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What Is Physical Therapy? A Descriptive Explanation

Updated: May 6

According to Stanford Medicine, Physical therapy primarily treats various orthopedic conditions, such as sports injuries or other severe musculoskeletal conditions. It may be utilized for a wide range of cases, from addressing a high schooler's sports injury to helping a patient in managing their motor and sensory symptoms from disease like Parkinson's.

Furthermore, therapy can also be used to treat both acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is sudden and mostly accompanies an injury, while chronic pain lasts for a minimum of three months.

Regardless of the types of pains that a patient experiences, therapy has always been a rehabilitative option that might encourage healing and mobility and potentially prevent more serious injuries down the line.

physical therapy

How Do I Know If I Need Therapy?

If you experience any of the following symptoms now or in the near future, then there is a chance that therapy might be beneficial to you:

  • A physical injury that limits one's mobility

  • Joint, muscle, or nerve pain that started on its own

  • Balance problems

  • Dizziness or weakness-Inability to return to activities following a surgical procedure along with prolonged illness

Thus, a health care provider might refer one to attain therapy; patients in the U.S. can seek therapy services directly without any prior referral, all thanks to direct access laws. However, individualized state laws, along with one's health insurance provider's referral requirements, can primarily affect the availability of this option.

Physical Therapy Benefits

Research shows that patients can also experience many benefits from therapy, and while results may vary from one case to another, such benefits mostly include:

  • A decrease in short-term and long-term pain aand with disabilities

  • Weight loss and improved mobility for those who are living with severe obesity

  • A reduced need for surgery and medication in order to treat various physical conditions

  • Improved strength with balance and coordination

  • Acces to strategies that prevent injuries and chronic pain and lead to live a healthy life 

  • Mobility assistance for emergency situations for patients having musculoskeletal disorders

In certain scenarios, new intervention strategies like surgery and medication can provide additional benefits, but many researchers advise that therapy often poses less risk to patients.

What are characteristics of physical therapy Clinic Culver City?

The following assumptions are embedded in this description and reflect the central components of physical therapy clinic:

  • Physical therapists are autonomous practitioners prepared through professional therapy education. Therapists exercise their professional judgement to reach a diagnosis that will direct their therapy interventions/treatment, education and rehabilitation of patients/clients/populations.

  • Diagnosis in therapy is the result of a process of clinical reasoning that results in the identification of existing or potential impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, environmental influences or abilities/disabilities. The purpose of the diagnosis is to guide physical therapists in determining the prognosis and most appropriate intervention/treatment/education strategies for patients/clients and in sharing information with them. In carrying out the diagnostic process, physical therapists may need to obtain additional information from other professionals. If the diagnostic process reveals findings that are not within the scope of the physical therapist’s knowledge, experience or expertise, the physical therapist will refer the patient/client to another appropriate practitioner.

  • Individuals have the capacity to change as a result of their responses to physical, psychological, social and environmental factors. Body, mind and spirit contribute to individuals’ views of themselves and enable them to develop an awareness of their own movement needs and goals. Ethical principles require the physical therapist to recognize the autonomy of the patient/client or legal guardian in seeking his or her services.

  • Movement is an essential element of health and wellbeing and is dependent upon the integrated, coordinated function of the human body at a number of levels. Movement is purposeful and is affected by internal and external factors. Therapy is directed towards the movement needs and potential of individuals and populations.

  • Therapists may direct their interventions to specific populations. Populations may be nations, states and territories, regions, minority groups or other specified groups.

  • An integral part of therapy is interaction between the physical therapist and the patient/client/family or caregiver to develop a mutual understanding of their needs. This kind of interaction is necessary to positively change the body awareness and movement behaviors that may promote health and wellbeing.

  • Members of inter-disciplinary teams also need to interact with each other and with patients/clients/families and caregivers to determine needs and formulate goals for therapy intervention/treatment.

  • Physical therapists should interact with administration and governance structures to inform, develop and/or implement appropriate health policies and strategies.

Is Physical Therapy painful?

Sometimes Therapy is uncomfortable or painful. However, the Physical Therapist has treatments available that can help minimize pain. As muscles are stretched and exercised, it is only natural to experience some soreness. As Therapy progresses, range of motion typically increases as does strength and soreness will diminish. In general, patients feel better following Therapy and look forward to the next session.

How long does a Physical Therapy session last?

The amount of time needed depends on the type of Therapy involved. For example, it may take one patient longer to complete their therapeutic exercises than another. Also, as a patients makes progress or changes physically, his/her treatment plan is adjusted. At A Plus Care, most visits last around 50 minutes to an hour.


A Plus Care LA only offers authorized and certified proficient physical therapy and occupational therapy treatment at home. Get in contact with A Plus Care LA today! Our masterful healthcare providers, with their expert hands, encourage people to embrace healthful living and can help you with a quick rehab. Our therapists strives to aid you or your loved ones in regaining independence with their day-to-day routine, optimizing their movement patterns, and achieving overall improved health. To find out more about our expert services, call or email us now!

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