Physical Therapy

Introduction of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a healthcare profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility through examination, evaluation, and diagnosis. 

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilities to perform. PTs use an individual’s medical history and physical examination for an evaluation and diagosis and establish a management plan.  PT management commonly includes prescription or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, education, manipulation and other interventions. In addition, 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, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.

Physical therapy has many specialties including sports, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic and pediatrics.

Dr. Bien’s physical therapy is mainly focusing a pain management along with other common diseases such as headache, migrain, arthritis, et..

The History of Physical Therapy

Physicians like Hippocrates and later Galenus are believed to have been the first practitioners of physical therapy, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques and hydrotherapy to treat people in 460 BC. After the development of orthopedics in the eighteenth century, machines like the Gymnasticon were developed to treat gout and similar diseases by systematic exercise of the joints, similar to later developments in physical therapy.

Modern physical therapy was established in Britain towards the end of the 19th century. Soon following American orthopedic surgeons began treating children with disabilities and began employing women trained in physical education, massage, and remedial exercise. These treatments were applied and promoted further during the Polio outbreak of 1916. During the First World War women were recruited to work with and restore physical function to injured soldiers, and the field of physical therapy was institutionalized. In 1918 the term “Reconstruction Aide” was used to refer to individuals practicing physical therapy. The first school of physical therapy was established at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washtington D.C. following the outbreak of World War I.

The first physical therapy research was published in the United States in March 1921 in “The PT Review.” In the same year, Mary McMillan organized the Physical Therapy Association (now called the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In 1924, the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation promoted the field by touting physical therapy as a treatment for polio.

Treatment through the 1940s primarily consisted of exercise, massage, and traction. Manipulative procedures to the spine and extremity joints began to be practiced. Later that decade, physical therapists started to move beyond hospital-based practice to outpatient orthopedic clinics, public schools, colleges/universities healthcentres, geriatric settings (skilled nursing facilities), rehabilitation centers and medical centers.

In 1921 in the United States physical therapists formed the first professional association called the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association. This gave birth to what is known today as the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association), and currently represents approximately 76,000 members throughout the United States. The APTA defines physical therapy as: “clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function.”



Techniques of Physical Therapy

  • Cryotherapy
  • Debridement
  • Diathermy
  • Eccentric training
  • Electrotherapy
  • Fluidotherapy
  • Gait training
  • Heat therapy (Thermotherapy)
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Iontophoresis
  • Joint manipulation
  • Joint mobilization
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Splint (medicine)
  • Strength training
  • Traction (orthopedics)
  • Therapeutic ultrasound

Various Areas of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has many specialties including sports, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic and pediatrics. 

Some PTs specialize in a specific clinical area. American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties list eight specialist certifications.

Cardiovascular & pulmonary

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation respiratory practitioners and physical therapists treat a wide variety of individuals with cardiopulmonary disorders or those who have had cardiac or pulmonary surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasing endurance and functional independence. Manual therapy is used in this field to assist in clearing lung secretions experienced with cystic fibrosis. Disorders, including heart attacks, post coronary bypass surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis, treatments can benefit from cardiovascular and pulmonary specialized physical therapists.

Clinical electrophysiology

This specialty area encompasses electrotherapy/physical agents, electrophysiological evaluation (EMG/NCV), physical agents, and wound management.

Geriatric

Geriatric physical therapy covers a wide area of issues concerning people as they go through normal adult aging but is usually focused on the older adult. There are many conditions that affect many people as they grow older and include but are not limited to the following: arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, incontinence, etc. Geriatric physical therapists specialize in treating older adults.

Integumentary

Integumentary (treatment of conditions involving the skin and related organs). Common conditions managed include wounds and burns. Physical therapists utilize surgical instruments, mechanical lavage, dressings and topical agents to debride necrotic tissue and promote tissue healing. Other commonly used interventions include exercise, edema control, splinting, and compression garments.

Neurological

Neurological physical therapy is a field focused on working with individuals who have a neurological disorder or disease. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and stroke. Common impairments associated with neurologic conditions include impairments of vision, balance, ambulation, activities of daily living, movement, muscle strength and loss of functional independence. Physiotherapy can address many of these impairments and aid in restoring and maintaining function, slowing disease progression, and improving quality of life.

In layman’s terms, neurological massage is directed toward correcting and healing out-of-normative body systems, unlike traditional massages, such as Swedish massage, that are directed toward comfort and relaxation.

Orthopedic

Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery. This specialty of physical therapy is most often found in the out-patient clinical setting. Orthopedic therapists are trained in the treatment of post-operative orthopedic procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions, and amputations.

Joint and spine mobilization/manipulation, dry needling, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular reeducation, hot/cold packs, and electrical muscle stimulation (e.g., cryotherapy, iontophoresis, electrotherapy) are modalities often used to expedite recovery in the orthopedic setting. Additionally, an emerging adjunct to diagnosis and treatment is the use of sonography for diagnosis and to guide treatments such as muscle retraining. Those who have suffered injury or disease affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons will benefit from assessment by a physical therapist specialized in orthopedics.

Pediatric

Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problems and uses a wide variety of modalities to treat disorders in the pediatric population. These therapists are specialized in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration. Children with developmental delays, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or torticollis may be treated by pediatric physical therapists.

Sports

Physical therapists can be involved in the care of athletes from recreational to professional and Olympians. This area of practice includes athletic injury management, including acute care, treatment and rehabilitation, prevention, and education. Physical therapists are also active in sports medicine programs. Physical therapists who work for professional sport teams often have this specialized certification.

Women's health

Women’s health physical therapy addresses women’s issues related to child birth, and post-partum. These conditions include lymphedema, osteoporosis, pelvic pain, prenatal and post partum periods, and urinary incontinence.

Alternative HealthCare Center
3000 W Olympic Blvd ,Ste 308,
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Bien Physical Therapist
9240 Garden Grove Blvd,
Garden Grove, CA 92844

drrbien@yahoo.com

Phone

Los Angeles Office :
213-380-2500
Garden Grove :
714-534-5848
Toll Free :
888-887-PAIN