Orthopedic Physical Therapists: Expectations, Education and Opportunities

by | Apr 13, 2016 | Physical Therapy

The medical field consist of a many branches. Not everyone wants to become a doctor or a nurse. There are other careers, of course. Among potential choices there is physical therapy. For those who want to specialize, becoming an orthopedic physical therapist offers the chance for a career in the medical field with opportunities to work with physicians and, yet, be independent.

What Is Physical Therapy?

The field of physical therapy focuses on the use of physical training and therapeutic exercise for the management and promotion of physical, emotional and mental health. They provide education on fitness, nutrition and other ways to maintain a healthy body.

What Is an Orthopedic Physical Therapist?

An orthopedic physiotherapist has received training in the field of orthopedics. They see specific types of patients with neurological or musculoskeletal health problems or disorders. They may treat patients with:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Degenerative disc
  • Disease
  • Fractures
  • Neck pain
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Stroke injury

Orthopedic physical therapists utilize their skills and knowledge to provide therapeutic exercise. You need a complete understanding of the musculoskeletal system in order to manipulate (mobilize) various parts of the skeletal structure including the joints. Massage is also an effective tool in promoting proper movement, as well as ultrasound and hot/cold therapy. The tools you employ will depend on your diagnosis and the body part affected.

Education Matters

If you plan to become a physical therapist specializing in orthopedics, you need to plan your education carefully. You first have to finish high school. After completing this level of education, you must attend a reputable college or university to obtain your degree in science. To qualify for a graduate program, you have to finish complete your studies with high marks.

The degree level you will need to complete is not a masters but a PhD. You will need to study human anatomy and understand completely how the body moves and functions. It is imperative you learn how musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems affect health. Upon completion of all your course work, you will need to obtain a license as well as board certification. The requirements are state specific. Only after you have taken all the steps can you practice.

Opportunities, Career Satisfaction and Orthopedic Physical Therapists

As an orthopedic physical therapist, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of facilities and with various physicians. Your work environment could find you in a hospital, specialized clinic, orthopedic practice or in your own workspace. You work with orthopedic specialists but, as a qualified professional, you are able to conduct examinations, make recommendations and create treatment plans. If this type of employment suits your personality and matches your education and life goals, you should seriously consider it. For orthopedic physical therapists, the job combines a love of practical medicine with the pleasure of helping people become healthy again.

The physicians at Suburban Orthopaedics offer their clients access to many services including treatment and surgery. Physical therapists work with dedicated surgeons to ensure patients receive optimal care, which has been our goal for more than 25 years. Our highly-trained and qualified physicians work closely with staff and patients to make certain all care is comprehensive and compassionate. For further information on how we can be of help, visit us at www.suburbanortho.com.  You can also connect with them on Google+ for more updates!

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