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Orthopedic physical therapists work with patients who have musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. In addition to providing rehabilitation services to patients recovering from orthopedic surgery, orthopedic physical therapists may treat patients with sports injuries, arthritis, amputations and other bone, muscle, cartilage, tendon, ligament, or joint issues.
Professionals working in orthopedic physical therapy jobs employ a variety of treatment methods to help their patients achieve optimal results. Treatment plans can include manual exercises, massage or traction maneuvers, and therapists may also use moist packs, ultrasounds and other equipment to relieve pain and improve musculoskeletal function.
In addition to providing treatment during patient visits, orthopedic physical therapists also help patients to continue their therapy at home. By instructing the patient and his family members or caregiver on exercises to be performed at home, patients can achieve results much faster.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapy jobs are expected to grow 39% by 2020. Orthopedic physical therapy jobs may experience even more growth due to the aging baby boomer population.
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