Study Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Schools


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It has been discovered that most of the physical treatments employed in modern physical therapy, as exercise and massage, were already used by early civilizations. Shortly after the field was formally established in the 19th century, Physical Therapy was found useful especially during and after the World War II.

The physical therapist is tasked to apply the scientific background gained from their years of study into procedures used to treat patients with certain disabilities (or on a more politically correct note, different abilities), ailments, or injury. These treatments are meant to help patients recover faster while ensuring, with the support of a professional, that patients still retrieve “functionality” in the correct manner. Physical therapists guarantee that the treatments they administer will accelerate the rehabilitation period for the patient, but make a mental note to lessen the remaining physical discomforts. Therapists also teach patients, as well as their families, to administer exercises for continuous and long-term patient care even outside the hospital.

Physical Therapy is commonly used interchangeably with Occupational Therapy, but the latter involves activities specifically designed techniques not only for physical health but also for mental, and for emotional. Some parts of the program are meant to aid the patient in maximizing the development and restoration of nervous and muscular coordination, and strengthening muscles within the limits of the patient's physical tolerance.

Regardless of whether the disability roots from physical handicap or mental illness, psychological rehabilitation of the patient is important. This is why students of the Physical Therapy program are also trained to focus on the use of planned, goal-oriented activities to provide successes, quantified in grades, to the patient. Such activities will be helpful in overcoming lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, difficulty coping with stress, and in some cases, even depression.

Originally, the program was only regarded as a “past-time” for patients, owing to their extended period of stay to recuperate in the hospital. But now, it has become time for a specialized remedy program meant to shorten the patient’s period of recovery, among other functions.

Students of the Physical Therapy programs take courses in the basic sciences: those of the physical - including physics, chemistry, and mathematics; the health - counting human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, psychology, and pathology. During the latter part of the course, the subjects are mostly under the clinical sciences, such as the principles and practice of physical therapy, clinical medicine, and surgery. Moreover, the program integrates subjects of the clinical arts, which include administration of therapeutic procedures to patients.

The physical therapist's work is based on the physician's statement of the patient's diagnosis, the objectives of the program, and the patient’s prospects, personality, as well as physical and emotional limitations. Some diagnostic tests performed by the physical therapist are manual muscle, perceptual, and sensory testing, measurement of joint range of motion, and electrical testing.

Physical Therapy also includes fundamental methods of massage, bandaging, strapping, and proper use and removal of splints and casts. The work of the physical therapist actually does not stop in the hospital unit. They are also tasked to instruct patients and their relatives in the use of prosthetic devices, such as artificial limbs, bracing devices, and techniques of exercise.

Graduates of the Physical Therapy program are commonly employed in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, special education schools, in homes for the elderly, and public health agencies. Some graduates of the program opt to be occupied in other relevant areas such as consultation, education, and research.

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