A physical therapist has earned a doctorate of physical therapy (DPT), and is an expert in evaluating and treating movement and the musculoskeletal system.
Physical therapists have education and understanding of the muscles, bones, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, joints, nerves, and energy systems in the body, and how they combine to create movement and relate to functional and sports related activity. If you are in pain or struggling with an injury, a physical therapist can determine the cause of the movement dysfunction or imbalance and help you reduce pain, improve motion, and regain strength in order to get you back to your sport or activity safely and with less chance of injury. If you are in need of orthopedic surgery, physical therapists can help you get as strong as possible, within the limits of your injury, prior to surgery to facilitate quicker recovery.
If you are post-op, physical therapists are educated in the healing and exercise progressions that are safe and necessary to return you to a high level of sports and physical activity.
Once you are pain free, you can then work with a personal trainer to continue strength training and sports specific activity.