What is Physical Therapy (PT)?

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

The APTA adds:

  • PTs examine you to develop a plan, using treatment techniques to 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 work with individuals to 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 synonyms. Here in the United States, the term physical therapy is used more often than physiotherapy, and you might notice some slight differences in preferred techniques and training.

For example:

  • PT focuses on non-threatening injuries, while physiotherapy focuses on post-operative care.
  • Physical therapists each have a 3-year degree, while physiotherapists each have 4 years of training.
  • PT uses more hands-on techniques, exercise, and functional training, while physiotherapists more often use electrical modalities like ultrasound, laser, interferential, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), and dry needling.

BackFit employs doctors of physical therapy, physical therapists, assistant physical therapists, and physiotherapists to provide the best, holistic approach to healing your body.

What can physical therapy treat?

Physical therapy and physiotherapy 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 techniques might be part of my plan at BackFit?

Here at BackFit Health + Spine, we utilize a long list of advanced physical therapy techniques, including:

  • Spinal Decompression: this advanced decompression device is used to remove pressure on spinal discs.
  • 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: a manual therapy for soft-tissue mobilization using a metal instrument, also known as "scraping," effectively removing scar tissue and knots.
  • 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 Re-education: activities employed to improve proprioception, balance, gait, and kinesthetic awareness.
  • Kinesio Taping: therapeutic taping technique applied to the skin to facilitate or inhibit muscular activity, reduce swelling, and increase joint stability.
  • TENS: through electrodes placed on your skin, a low-voltage electrical current is passed through your skin to provide 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 physical therapy is also about patient education and home-exercise prescriptions. We will provide you with prognosis expectations and information on how to prevent recurrence of injury, as well as detailed, customized activities that you can print and take home for between visits or after you complete treatment in the clinic.

BackFit is dedicated to providing you with exceptional physical therapy and physiotherapy. Whether we treat you for a chronic condition or acute injury, our primary goal is to accurately identify the root cause of your problem and determine the right treatment plan to help you correct it. And our entire team of medical and chiropractic physicians is available for any further diagnosis and treatment necessary.

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Patient receiving physical therapy at BackFit

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!