Physical Therapists (PTs) are highly-educated Health Care Professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability arising from disease, trauma or injury- in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.
Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. 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
Physical therapists are qualified and professionally required to:
- Undertake a comprehensive examination/assessment/evaluation of the patient/client or needs of a client group
- Formulate a diagnosis, prognosis, and plan
- Provide consultation within their expertise and determine when patients/clients need to be referred to another healthcare professional
- Implement a physical therapist intervention/treatment program
- Determine the outcomes of any interventions/treatments
- Make recommendations for self-management
The physical therapist’s extensive knowledge of the body and its movement needs and potential is central to determining strategies for diagnosis and intervention. The practice settings will vary according to whether the physical therapy is concerned with health promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation or rehabilitation. Physical therapists operate as independent practitioners, as well as members of health service provider teams, and are subject to the ethical principles of WCPT. They are able to act as first contact practitioners, and patients/clients may seek direct services without referral from another health care professional.