What Exactly is Physical Therapy?

DR Retzer
Dr. Jacob Retzer
May 1, 2022

You may have thought to yourself what exactly is physical therapy and what does a physical therapist do? This is a huge topic with many different answers depending on the location of the world you are in, the treatment setting the therapist is working and the actual therapist themselves. The APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) defines physical therapists as:

movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.”

Physical therapists evaluate, diagnose and treat individuals across the lifespan from newborns to those at the end of life. Many of the individuals that physical therapists treat have injuries, disabilities and various health conditions. However, physical therapists can help those individuals that are looking to become healthier and decrease likelihood of future problems. Physical therapists work with every client creating a personalized  treatment plan to address their specific needs such as improving mobility and strength, reducing or managing pain, restoring function, and preventing disability. 

Physical therapists can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, individual’s homes, workplaces, sport and fitness facilities and nursing homes. Physical therapists can have a profound impact on people's lives helping them to achieve their fitness, regain or maintain their independence, and lead a healthy active lifestyle.


Depending on the therapist's education, clinical experience and focus of practice will determine the demographic and population of clients they work with. Such examples include pelvic health, pediatrics, geriatrics, wound care, athletes and active adults. Understanding the therapist’s focus of practice and experience will help each individual to find the right fit to help them reach their goals. 

Here at Unbound Physical Therapy we focus on working with adults and athletes who enjoy being active and want to continue to participate in their chosen activity whether that be running, tennis, Crossfit, archery, jiu jitsu, biking, hiking or hunting. See the video for further information on how we evaluate and treat our clients.