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Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment/intervention and rehabilitation. This encompasses physical, psychological, emotional, and social well being.

The use of physical methods to assist recovery of damaged tissue, especially in muscles and joints. Sports physiotherapists are specially trained to treat sports injuries. Their role is to return an exerciser to full fitness using the safest and quickest methods. Many exercisers consult physiotherapists only when they have a serious injury which is not getting better. However, most, even those with minor injuries, would benefit from early advice and treatment.

Physical therapy has many specialties including sports, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic and pediatrics. PTs practice in many settings, such as outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and this workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities.

Physical therapists also practice in non-patient care roles such as health policy, health insurance, health care administration and as health care executives.Physical therapists are involved in the medical-legal field serving as experts, performing peer review and independent medical examinations.