapy offers several certifications in both the clinical and practical arenas of physical therapy. One of these certifications is the PT/MA Approach, which is a combination of theory and clinical skills necessary for all physical therapist graduates and those who are certified thereafter. This certification emphasizes on the teaching of physical therapy and rehabilitation for a healthy recovery. The purpose of the PT/MA approach is to combine theoretical knowledge with direct application and practical nursing practice. This combination provides the student with the ability to develop a comprehensive understanding of the human body and the importance of optimal health.
Another certification offered in a physical therapy center is the PT Exercise Professional Certification. The purpose of this certification is to train physical therapist assistants and instructors. Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of physical therapist instructors and are responsible for the education and training of patients in the use of exercise equipment, stress relief techniques, weight loss, nutritional counseling, balance and coordination, and pain management.
Physical therapy centers also offer certificates in rehabilitation. Some of these certificates are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Education. These programs prepare students to assess and treat individuals with traumatic injuries or chronic illnesses. Students may choose to specialize in either orthopedic or neurological therapy.
The American Physical Therapy Association offers certificate programs in a number of areas. Certificate programs include Applied Kinesiology, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. There are also a variety of courses in anatomy, physiology, dermatology, neurology, endocrinology, nutrition, pediatrics, and pulmonary medicine. There are also a number of specialties that a physical therapy center can offer. Specialty courses include pediatric physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, sports physical therapy, women’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, neuropathic physical therapy, orthopedic surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, geriatric physical therapy, and others. There is a specialization for every field!