What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy Even Keel Maine

There is power in knowledge and understanding, and I hope that by offering this “what is?” series, I can offer the support needed for individuals to open to opportunities to increase their sense of control over their current situations – whatever those may be. This week, I want to let you know about Physical Therapy.

So, what is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy is a healthcare profession that dates back to the time of Hippocrates. It is dedicated to treating the nervous and musculoskeletal systems to help individuals maximize their functional independence. Physical therapy is provided in various settings, from hospitals and nursing homes to outpatient and athletic settings. It may be provided to individuals through the life span from newborns to individuals 100+.

How do you know if you need or could benefit from physical therapy? If you are experiencing functional deficits due to pain, weakness, decreased flexibility, poor balance or coordination, or other neurological or musculoskeletal imbalances, you may benefit from Physical Therapy. Functional deficits may relate to decreased ability to participate in occupational and day-to-day activities and decreased ability to find positions of comfort or to concentrate or sleep.

What happens when you receive Physical Therapy?

At your first visit, your Physical Therapist will evaluate you and set up a treatment plan that will include functional outcomes or goals, planned interventions, and the anticipated frequency and duration of treatment. Treatment sessions may consist of education, soft tissue work or manual techniques, modalities (such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, infrared), and almost always exercises to help improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and / or postural awareness. Frequently you will be given a home exercise program as part of your “homework.”

What can I expect from Physical Therapy with Katey?

With 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist, I recognize that every individual’s body, imbalances or injuries, and healing processes are different, so I take the time to understand your body, your issues, and what approaches will work best for you. My focus is generally on education, improving movement and holding patterns that may have become dysfunctional, and bringing balance back to the body through specific exercises and activities that you can practice at home between visits and after you have completed therapy. I use manual techniques and other approaches as needed to help support your self-healing. With the increasing number of individuals with high deductibles, high co-pays, or no insurance, I intend to remain flexible and provide you with a “toolbox” to support your health and healing as much as possible.

How do I get started with Physical Therapy with Katey?

Maine is a direct access state, so you do not need a physician’s referral to be evaluated and treated by a Physical Therapist. However, your insurance may require a physician’s order to cover PT services. If you are interested in Physical Therapy services, you can call or email me, and we can set up an initial PT assessment. You can expect your first assessment to last 45-60 minutes.

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.


By Katey Hawes, feature image licensed from Shutterstock.