What is Physical Therapy (PT)?

The American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) defines physical therapists as "movement experts" who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

The APTA adds:

  • Physical therapists provide an examination and take a medical history to develop a plan that uses PT treatment techniques.
  • PT treatments promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.
  • PTs teach you how to prevent or manage your condition so that you can achieve long-term health benefits.
  • PTs prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Here at BackFit Health + Spine we couldn't agree more with the purpose of physical therapy.

What's the difference between physical therapy and physiotherapy?

Generally these terms are the same. Here in the United States, the term physical therapy is used more often than physiotherapy. If you see a physical therapist or physiotherapist, you might notice some small differences in preferred techniques and training, for example:

  • Physical therapy has a focus on injury recovery. Physiotherapy focuses on post-op care after surgery.
  • Physical therapists all have a 3-year degree. Physiotherapists all have 4 years of training.
  • PT uses more hands-on techniques, exercise, and functional medicine. Physiotherapists more often use electrical modalities like ultrasound, laser, interferential therapy, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), and dry needling.

BackFit employs a combination of doctors of physical therapy, physical therapists, physiotherapists, and other sports medicine specialists to provide the best, integrated approach. Physical therapists interchangeably use “PT” for the therapy itself and as their title.

What can physical therapy treat?

PT can treat a long list of conditions, including but not limited to:

PT can help people of all ages heal, from the very young to adults and seniors.

What physical therapy techniques might be part of my plan at BackFit?

BackFit integrates a wide range of state-of-the-art PT techniques, including:

  • Hand Therapy: rehabilitation for conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities.
  • Lumbar Flexion/Extension: these specific exercises are designed to target an affected or injured area.
  • Full Spinal Traction: therapeutic distraction of the injured area providing pain relief and increased range of motion.
  • Graston Technique: also known as "scraping," a manual therapy using a metal tool that effectively removes scar tissue and trigger points from soft tissue.
  • Myofascial Release: sustaining an assist hold in a dysfunctional soft tissue area.
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization: rhythmic movement at a dysfunctional soft tissue area.
  • Joint Mobilization: a manual intervention designed to improve joint mobility, ROM, and decrease pain.
  • Muscle Energy Technique (MET): manual therapy that uses muscle contractions to relax and lengthen muscles and normalize joint motion.
  • Therapeutic Exercise: patient specific exercises prescribed to improve deficits such as decreased strength, flexibility, and muscular endurance.
  • Neuromuscular Reeducation: activities employed to improve proprioception (spatial awareness), balance, gait, and kinesthetic (tactile) awareness.
  • Kinesio Taping: therapeutic taping technique applied to the skin to facilitate or inhibit muscular activity, reduce swelling, and increase joint stability.
  • TENS: multiple electrodes are placed on your skin, then a low-voltage electrical current is passed between them through your skin for acute pain relief.
  • PENS: similar to TENS but for chronic pain. Small needle electrodes are placed into the soft tissue or muscle and a low-voltage current is passed between them.
  • Functional Dry Needling: use of small needles to deactivate trigger points and loosen shortened muscles.
  • Deep Ultrasound Therapy: modality designed to facilitate muscular activity, inhibit pain, and reduce swelling.

Beyond these devices and techniques, we believe strongly that PT is also about patient education and home exercise prescriptions. We will provide you with a prognosis, expectations, and information on how to prevent recurrence of injury. Your treatment plan will include printed, custom exercise and stretches that you can do at home between visits and after you complete treatment in the clinic.

How long is a physical therapy treatment at BackFit?

Sessions vary from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan. A treatment plan can last a few weeks to a few months.

BackFit is dedicated to providing you with exceptional physical therapy. Whether your pain is from acute injury or a chronic condition, our primary goal is to accurately identify the root cause. By addressing the underlying cause directly, we can help you correct it as quickly and safely as possible.

Our entire team of medical and chiropractic physicians is available for any further diagnosis and treatment necessary.

Get back in the game today!
Schedule an appointment here

Patient receiving physical therapy at BackFit

Want more information?

Contact Us

Common Athletic Injuries and What to Do About Them

Athletic Injuries Athletic injuries can range in severity and you may not know you’ve actually hurt…

Read more
Chiropractic Care VS. Physical Therapy

Chiropractic Care VS. Physical Therapy

If you’ve ever experienced having your back out of alignment, odds are you’ve already seen a…

Read more
Neck Pain

Neck Pain: Physical Therapy and Other Options

Sometimes simple home interventions are enough to treat cervical disc disease, in which an abnormality in…

Read more
Physical Therapy

Development of the Field of Physical Therapy

The field of physical therapy in modern times was established in Britain in the latter part…

Read more

Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain: What to Expect

Physical therapy is often one of the best choices you can make when you have long-term…

Read more

Physical Therapy Benefits For Back Pain

After an episode of low back pain has lasted between two and six weeks, or if…

Read more
star star star star star

Real Stories, Real Change, Real Results

5 star average with over 500 reviews

star star star star star

Absolutely love this place! My husband and I have been going here for a while, and every time they remember us. We never have to re-explain anything. From the front desk to the medical team and chiropractors, they genuinely care. I’ve been having issues with my back and knee for as long as I can remember, and they helped make me feel better then I ever have. It's hard to find businesses that are run like BackFit. They have what is best for you at heart. Thanks for making my husband and I feel better then we’ve felt in years!

Cyndil W
star star star star star

I would highly recommend BackFit. The staff and doctors are wonderful and my treatment has been very successful. My migraine headaches and sciatic nerve pain are completely gone. I have significantly less lower back pain and much more range of motion despite the fact that the disc in my back was very damaged. I can now go about my daily living without health issues getting in the way.

Annie S
star star star star star

Great adjustments. Friendly staff too. Good therapists for exercising and stretching before I get adjusted. Been going for 4 years, totally love coming to get adjusted. Not scary at all. I had severe lower back pain and spasms. When I go for a routine adjustment it keeps from back pain occurring and my back spasming.

Cubby R
star star star star star

Going to BackFit was one of the best decisions I've made. I couldn't get out of bed because of severe back pain. I called BackFit and they were able to see me that day. They took x-rays in office. Loved that I didn't have to go anywhere else. Went back a couple days later to go over x-ray results with the chiropractor and started working on a solution, also with their in-house physician assistant and physical therapist. Not only have they been able to relieve the pain in my back but they have worked on other kinks in my body. Oh, and they also helped me lose weight. What more can I say, the people are amazing and the results are amazing! If anything in your body hurts, go to BackFit!

Natalie B
star star star star star

I recommend this place to everyone! Highly attentive professionals that are not only motivational and work very well as a team, but most importantly make you feel like family. I always look forward to my visits.

Brenda Z
star star star star star

The team here is so friendly and helpful! They helped me rehab my whiplash and back pain! I am so grateful for the people that took the time to listen to me and that gave me the attention I needed.

Edelmira Y
star star star star star

I look forward and enjoy every visit in my road to back recovery. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and welcoming. I will no longer be looking for another chiropractor office to meet my back needs. I also like the fact they provide other health needs.

Don V
star star star star star

I was a little weary at first, but man even in the first two weeks they are really making a difference in my health! I felt the difference just after my first visit! I am committed to coming back and staying consistently. I actually recommend!