Dr. Martin's notes

Monday January 23, 2017

Beginning Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy in California

2620. Physical therapy means the art and science of physical or corrective rehabilitation or of physical or corrective treatment of any bodily or mental condition of any person by the use of the physical, chemical, and other properties of heat, light, water, electricity, sound, massage, and active, passive, and resistive exercise, and shall include physical therapy evaluation, treatment planning, instruction and consultative services. The use of roentgen rays and radioactive materials, for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and the use of electricity for surgical purposes, including cauterization, are not authorized under the term "physical therapy" as used in this chapter, and a license issued pursuant to this chapter does not authorize the diagnosis of disease.

Doctorate in Physical Therapy - Advanced degree consisting of 4 academic years plus two or four addtional years of schooling, as the licensing requires

Licensed/Registered Physical Therapist - A degree of training consisting of 4 years and registering or licensing as required by law.

Physical Therapist - A two or four year course of training that does not require licensing or registration to perform PT

Physical therapy Assistant - A two year course in the basics of physical therapy, who is required to work under the direction and guideance of a registered physical therapist.

Physical therapy Aide - A program of up to two years training that consists of non-technical but essential duties associated with physical therapy. Can also be trained in occupational education, vocational training and/or on-the-job training. The PT aide must work under the direct supervision of a licensed/registered PT.

Physical therapy practice consists of utilizing physical modalities to help a patient in rehabilitation after an injury. There are many different ways that this is done including:
- Machines that produce light, heat, cold or sound
- Utilizing hot and cold packs
- Exercise therapy for stretching or building up muscles
- Passive motion to restore movement to joints
- Resistance exercise therapy (with or without machines) to build body strength

Most Physical therapy is for rehabilitation. Remember the states of injury:

1. Acute - up to 2 weeks
2. Sub-acute - 10 - 40 days
3. Chronic - Greater than 30 days duration

The Cardinal Rules of Physical Therapy

1. Know the modality and read the manufacturers manual
2. Know the proper use and settings of the modality
3. Always monitor the patient regularly
4. Treat only to patient tolerance

Any violation of the cardinal rules can lead to MALPRACTICE