Physical therapists work with people who have been injured or people who are ill to improve their movement and help them manage their pain. The U.S. Department of Labor explains that physical therapists “are often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.” Physical therapists can also choose to specialize in one of nine areas. According to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, these areas of specialization are:
- Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
- Clinical Electrophysiology
- Sports and
- Women's Health
The national average cost for a physical therapist is $60 to $80, although it will cost more if the patient is paying for services out of pocket rather than through insurance. If you have insurance and want to work with a physical therapist for a specialty area, such as oncology or geriatrics, you may need a referral from your general practitioner. Patients who are paying directly for services can often contact the physical therapist directly.
A physical therapist is a health care provider who assists patients with mobility improvement and pain management. Often patients are referred to a physical therapist by a primary care doctor or specialist for help recovering from a surgery or traumatic injury, such as a car crash. Physical therapists help patients manage pain that results from chronic disease and other illness. Physical therapy can help enhance mobility when patients are faced with neurological disorders, such as after a stroke, and provide relief from arthritis or other mobility and pain issues.
A physical therapist uses medical exercise equipment and exercises to empower patients to regain flexibility and mobility where possible. They may use treadmills, steps, medicine balls, resistance bands, isometric exercises, weights and more to improve muscle control and movement. A physical therapist uses physical movement to help heal the patient, but also can sometimes prescribe medication as appropriate. A physical therapist can also become board certified in one of nine specialty areas.
Physical therapy can help you recover range of motion and ease pain after injury, accident or illness. Many people are prescribed physical therapy by their primary care doctor or specialist after a car accident, surgery or sports-related injury. You don’t need a doctor’s referral to start physical therapy, but unless you are paying out of pocket for the services, your insurance provider might require a referral. Physical therapy is also a medical solution for pain associated with chronic illness such as osteoarthritis and can be used for recovery after a stroke or other neurological disorders.
Physical therapy teaches you how to move your body in a safe and healing way to regain strength and movement. During a physical therapy session, the PT will teach you to use medical exercise equipment and approved exercises to regain your lost flexibility and improve your mobility where possible. You may use treadmills, steps, medicine balls, resistance bands, isometric exercises, weights and more. From young children to seniors, patients of any age can benefit from the science-based movements and exercises that encourage flexibility, rebuild muscle, and ease stiff joints.
Kickboxing is as intense a workout as you want it to be. As with any fitness regimen, the more effort you put in, the more results you will get. The type of kickboxing you do will determine how physically challenging it is. Combat or self-defense kickboxing, where you train in a martial arts studio with sandbags or spar against combat partners, can be an intense physical workout. Group kickboxing classes that use sandbags as part of the workout will also elevate the degree of intensity, because of the level of exertion punching and kicking the bag requires. Cardio kickboxing group fitness, which employ kicking and punching moves but no sandbags, has comparable intensity to jogging but works a wider range of muscles while increasing strength, flexibility and coordination. Here are some of the core kickboxing moves:
- Cross: A straight punch that you throw slightly across your body, using your dominant hand.
- Jab: A quick, straight, face punch. Usually thrown with the non-dominant hand.
- Uppercut: A punch thrown up from the midsection (using either hand) that connects with the underside of your opponent’s chin.
- Hook: A curved punch (using either hand) that connects with your competitor’s jaw or chin.
- Side kick: A kick delivered when your competitor is at an angle to you. Raise your leg to the side, then bend at the knee to deliver the kick.
- Front kick: A kick delivered straight on while you are facing your opponent.
- Roundhouse kick: A kick delivered by swinging a leg up in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion (depending on which leg you’re using) with momentum to strike the opponent with the instep of the foot.
Fitness boot camps are a heart-pounding way to boost your fitness level. Boot camps are led by a fitness instructor and are based on the concept of military boot camps — intensive workout programs to get new recruits into shape, quickly. Fitness boot camps encourage camaraderie, and the group momentum helps participants get through fast-paced intervals of cardio, isometric training, strength training and endurance drills. Classes may range anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and usually meet multiple days per week. Boot camps often run a specific duration of time, say four to six weeks, which creates a team-like environment for class members. Other boot camps run year-round and students purchase package pricing for classes, similar to subscriptions that allow them a set amount of classes per week or per month.
Boot camps can be held indoors at a gym, outdoors in a park or on a beach, in a backyard — anywhere there’s room for running, jumping and sweating. Some instructors also provide DVD and online boot camps. You can also find boot camps tailored to your heart’s desire, such as bikini boot camp, or boot camps for new mothers. Boot camps offer an intense workout and are usually led by energetic instructors pushing you to do your best, but unlike military boot camp drill sergeants, fitness boot camp instructors typically don’t use intimidation or punishment to spur you on. Check with your doctor before starting a boot camp if you have health concerns, and always let your instructor know ahead of time if you have injuries.