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Exploring the Four Main Types of Physical Therapy: Your Path to Recovery and Wellness

types of PT
Dr. Garrett Stroup. Physical Therapist in Roseburg Area.


Dr. Garrett C. Stroup

DPT, VRC - Owner and Founder

We help athletes and active adults regain control of their injury without expensive surgeries or medications, so they can keep going.


Physical therapy is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a wide range of specialized treatments tailored to individual needs. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, managing a chronic condition, or seeking to enhance your athletic performance, understanding the main types of physical therapy can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the four main types of physical therapy, shedding light on their unique approaches and benefits.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Defining Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on the musculoskeletal system, addressing conditions related to bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This type of therapy is commonly used to treat injuries and disorders, such as fractures, sprains, strains, arthritis, and post-surgical rehabilitation. Orthopedic physical therapists employ targeted exercises, manual therapy, and specialized techniques to reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore function to affected areas.


Benefits of Orthopedic Physical Therapy

  • Pain Management: Orthopedic physical therapy techniques help alleviate pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions, promoting a better quality of life.
  • Improved Mobility: By enhancing joint mobility and muscle flexibility, patients regain the ability to move more freely and perform daily activities without limitations.
  • Prevention of Recurrence: Orthopedic physical therapy not only treats current injuries but also focuses on preventing future injuries through tailored exercise programs and education on proper body mechanics.

Neurological Physical Therapy

Understanding Neurological Physical Therapy

Neurological physical therapy specializes in treating individuals with neurological disorders and conditions affecting the nervous system, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Neurological physical therapists employ specialized exercises, balance training, gait training, and neuromuscular techniques to improve mobility, coordination, and motor skills in patients with neurological impairments.

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Benefits of Neurological Physical Therapy

  • Improved Balance and Coordination: Neurological physical therapy helps patients regain balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing overall stability.
  • Enhanced Motor Skills: Through targeted exercises and therapies, patients can regain control over their movements, improving fine and gross motor skills.
  • Independence and Quality of Life: Neurological physical therapy focuses on enhancing patients’ ability to perform daily tasks independently, leading to a higher quality of life and increased self-confidence.

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Defined

Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy focuses on patients with heart or lung conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis. This type of therapy aims to improve cardiovascular endurance, lung function, and overall physical conditioning. Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapists design exercise programs tailored to the patient’s specific needs, gradually increasing the intensity to enhance cardiovascular health and respiratory function.

Benefits of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Through targeted aerobic exercises, patients enhance their heart health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events.
  • Enhanced Lung Function: Respiratory exercises and techniques help patients with lung conditions breathe more efficiently, improving oxygen intake and overall lung function.
  • Increased Energy and Stamina: Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy programs increase patients’ endurance, allowing them to engage in daily activities with less fatigue and breathlessness.

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric Physical Therapy Overview

Pediatric physical therapy focuses on children and young adults with developmental delays, congenital conditions, neurological disorders, and musculoskeletal problems. Pediatric physical therapists work to improve mobility, strength, coordination, and motor skills in young patients. They employ play-based activities, exercises, and age-appropriate therapies to enhance physical development and promote functional independence.

Benefits of Pediatric Physical Therapy

  • Early Intervention: Pediatric physical therapy interventions support early childhood development, addressing challenges in mobility and motor skills during crucial developmental stages.
  • Improved Motor Skills: Through engaging and interactive therapies, children can develop better motor skills, enabling them to participate in school and recreational activities.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Pediatric physical therapy helps children gain confidence in their physical abilities, fostering a positive self-image and an improved quality of life.


Understanding the four main types of physical therapy provides valuable insight into the diverse approaches available to patients of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you’re recovering from surgery, managing a chronic condition, or supporting your child’s development, physical therapy offers personalized and effective solutions.

At OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance, our team of experienced physical therapists specializes in various types of physical therapy, tailoring treatments to meet the unique needs of each patient. If you’re seeking expert guidance and compassionate care, we’re here to support your journey to recovery and overall wellness.

Contact us today to schedule your personalized physical therapy consultation and embark on your path to a healthier, more active life.

OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance

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