Types of Physical Therapy Jobs Available

June 20th, 2012 by admin

TSimage-89693822Physical therapists can specialize in many different areas, though their primary goal for the therapy they offer remains the same: to help patients deal with pain and improve mobility so that the patients can live normal and active lives. Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and physical conditions and they tailor their treatment to meet the needs and goals of each individual patient. This can mean helping an athlete become more mobile in order to improve his performance or teaching an older patient how to use his body while doing a basic task like getting out of the shower. While there are many areas of specialization, following are the most common areas of specialization for physical therapists.  Those working in this profession attend one of the many Physical Therapy Schools in the country.

Geriatric Physical Therapy
As the population continues to get older, physical therapists are needed to help the aging population meet the challenges brought on by the changes the body undergoes. PTs working in this field treat older patients suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis, incontinence, Alzheimer’s and other health issues. They help patients remain or become more active and mobile, lessen pain and generally provide techniques to improve overall fitness. Geriatric physical therapists usually work in nursing homes and in outpatient clinical facilities. They can also work through home health agencies, visiting patients’ homes to provide therapy. The therapy can be offered in both individual and group settings.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Orthopedic physical therapists focus on treating musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. These therapists work with athletes and patients recovering from amputations and other orthopedic surgeries. The treatments offered by orthopedic physical therapists include strength training, mobilization of the joints and the use of hot and cold packs. Therapists who specialize in this field can build a career in sports medicine treating both professionals and regular active people. The therapy offered by these professionals can be focused on enhancing performance or on increasing mobility. Therapists normally work in outpatient clinical facilities but others work for health clubs and other sports facilities.

Pediatric Physical Therapy
Physical therapists specializing in pediatrics work with infants, children and adolescents to diagnose and treat muscle, joint and bone problems due to diseases, disorders or injuries. The focus of pediatric physical therapy treatment is the improvement of fine and gross motor skills as well as increasing strength and improving balance and coordination. Pediatric physical therapists also work with young people to improve and develop cognitive and sensory skills. Some of the patients who benefit from physical therapy are children who have developmental delays, spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Pediatric physical therapists can work in the school system to assist disabled students as well as in outpatient clinics and through home health agencies visiting patients’ homes.

Neurological Physical Therapy
Physical therapists specializing in the neurological area work with patients who suffer from disorders or injuries to the neurological system such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and injuries to the spinal cord. Therapists work with patients to improve problems such as paralysis and difficulty with balance and walking. Neurological physical therapists work in hospital settings, outpatient clinics and even through home health agencies to provide patients with treatment.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
This area of specialization means that therapists work with patients who have cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders or surgery such as cardiac or pulmonary surgery. Therapists in this area focus on helping patients gain functional independence, gain strength and increase endurance through exercises and heat or water massages. Physical therapists who specialize in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

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