Dr Harsh Physical Therapy helps reduce pain, improve movement and manage health conditions. It involves hands-on treatments and exercises that you will learn to do at home.

Physical Therapy

A PT may use techniques like electrical stimulation to reduce pain or iontophoresis, which delivers medication directly to the area. The therapist might also apply heat or cold.

The term physical therapy (PT) refers to the health profession that works to improve movement and mobility in persons with compromised physical functioning. It also helps to alleviate pain, develop or restore function, and prevent or decrease permanent physical disabilities.

PT is an integral part of many medical programs and is often covered by insurance plans. A therapist will work with you to create a program that is specific to your needs, such as:

There are several sub-specialties within physical therapy, including vestibular PT, which treats balance problems due to inner ear conditions; decongestive PT, which drains the excess fluid that can accumulate in lymphedema; and pelvic floor rehabilitation, which helps women who have urinary or fecal incontinence and/or pelvic pain. The field is continually evolving, and therapists are focusing more on prevention and wellness as well as treatment of chronic illnesses and injuries.

Physical therapists are uniquely trained to understand the way the body moves and how different body systems integrate with movement. They are able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems that affect the joints, muscles, nerves, and endocrine system.

Some pain is acute, meaning it comes on suddenly and gets better with time and treatment. Other pain is chronic, which means it lasts longer than 3 months and can be due to injury, illness, inflammation, or a known or unknown cause. Chronic pain can lead to depression and addiction, and research has shown that PT can help reduce the use of opioids for pain management.

PT is also used to reduce the risk of falls in older adults, as well as to teach patients how to compensate for loss of balance and gait abnormalities that can lead to falling. In fact, a large percentage of falls in the elderly population are preventable, and PT is one of the best ways to lower your risk. PT is often covered by Medicare and other insurance plans. It is important to find a provider who takes your insurance and is willing to communicate with your primary care physician and any other healthcare providers.


In order to provide the best treatment, your physical therapist will evaluate your symptoms, pain levels and how you move in your daily life. They may ask questions about your medical history and how the problem has changed over time. It’s important to be honest and disclose all information so that your therapist can develop a treatment plan for you.

Physical therapists will also assess your pain and how it impacts your quality of life, including your ability to sleep or move. They will identify your goals and then work with you to create a treatment plan that will help reach those goals. This will include the frequency of your PT visits and what treatments will be provided at each session. The evaluation will also include a diagnosis and the corresponding physical therapy treatment options.

The researchers in the study reviewed video recordings of 12 experienced PTs performing initial consultations with patients seeking care for musculoskeletal pain in primary health care. They analyzed the PTs’ assessments of red and yellow flags, their analysis of clinical problems and their use of behavioral goal setting techniques. They found that the PTs varied widely in their assessments, analysis and communication.

During the first visit, your therapist will review your current health and past medical history. It is helpful to bring a list of any medications you are taking and a description of your current symptoms and how they started.

Your therapist will also do a complete examination, which may involve tests like range of motion and strength tests and an assessment of your posture and gait. They will also measure your level of disability and will likely give you a score that measures how much your injury or illness is limiting your daily activities.

Your PT will then write an evaluation that will include their diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. In most cases, your therapist will also recommend how often you should return for treatments and will discuss their expected prognosis for your recovery. They will generally finish by describing what they will do during the treatment session and giving you a printed list of exercises you should do at home. This written document is known as a plan of care and it’s required by law and most insurance companies.


During the treatment process, your physical therapist will work to improve your mobility and relieve pain. They will also teach you exercises and techniques to help prevent future injuries. They may use different treatments to ease your symptoms, including massage, electrical stimulation, joint mobilization, and heat/cold therapy. Other treatments include traction, light and laser therapies, and dry needling (short needles inserted into injured areas).

At your first session, your physical therapist will evaluate your condition. They will ask you questions about your pain, your ability to move, and how your symptoms affect your daily life. They will also perform a series of tests to measure your strength and range of motion. These tests will provide a baseline to begin your treatment.

Throughout the course of physical therapy, your physical therapist will adjust your plan of care as needed. They will develop short- and long-term goals with you and create a treatment program to help you meet those goals. They may also recommend other health professionals like dietitians and mental health providers to support your overall wellness.

There are a few specialties in physical therapy, including vestibular rehabilitation to treat balance problems caused by inner ear conditions, and pelvic floor rehabilitation for urinary urgency, pelvic pain, and prenatal and postpartum musculoskeletal pain. PTs can also help women with issues related to menopause and osteoporosis.

In addition, physical therapists can treat chronic neck and back pain and improve mobility in elderly patients. They can also help children who suffer from sports injuries or developmental delays.

One of the unique aspects of physical therapy is that a patient and therapist often have a great deal of one-on-one time together. This gives the therapist an opportunity to build a relationship with the patient and become their advocate as they progress in recovery. The best therapists build a bond with their clients that goes beyond the medical aspect of the injury or illness. They take the time to understand a client’s emotional state and guide them through anxiety and fear to encourage them during their recovery. In this way, a therapist can ensure that the patient is motivated and ready to succeed in their therapy.


After the initial evaluation, physical therapists will follow up with their patients to apply treatment methods. These sessions typically take an hour or less, depending on your plan. During this time, the physical therapist will review the medical records from your health care provider, perform a physical exam and interview you to get a clearer picture of what has been happening with your body. They may apply manual techniques to improve joint mobility and relieve muscle tightness, as well as use passive exercises to help with flexibility. They may also ask you questions about your work environment and lifestyle to see how they might influence the progress of your recovery.

During this time, the physical therapist should also be ready to address any questions or concerns you have about your treatment. They might suggest additional tests or procedures, like imaging exams, to gain more information about your injury or condition, or recommend a specialist. They might also recommend a change to your lifestyle to help speed up the recovery process. For example, if you have an injured knee, they might advise you to walk instead of using stairs to avoid aggravating the injury.

The bulk of physical therapy appointments will be dedicated to executing your treatment plan. The therapist will apply interventions and exercises that will strengthen the muscles and joints around your injury, and they’ll teach you how to continue the progress on your own. They’ll give you stretches and exercises to do at home, as well as monitor your progress in the gym by reassessing your condition throughout each session.

Keeping up with your at-home exercises and reassessing your condition between appointments is essential to maintaining your recovery. During the follow-up process, your physical therapist will be able to determine how well you’re following through with your treatment plan and will give you recommendations to help prevent your injury from recurring. You might even be encouraged to meet with your physical therapist yearly for a wellness visit!