Physical therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy, is one of the allied health
professions that, by using evidence-based kinesiology, electrotherapy, shockwave modality, exercise prescription, joint mobilization and health
education, treats conditions such as chronic or acute pain, soft tissue injuries, cartilage damage, arthritis, gait disorders and physical impairments typically of musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, neurological and endocrinological origins. Physical therapy is used to improve a patient's physical functions through physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, physical intervention, rehabilitation
and patient education. It is practiced by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in many countries). Physical therapy addresses the illnesses, or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs use an individual's history
and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management
plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings. Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be used. PT management
commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, education, electrophysical modalities which include heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses, and other interventions. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.
Relevant Topics in Medical Sciences