What is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who help individuals maintain, restore, and improve movement, activity, and functioning - thereby enabling optimal performance and enhancing health. 

Their services are provided for individuals of all ages to prevent, minimize, or eliminate impairments of body functions and structures, activity/sport limitations, and sport participation restrictions - along with many other factors related to human performance.  In many cases, these improvements can be made without expensive surgery or the need for long-term use of prescription medications.

PTs examine each individual thoroughly and develop a plan, using treatment techniques that promote movement, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. The PT works with the athlete, family members, and other health care providers to ensure the goals of the plan of care are met and the outcomes are optimal.

Exercise and functional training are the cornerstones of physical therapy treatment. Depending on the particular needs of the athlete and client, physical therapists may perform hands-on techniques to augment proper movement and function.

The ClinicalAthlete Physical Therapists also play a large role in prevention by developing strength & conditioning, fitness, and wellness-oriented programs for athletes specific to their goals.  They understand athletic performance and training because they are athletes themselves, and will not simply give you a pink theraband for 3 sets of 10 or stick you on the ultrasound machine.

Can I go straight to a Physical Therapist without a Physician's prescription?

Absolutely yes!

All 50 states now have some form of "Direct Access" that allows you to go straight to a PT first, without a physician's referral. Call or email the PT you are interested in seeing, and they will be able to explain these details. Below is a link to each state's Direct Access regulations.

http://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/Advocacy/State/Issues/Direct_Access/DirectAccessbyState.pdf

What is a Chiropractor?

A Doctor licensed to diagnose and treat a myriad of health related issues, typically related to neuromusculoskeletal deficits.

-Contributions By:  Michael Ray, DC, Virginia ClinicalAthlete Provider