Physical Therapy is a field of diversification. Therapist gets immense opportunities to work in various types of physical therapy settingswhich includes acute care, outpatient orthopaedics, oncology, and many more.
After working in various settings, some physical therapist wants to specialize in a particular type and get certified.
Benefits of becoming a Physical Therapy Specialist –
- Increase in income
- Increase of knowledge in specialized area
- Employment Benefits
ABPT (American Board of Physical Therapy) issues the board certification in physical therapy specializations. To get the certification, the therapist needs to fulfil the below-listed conditions–
- Must have FSBPT Licensure Must complete APTA accredited residency program
- Must have 2000 hours of clinical experience
The list we have prepared for different types of physical therapy is based on various filters such as salary, future scope, and work they perform.
Types of Physical Therapy
Geriatrics Physical Therapy
Under this specialization, the role of a physical therapist is to treat older patients. Most comes up with health problem such as osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease,
In the older age group, due to less activeness. The strength of muscles gets reduced, resulting in a lack of coordination between muscles, so to cure such problems, geriatrics came into play.
To procure patient from their problem, Geriatrics PT specialist performs various exercise therapy, which includes lower body stretches, endurance training for heart and lungs, lower body strengthening exercises, and balance exercises for better walking movement,
With the performance of exercises, various fruitful results seen in older adults –
- Lower risk of injuries due to falls
- Feel independent to perform daily activities
- Improves muscle strength
In physical therapy types, it is one of the specialties under which therapists remain busy due to a lot of patients in the clinic.
Secondly, if you look into the facts, you will come to know till 2030 approx. Twenty percent of the population will enter age 65, which relatively increases the demand for Geriatrics Specialized Physical Therapy.
Additionally, the average annual salary of this specialty is $ 88,934
Neurology Physical Therapy
Under this type of physical therapy, the therapist treats various patients with problems related to spinal cord injuries, strokes, and multiple sclerosis;
Neurology Physical Therapists work in hospitals and rehab facilities (specifically for spinal cord injuries and strokes).
First of all, a neurology physical therapist maps up patients all the information related to past health problems and examines patients by making them perform various movement activities of arms and legs, balance check with walking and sitting,
After examination, a plan of physical therapy treatment sessions is prepared, including balance training, muscle strengthening, stretching exercises, training with equipment like treadmills, exercise bikes, and also make patients learn the usage of crutches and walkers.
Neurology Specialized PT is always in demand, so if you want job security, it is an excellent specialization.
Additionally, the average salary of a Neurology Specialized Physical Therapist is $ 78 012.
Orthopaedics Physical Therapy
Among physical therapy specialties, orthopedics is the most popular. Many therapists choose this specialization for board certification,
Under this specialization, patients get physical therapy treatment related to the musculoskeletal system, which includes our joints, bones, tendons, muscles, and connective tissues.
It plays a vital role in post-surgery recoveries such as knee replacement, hip replacement, knee arthroscopy, and rotator cuff repair. The therapist works on reducing pain, balancing walking, and hindering the growth of scar tissue.
To procure patient, orthopedics physical therapist examines whether they need to implement passive or active modalities.
Depending on the modality, they start with various therapies, including hot/cold therapy, traction, hydrotherapy, joint mobilization, dry needling, and kinesiology taping.
The demand for orthopedics is always in pt specialties, and if we see the stats, more than 790,000 knee replacements occur in the USA. Each patient needs an orthopedics physical therapist. With this, you can easily understand the growth of this career.
The average Salary of an Orthopaedics Physical Therapist is $ 75,597.
Paediatrics Physical Therapy
This therapy treats patients in the age group (newborn to 18). Most patients face similar conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, and cystic fibrosis.
If you see the reports, more than 40 percent of children born early verse of 1000, while 333 have cerebral palsy. As per experts, if we provide the treatment at an early stage, it will help to avoid further effects on the child’s body.
For your information, our body has seven senses. Due to early age birth, and injury, sometimes it results in loss of senses, with which pediatrics specialized physical therapist came into a role to evolve these senses back,
Physical therapist evolves children in various activities such as checking balancing and rapid-fire games to engage children. As per their response in activities, the therapist prepares their plan of care,
In their physical therapy session, therapists involve various equipment such as large and small therapy balls, balance beams, foam rollers, and small trampolines.
To forecast the demand for pediatric specialized physical therapists, you can assume the availability in various places. They have been appointed at home, preschool, school, day care centre, and outpatient clinic.
The average Salary of a Paediatric Physical therapist is $ 78,739.
Oncology Physical Therapy
In this physical therapy specialty, treatment is performed explicitly for those patients who are suffering from cancer,
Additionally, cancer patients have weakness, low bone density, and a lot of chronic pain. To cope with these problems, the oncology-specialized physical therapist plays a significant role.
Cancer Patients are facilitated to get physical therapy treatment at a home, hospital, and outpatient clinic. Whole therapy training is a minimum of around 4 to 6 weeks, and it can be increased as per the condition of the patients.
The training process includes regaining endurance, balance, improving mobility, and equipment used in implementing physical therapy techniques such as cross trainer, treadmill, exercise bike, etc.
Apart from this, Oncology Specialized Physical therapists are acknowledged with cancer treatments, so they perform massage, ice, and nerve simulator to reduce swelling and pain,
While overall, this specialty plays a significant role in regaining cancer patients’ strength so they can independently work on essential things.
Cardiopulm Physical Therapy
This specialty plays a significant role in recovering patients to a normal lifestyle after cardiac surgery. It is also popular among heart patients to avoid the risk of cardiac injury.
The duration of Cardiopulmonary physical therapy is about three months in most cases. Sometimes it can be varied, depending on the patient situation. (You can consider this in long term physical therapy). It is available in hospitals and outpatient care centres.
Before we begin with procedural work, kindly remember it is not only for the patients who have got cardiac surgery or chance of having a heart attack. It’s for all people.
Under this, you will learn various physical therapy procedures which intervene to strengthen your heart and give you a healthy lifestyle.
Therapy begins with the examination, which includes your fitness test and imaging of your heart. After this, your physical therapist will prepare a training schedule that includes a list of physical therapy exercisessuch as aerobic exercises, balance training, muscle strengthening exercises, and exercise related to breathing.
Equipment used in cardio physical therapy includes an exercise bike, treadmill, and many more. After each session, the therapist will monitor your pulse, oxygen level, blood pressure, and respiration rate.
Due to an unhealthy lifestyle, many younger populations above age 20 are suffering from coronary artery disease, while if we see death stats, 1 in every four deaths in the United States is due to cardiovascular disease,
To help our fellow citizens, we should have enough specialized Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapists.
The average Salary for a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapist is $ 84,020.
Electrophysiology Physical Therapy
Among all other specialties, it is the newest one in the field of physical therapy. In this specialty, the approach to working is different. They use advanced technology to rehab nerves and muscles, and they also have the option of diagnosis in which they conduct EMG and Nerve Conduction.
In their physical therapy treatment plan, the primary concern of electrophysiologists is to avoid blood clots, improve circulation, and recover from wounds. They use the dry needling technique for treatment, and equipment includes Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
As per reports of ABPTS, there are less than 250 board-certified electrophysiologists board certified, while the market demand is more. With these statistics, you can easily forecast the career opportunities in this specialty.
Sports Specialized Physical Therapy
It is one of the cool physical therapy jobs. The therapist will get the opportunity to work with amateur to professional athletes; for your concern, it is among the highest paid physical therapist specialties.
In treatment, sports physical therapists are experts in acute and chronic injury (related to sports) and if you are a former sportsperson, then getting certified in this specialty is a good career option,
Some common injuries include ligament sprains, muscle strains, concussions, and bursitis during sports.
To begin treatment, a sports physical therapist takes the assessment related to injury, asking the athlete about the pain from injury and its performance effect in the game. Apart from this, they conduct a physical assessment, in which athletes need to run, jump, etc., depending on the injury they add to the assessment.
After doing all examinations, they prepare a care plan, including exercises, drills, and common remedies such as icing and massage.