Physical therapists are highly trained health care professionals. They are experts in human movement who are trained to evaluate and treat all kinds of musculoskeletal issues with exercise and other techniques. Everyone moves and everyone can benefit from exercise, so physical therapists can help people through their entire lives!
Physical Therapy for Children
Physical therapists start treating some people very shortly after birth. Common reasons a baby might need PT include torticollis and cerebral palsy. Torticollis is a postural issue caused by a tight neck muscle. Babies with torticollis hold their heads tipped to one side. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that causes difficulty with movement and coordination.
As children get older, some have trouble hitting their motor milestones – think of these as the “firsts” – sitting up, rolling over, crawling, standing, and walking. Physical therapists can help here too, using their expertise to help develop motor skills and coordination to get these children back on track.
Physical Therapy for Adolescents
In adolescents, sports injuries become more common. Whether it’s an ankle sprain, or an ACL surgery, a PT can help. The rapid growth in adolescents can cause issues too. Things like growth plate fractures, growing pains, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, and Sever’s disease are all common in adolescence and are related to the changes the body is going through.
Physical Therapy for Adults
As adults, a lot of us will have back pain – studies say up to 80% of us. Physical therapy is one of the first treatments recommended for back pain. Physical therapists also see adults for injuries – maybe from weekend warrior type sports injuries, overuse, or from an accident at work. Some adults also start to show symptoms of diseases like multiple sclerosis, or myositis which also benefit from physical therapy.
Physical Therapy for Older Adults
Later in life, people tend to have more health issues that impact their ability to move. Things like arthritis, joint replacements, strokes, and heart attacks are all things a PT can help with. Physical therapists also help people age better – keeping them moving with exercise programs that help reduce falls, or helping them make adaptations and modifications to keep them in their homes safely.
Movement is a constant in life. As movement experts, PTs can help people of any age. Some specialize in treating pediatric patients, and some specialize in treating geriatric patients, but all PTs have the expertise to help people move better.
The Role of a Physical Therapist in Healthy Aging – https://www.ncoa.org/article/the-role-of-a- physical-therapist-in-healthy-aging
PT for pediatric ataxia – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31392562/ Adult in workplace – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32270086/
Adult myopathy (an example of something treated for adults, not geriatrics necessarily) –