Physical Therapy And Its Specialty Areas

Physical therapy which is short for PT is kind of health profession that utilizes mechanical movements as well as forces, manual therapy, electrotherapy, and exercise therapy to improve functions and agility of the human body. With the help of physiotherapy, a patient can improve their body by going through diagnosis, examination, physical interventions, and prognosis. Physical therapy can only be performed by health professionals know as physical therapists or physiotherapists. Physical therapy is not just limited to the clinical aspect, but it can be utilized in other fields such as education, research, administration, and consultation. Sometimes physical therapy may be seen as a first option, but most of the times it is required with other medical procedures.
This health profession is a diverse field in itself. Many physiotherapists specialize in many sub-categories of physiotherapy. There are many sub-categories of physiotherapy but as of right now 9 types of physiotherapy types are recognized by the ABPTS (American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists).
The field of physiotherapy has sub-categories which include five main types or specialty areas:

1. Orthopedic

This type of physiotherapy is responsible for restoring the functions of the musculoskeletal system. These musculoskeletal parts include the tendons, bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments. Orthopedic physical therapy is most used in sports as many sportsmen face injuries that are in this physical therapy area. Treatment procedures in this type of physical therapy consist of stretch training, ultrasound, joint mobilization, stretching, endurance exercises, and muscle stimulation.

2. Neurological

This type of physical therapy concentrates on working with people who have neurological disorders and impairments. These neurological diseases and disorders include brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, stroke, and spinal cord injuries. The main goal of this kind of physical therapy is to help patients to live as independently as they can. Neurological physical therapy helps patients adjust to balance, muscle loss, visual, and mobility impairments.

3. Pediatric

This type of physical therapy mainly focuses on helping toddlers, infants, children as well as adolescents. When a child is unable to move naturally and cant learn easily then this type of physical therapy is utilized. Pediatric physical therapy is used to treat patients suffering from the following injuries, disorders, and diseases:

Birth defects

Cerebral palsy

Limb deficiencies

Orthopedic diseases

Acute injuries

Delays in developments

Head traumas

Muscle diseases

Pediatric physiotherapists use treatments, modalities, and exercises to help children relieve pain, improve movement and motor skills, become flexible, and reclaim strength.

4. Cardiopulmonary

This type of physical therapy is used to help people who have pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. These diseases include pulmonary fibrosis, (COPD) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart attacks. The main purpose of cardiopulmonary physical therapy is to develop functional independence and increase stamina.

5. Geriatric

This type of physical therapy is used for people who are normally aging through adulthood but is more utilized for older adults. Geriatric physical therapy is used to treat the following conditions:


Alzheimers disease

Joint replacement

Balance disorders


The main mission of this kind of physiotherapy is to help reestablish mobility, relieve pain, increase physical aptness, as well as help patients, get used to physical restrictions.