About Physical Therapy

Information About Physical Therapy

What is physical therapy?

Physical Therapy (PT) has been practiced and developed since the late 1800's as rehabilitation from many injuries sustained in wartime and injuries sustained in our developing industrial society. Today it is practiced by therapists licensed by state regulatory boards - in Texas it's the Executive Council of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Examiners. This agency oversees the educational programs, testing through board examinations, licensing, and regulation of this practice. PT's work in many settings, including hospitals, rehab facilities, home health, and out-patient clinics. Some are free-standing private practices and some work under local and national corporations.

The many aspects of PT have progressed the profession to specialization in one or more fields: Orthopedics; Neurological Rehab, Sports Medicine; Exercise Science; and Manual Therapy. The license and training for all PT's qualifies them to work in these areas without specialization; but, additional training has often allowed some therapists to seek specialization.

How does physical therapy work?

Physical therapists incorporate modalities, such as ultrasound, laser, electrical stimulation, and hot/cold treatments, to affect tissue healing and decrease pain. They couple these modalities with various procedures, such as therapeutic exercise to target certain physical needs; bone and joint manipulations; soft tissue manipulations for ligaments, muscles and tendon complexes; and postural, movement, and coordination training for physical dysfunction at work and in everyday living.

Modern Science

Many universities and hospitals, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have studied the details of various PT practices in order to support a best practices approach based on clinical outcomes and on laboratory results. In our modern times, a better understanding of what works best has been realized, though we continue to study the human body and human performance from the very young to the senior adult crowd. Research is on-going in most aspects of this profession. Studies are just beginning to compare traditional PT with some alternative therapies such as acupuncture. Results are mixed but promising.


Physical therapy, manual therapy, and massage are familiar to many Americans. These practices have been stand-alone therapeutic practices in western medicine for numerous neuromuscular-skeletal disorders and neurological disorders, such as stroke and brain trauma. By combining these techniques with Oriental Medicine - acupuncture, herbology, food therapy, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong - the Abadie Integrative Therapy clinic provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to prevention and treatment of injury and disease. We further unify Eastern and Western medicine by offering non-needle acupuncture -- a technique combining micro current electrical stimulation with light therapy to specific acupuncture points and meridians.