As a physical therapist, there are numerous specialties that you may choose. One of the most popular is orthopedic physical therapy. In fact, this is considered to be one of the most common forms of physical therapy for patients. In this profession, you will focus on issues and illnesses concerning the musculoskeletal system.

Examples include muscle strains, sprains of the ligaments, injuries associated with the tendons, and other issues of the bones, joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Continue reading to learn about this interesting career choice.

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The Goal of Orthopedic Physical Therapy

As an orthopedic physical therapist, the purpose of your work is to provide a specialized treatment that places an emphasis on boosting the functionality of the muscles, the bones, the ligaments, the tendons, and the joints of a patient’s body.

Being that this specialty accounts for the majority of referrals, this is an ideal career choice for those that are searching for a branch of physical therapy that is fast-paced, may result in high earnings, and is in high demand.

Standard Physical Therapy VS. Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedic physical therapy is much like standard physical therapy; however, there are some differences.

You will be responsible for diagnosing various conditions and/or injuries that impact the musculoskeletal system. However, instead of placing all of your focus on basic exercise activities, you will perform measures that are designed to successfully restore function to your patients.

Additionally, you may find that you zoom in on specific regions of the body, instead of the body as a whole. For example, you may focus on the spine, on the shoulders, or just on the hips – it depends on your level of expertise, education, and the needs of your patients.

orthopedic physical therapy

Basic Techniques

In the orthopedic specialty of physical therapy, there are several therapy techniques that you may utilize when working with patients. These include – but are not at all limited to – the following:

  • Manual/Hands-On Therapy
  • Pain Modulation Strategies
  • Muscle Stretching Manually
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Balance Exercises
  • Endurance Building Techniques
  • Plyometric Exercises
  • Functional Mobility Optimization Techniques

Types of Orthopedic Physical Therapy

You may be surprised to note that there are different types of orthopedic physical therapy which will allow you to further narrow down your career. The most popular include the following:

  • Geriatric Physical Therapy – This type of therapy places an emphasis on injuries and illnesses in aging populations.
  • Pediatric Therapy – This focuses on patients under the age of 18.
  • Sports Therapy – This focuses on injuries and conditions that impact athletes, such as tears of the ACL and sprains.
  • Work Hardening Therapy – This focuses on assisting patients that have suffered from injuries in the workplace.

Network Today

As a physical therapist, you have many specialties available to you. If you have an interest in advancing your career or connecting with others, you can start networking today!

We here at Colorado Physical Therapy Network collaborate with our users to establish a well-rounded platform of tools, resources, and professionals.

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