Gay Wellness

Physical Therapists: What They Do

Physical Therapists:  What They Do

A physical therapist by definition is a health practitioner who works with patients to reduce pain, improve their movement, and manage (or prevent) physical impairments and disabilities. Physical therapists use a variety of approaches to treat their patients, which include specific exercises, stretches, manual therapy, and the use of tools and equipment. 

Physical therapists work with a wide range of patients who have a wide variety of physical needs. Some example include, working with athletes to help them recover from an injury and improve their performance, older adults to sustain healthy mobility, patients who have had surgery and are regaining their strength, and anyone suffering from bodily pain related to muscles, tendons, joints, etc.

Types of Physical Therapy

While there are at least 25 types of specialties within the domain of physical therapy, there are really six main types you should know about:

1. Neurological Physical Therapy:  to help people recover from neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's, strokes, brain injuries, etc.

2. Occupational Physical Therapy:  for work-related injuries that aren't accidents.

3. Geriatric Physical Therapy:  helps elderly patients with natural movement and mobility.

4. Pediatric Physical Therapy:  helps with the mobility and pain management needs of infants and toddlers.

5. Rehabilitative Physical Therapy:  helps patients recover from surgery.

6. Hand Physical Therapy:  helps in rehabilitating the hand and upper arm.

Reasons to See a Physical Therapist

With physical therapy, there is always a method to the madness. They specialize in understanding how the body's mobility should function, and they are trained to have a very high degree of anatomical understanding. 

Basically, you should see a physical therapist if you have any kind of injury that limits your physical functional ability. In Europe, "going to the fysio" is so common, you'll hear about it every day, and see clinics everywhere you go. 

Some common examples of conditions include:

- Herniated discs

- ACL rehabilitation 

- Knee injuries

- Tendonitis

- Rotator cuff pain

- Sports injuries

- Orthopedic issues

Each case is unique and needs its own treatment plan, although it's common to see a physical therapist once a week several times for treatment. A PT will coordinate with your doctor to ensure they're on the same page about your goals. However, in most states, you can visit your local physical therapist without a referral. 

You will likely need to rest, ice, compress, and elevate, as well as do specific exercises taught and given to you by your physical therapist. Take your treatment plan seriously, and you'll come out the other side in much better "standing." (Pun intended).

gay physical therapist working on client's back

A Typical Treatment Plan

Whether it's getting a splint or brace, recovering after a surgery, working on your balance, or managing a chronic illness (like heart disease or diabetes), people of all ages benefit from seeing a physical therapist. 

They will start by administering a test to evaluate how well you can move, your posture, balance, and heartbeat while activ. Then, they’ll design a treatment plan with exercises to suit your specific needs. 

A physical therapy treatment plan can include:

  • Exercises or stretches
  • Massage, heat, or cold therapy, warm water therapy
  • Rehab to use an artificial limb
  • Practice with equipment to help you move certain joints and muscles

Following the plan with diligent constancy will help you not only feel better, but also to have better mobility and physical functionality. Your therapist will watch your progress and adjust your treatments as necessary.

You can do the exercises your therapist teaches you at home between sessions. This will help you stay on track and improve your fitness.

As usual, we feature gay and queer physical therapists so that you can feel most comfortable and at home with your PT experience. To find a gay physical therapist near you, check out the “Health & Wellness” section of each city. 

In the US, there are physical therapists in many of the major cities, including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, and more.

Paris, IDF

Namaste, I hope you're doing well,  My name is Olivier, You are all welcome, whatever your age, origin, gender, nationality, physical appearance,

West Hollywood, CA
5/5 (2 Reviews)

I am a pelvic floor physical therapist with years of experience working with gay men in helping them with bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunctions! #bottombetter #topbetter

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