Physical Therapy: FSA Eligibility
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy (PT) is a treatment that helps restore function, improve mobility, and relieve pain, all with the goal of making it easier to move around for everyday tasks. Physical therapists work closely with patients through an examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention process. They may ask you about your symptoms and daily activity to create a treatment plan that restores, maintains, or promotes overall fitness.
Many patients of PT are accident victims or individuals with disabling conditions like low back pain, head injuries, arthritis, and heart disease. PTs might apply pressure to the soft tissues of the body to relax muscles, increase circulation, and ease pain. Another method, mobilization, includes slow, measured movements to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position (Verywell Health).
What are the types of physical therapy?
There are 5 main types of PT. Most sports injuries fall under the first, orthopedic physical therapy, which includes treatments like stretching, strength training, endurance exercises, and electrical muscle stimulation. Older adults typically need geriatric physical therapy where the focus is on restoring mobility, reducing pain, and accommodating physical limitations. This type of PT is great for treatment of conditions like arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Pediatric physical therapy focuses on infants, children, and adolescents to help children alleviate pain, improve strength and range of motion, master balance and flexibility and gain motor skills. PT is also helpful for children suffering from diseases or injuries like developmental delays, head trauma, limb deficiencies, muscle diseases, and more.
A fourth type of physical therapy, neurological therapy, focuses on neurological conditions and impairments like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, etc. The focus of the treatment is for the patient to achieve the highest level of autonomous function for daily living so that they can live independently. Lastly, cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy focuses individuals who suffer from conditions such as heart attacks and pulmonary fibrosis. PTs will work with these individuals to help them increase endurance and improve functional independence as well (Olean Physical Therapy Professionals).
Over the duration of PT, tests of strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, and more are conducted to measure results. Individuals work closely with the physical therapist to figure out an optimum pace and schedule to meet the goals of physical therapy.