The Vast Field of Physical Therapy

The field of physical therapy is far more varied than many people initially believe. While most people have had some experience with out-patient physical therapy, there are other common fields such as in-patient therapy, geriatric therapy, and early-childhood intervention therapy. The purpose of this following blog post is to describe the aspects of each subcategory of physical therapy, thereby making the ideal audience for this blog post undergraduate or graduate students interested in physical therapy as a profession.

As stated prior, many people have experienced out-patient physical therapy. Out-patient therapy is characterized by the patient visiting the physical therapist at a fixed setting, typically a private practice. For students interested in pursuing out-patient therapy, many positive aspects include the variation in conditions. Out-patient therapy sees a diverse population of patients, however most patients are relatively healthy and plan to return to normal activities after completing therapy. The most common ailments include joint pain, such as shoulder, elbow, and knee pain. These injuries typically occur after a surgery or repair, or from overuse. Back pain and neck pain with accompanying sciatica is also extremely common.  More information on these issues can be found here. Physical therapists who work in an out-patient setting enjoy the different patients and treatment methods, and typically see many different patients each day.


Opposed to out-patient physical therapy, in-patient therapy differs drastically; rather than the patients visiting the therapist in a clinic or private practice, the therapists are visiting the patients who are usually confined to a hospital or treatment center. In-patient therapy is a bit more intense than out-patient physical therapy. Approximately 20% of physical therapists work within a hospital. This website has a lot of information on the different atmospheres physical therapists work in. Physical therapists who work within hospitals will engage in a more medical side of therapy, with many of their patients being in a delicate health state.

Geriatric therapy is a growing field within physical therapy, which focuses on physical therapy of the elderly. Nursing care is ranked as one of the wealthiest settings, with an annual salary of $88,890 More information about employment and wages can be found by following this link. Physical therapy with the elderly can be challenging, with main goals including increase mobility and stamina. It takes a truly patient and kind person to pursue geriatric physical therapy, however it is extremely rewarding.

Another challenging yet rewarding area is early- childhood intervention therapy. These amazing children could range from severely ADHD, to having Autism Spectrum Disorder, or being quadriplegic. Physical therapists pursing early- childhood intervention should be ready to have fun, because the main therapy goal for children with disabilities is the ability to play. Also, any aspiring physical therapists with an interest in engineering or design should consider early- childhood intervention therapy, because making adapted play equipment is common.

The Vast Field of Physical Therapy

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