If you are considering a career in physical therapy, you’ll find that beyond simply getting your degree and your certification in the subject, you will need to pick a specialty. Your specialty will determine what kind of work you do and who you will do it with, so consider some of these common specialties. The more you know about the different kind of specialties, the more educated your choice will be. Knowing these specialties will help you develop your skills when you attend one of the many Physical Therapy Schools in the nation.
A physical therapist who specializes in geriatric is one who works with older people. They may deal with patients who have reduced mobility due to osteoporosis, cancer or arthritis, or who have injured themselves and require help with restoring balance and strength. In some cases, chronic conditions like incontinence can be aided through the use of certain physical therapy exercises. In many cases, a physical therapist working in geriatrics will be helping people regain mobility that they have lost.
A pediatric physical therapist is one who works with adolescents, young children and even with infants. Depending on the patient, this type of physical therapy may involve helping the patient fine motor control or improving their sensory perception. Some conditions that a pediatric physical therapist my work with include cerebral palsy and torticollis. A pediatric physical therapist might also work with a child with developmental delays, who needs more instruction and more aid when it comes to mastering some motor functions.
A neurological physical therapist is knowledgeable regarding disorders that affect the brain and the spinal column. People who have experienced traumas like brain injuries and strokes may need to reteach their bodies to perform certain basic tasks, though the need for a neurological physical therapist may also be caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Physical therapy in this field might also be used to treat vision problems and even paralysis.
An orthopedic physical therapist focuses on the muscles, joints, tendons and bones. They are commonly the individuals that people think about when they think about physical therapists, and their specialty covers a wide range of treatments. People who require an orthopedic physical therapist may have just had orthopedic surgery, or they may have been in an accident that has impaired their movement. Some of the techniques used in orthopedic physical surgery include flexibility exercises and hot and cold packs.
A physical therapist who specializes in women’s health treats women who have mobility issues with regards to childbirth and postpartum activities. Some of the issues that a woman might face after pregnancy include osteoporosis, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence. All of these issues can be reduced in intensity through physical therapy, and this therapy can take place both in the prenatal and postpartum stages.
An integumental physical therapist deals with patients who have issues or diseases relating to the skin. This is type of physical therapy is not as well known as some of the other forms, but it is an essential part of the healing process for people who have suffered from severe burns and traumatic injuries. The skin must be able to respire, and it must also be flexible to allow movement. Many integumental physical therapists work with patients who have very recently dealt with painful problems, and they help the patient during the healing process by ensuring that the skin does not heal too tightly.