If you’ve ever experienced neck, back, or knee pain, and have worked with a pain management specialist for your problem areas, seeing a physical therapist was likely one portion of your treatment plan. In addition to minimally invasive pain management, why is physical therapy often recommended for patients who experience neck, back, or knee pain?
Here, we’ll examine the various requirements that a doctor of physical therapy must meet in order to obtain their degree, different PT programs by state, what degree physical therapy is under, as well as why PT programs are utilized in conjunction with pain management techniques to alleviate patients’ chronic pain problems.
What Are Physical Therapy School Pre Reqs?
If you were to search for “BS physical therapy schools”, or “physical therapy schools in Florida ranking”, you find that many of the nation’s best physical therapy schools exist on the East Coast of the United States, such as the University of Delaware, University of Florida, and University of Pittsburgh. Physical therapy school pre reqs include a strong background in anatomy, exercise physiology, biology, chemistry, and psychology. However, physical therapy schools do not have a specific program required in order to be eligible for admission to a PT program. The most common undergraduate majors that pursue a physical therapy degree include exercise science, biology, kinesiology, and psychology. A physical therapist’s education requirements should support a strong health sciences background, while also understanding the complex array of human emotions, especially when a patient is in duress.
Physical therapy programs and their physical therapy school pre reqs will vary by school, but all physical therapy school requirements will mandate a solid undergraduate GPA as proof of a candidate’s mastery in foundational courses throughout their Bachelor’s degree program.
What Degree is Physical Therapy Under?
A doctor of physical therapy, or DPT, is the next step of education for candidates who have successfully completed the Bachelor of Physical Therapy (BPT) or Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree. A doctor of physical therapy’s salary has a median annual wage of $84,000 with the top tier of DPT’s earning over $120,000 per year. As the population ages and people seek more interventional pain treatments that utilize physical therapy, DPT programs should also see a rise in applicants seeking to help patients who live with chronic pain issues.
What Are the Components of Physical Therapy?
For patients suffering with neck, back, and knee pain, physical therapy is an excellent tool to reduce musculoskeletal pains, and minimize the daily discomfort from chronic pain. A doctor of physical therapy can work with an interventional pain specialist in order to create a treatment plan that avoids narcotics and surgery for chronic pain issues.
Pain management doctors, such as the team at Pain Treatment Specialists, utilize physical therapy in addition to minimally invasive pain management treatments to provide quality patient care and address chronic pain issues. Once your pain doctor has diagnosed your specific issue, a doctor of physical therapy can work to build strength in weak areas through tailored exercises and therapies that utilize their educational experience. Some components of physical therapy in clinical practice include:
- Aerobic Training: These exercises will get your heart pumping while still being easy on your joints. Many patients with chronic pain avoid physical activity because it is painful, but your DPT can supervise exercises such as stationary biking and brisk walking to ensure proper form and movement of affected joints.
- Strength Training: Strong muscles are key to battling chronic pain, and your DPT will utilize weight exercises such as lunges, squats, and push-ups to target core muscles.
- Pain Relief Training: These targeted exercises are custom-tailored to address your specific neck, back, or knee pain. The goal with pain relief training is to increase both strength and flexibility in areas that are stiff or painful.
- Stretching: With the assistance of your DPT, you’ll gradually and gently stretch different parts of your body.
- Balance Assessment and Gait Evaluation: Both your walking and balance are assessed to see if there is an impairment. If your balance is off, this causes additional stress on your knee, which can cause chronic pain.
- Range of Motion and Swelling Measurements: Your DPT will determine your current range of motion and amount of localized swelling, and set goals for improvement through a combination of training exercises.
At Pain Treatment Specialists, your pain doctor will only refer you to highly-qualified and well-reputed physical therapists as part of your pain management plan. The goal is not to send you off to yet another doctor’s appointment, but utilize physical therapy to improve your quality of life, manage chronic pain, and avoid both narcotics and surgery.
A doctor of physical therapy, in conjunction with an interventional pain specialist, can collaborate on a pain treatment plan to address your chronic neck, back, and knee pain. If you’re ready to get back to the daily activities you love without fearing pain, contact the team at Pain Treatment Specialists to begin the journey towards a pain-free life.