Physical Therapy is the treatment of disease or injury by the use of therapeutic exercise and other interventions that focus on improving posture, locomotion, strength, endurance, balance, coordination, joint mobility, flexibility, functional activities of daily living, and pain relief. Treatment may include active and passive modalities using a variety of means and techniques based upon biomechanical and neurophysiological principles.
Physical therapy services include therapeutic interventions tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Such interventions include therapeutic exercise programs to increase strength and endurance, as well as application of various other modalities including, but not limited to, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, and massage or mobilization techniques. These services must be rendered under a written plan of care established by a physician or other qualified non-physician practitioner (e.g., physician assistant), and must be performed by a licensed physical therapist, or by assistive personnel under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist; if performed by assistive personnel, such services shall not exceed his or her education, training and/or licensure. To be considered medically necessary, these modalities must also be proven and accepted as effective and/or safe for the treatment of disease or injury.
Durable condition-specific benefit is:
a measurable improvement in or restoration of a functional impairment that resulted from a specific disease, trauma, congenital anomaly or therapeutic intervention; and able to be sustained long-term without significant deterioration.
A few examples of measurable parameters include ROM measurements, wound measurements, distance the patient can ambulate, and amount of support the patient needs to ambulate.
A maintenance program consists of activities that preserve the patientâ€™s present level of function and prevents regression of that function. Maintenance begins when the therapeutic goals of a treatment plan have been achieved, or when no additional functional progress is apparent or expected to occur. Supportive therapy also refers to therapy that is needed to maintain or sustain level of function.
Aquatic therapy is therapeutic PT exercises taking place in or on water, most likely in a swimming pool. This involves the therapist doing manipulation, mobilization or manual stretching and strengthening in the water instead of on land. This type of therapy may be useful following intra-articular and ligament reconstruction in the knee, as well as for walking reeducation, strengthening leg muscles, and enhancing joint range of motion. Aquatic therapy may also be a beneficial form of patient treatment for rheumatic disease.
Whirlpool bath is a therapeutic bath in which all or part of the body is exposed to forceful whirling currents of hot water. Whirlpool bath may be used for debridement of traumatic wounds, burns, pressure ulcers or surgical wounds and as an adjunct means to achieve joint mobility.
Contrast bath is immersion of a part of the body alternately in hot and cold water
Hubbard tank is a tank in which a patient may be immersed for the purpose of permitting him to perform underwater exercise.
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, in any form, but usually externally, in the treatment of disease. Any of the above listed forms of water baths or therapy could be called hydrotherapy.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a form of rehabilitation therapy involving the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal and psychological dysfunction through the use of specific tasks or goal-directed activities designed to improve the functional performance of an individual.
Occupational therapy involves cognitive, perceptual, safety, and judgment evaluations and training. These services emphasize useful and purposeful activities to improve neuromusculoskeletal functions and to provide training in activities of daily living (ADL). Activities of daily living include: feeding, dressing, bathing, and other self-care activities. Other occupational therapy services include the design, fabrication, and use of orthoses, and guidance in the selection and use of adapted equipment.