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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help patients with medical or health-related conditions that limit their ability to move about their home and community.

When you are referred for physical therapy you receive a thorough examination by a licensed physical therapist. The exam includes a review of your medical condition, functional abilities and prior level of function.

Physical Assessment

A physical therapy assessment may include evaluation of your:

  • Strength
  • Range of Motion (ROM)
  • Endurance
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Mobility
  • Safety awareness

Treatment Plan

After initial evaluation, you and your therapist will develop a treatment plan based upon the results of the assessment and a discussion of your personal goals. Treatment may include exercise, equipment training (if necessary), education and a discharge plan.


An exercise program may be developed to help maintain or gain mobility by increasing strength, range of motion, endurance, balance and coordination.


Equipment may be used to help you with mobility, balance or positioning. Equipment to aid in mobility may include crutches, canes, walkers or wheelchairs.


We provide education for both you and your caregiver. Oftentimes, your family and caregivers must learn how to safely assist you at home with activities such as exercise, proper patient positioning, transfer techniques and general mobility.


Physical Therapists work closely with the medical and case management team to make recommendations for discharge, such as continuation of therapy services, long-term placement or home services.

Last UpdateFebruary 8, 2011