When thinking of physical therapy, most people by default think about exercises that are meant to strengthen limbs, such as after an accident. Though this is one of the most common forms of physical therapy, it is by no means representative of the whole field. In reality, the body of knowledge in physical therapy is very wide, and people who do it tend to specialize in one of the many fields in order to make it easier for them to provide quality service. Knowing about some of these specializations will make it easier for an individual pick the one that they actually need. These include:
Cardiovascular and pulmonary physiotherapy
This type of physical therapy is normally used to optimize a patient’s state before and after cardiac and pulmonary surgery. These types of surgery tend to be very intensive, and such therapy has been shown to reduce both morbidity and mortality in such patients. The main goals of this form of therapy are to increase a patient’s endurance as well as independence from using machines to breathe. In addition to that, this form of therapy can also be used on unconscious patients to clear lung secretions such as in an ICU setting. This is normally done through manual therapy.
Geriatric physical therapy
Adult aging normally brings about a number of physical and physiological challenges that might reduce one’s quality of life. The role of geriatric physical therapy is to make sure that a geriatric’s body is conditioned to reduce the chances of such changes having a large impact on their lives. Some of the conditions that are normally targeted include arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip replacement, incontinence and many more. In addition to improving the individual’s quality of life, such therapies also make them more independent as well.
Integumentary physical therapy
This relatively rare form of physical therapy is not offered in many institutions. It involves providing therapy that aids in the treatment of conditions of the skin, including burns and wounds. Some of the techniques that are normally used include mechanical lavage and topical agents to either promote healing or get rid of devitalized tissue.
Neurological physical therapy
This is one of the most common types of physical therapy in the world. It involves in either partially or completely reversing the changes that one goes through as a result of neurological disorder such as stroke or chronic back pain. The specific technique used is normally chosen based on the type of neurological injury that the individual is suffering from. For instance, if one suffers a stoke that makes it difficult for them to balance, the techniques used would be ones that are aimed at restoring balance, rather than focusing on strength.
Orthopedic physical therapy
This is yet another common form of physical therapy. It aims to manage the conditions of the musculoskeletal system, mostly after orthopedic surgery. It is normally offered in an outpatient setting.
Sports physical therapy
People who take part in sports, particularly contact sports, tend to develop unique patterns of injury. In such cases, the physical therapy would need to be tailored to address these injuries, and this is why sports physical therapy was developed.