BEST Physical Therapy

What is PT?

What is Physical Therapy?  

Physical therapy is a medical field concerned with rehabilitating the body to its optimal performance level, and improving quality of life. A physical therapist customizes treatments, exercises, and stretches that help a patient carry out the daily functions of their lifestyle more comfortably through a series of sessions that build upon each other. By increasing flexibility, strengthening targeted areas of the body, and increasing blood flow, physical therapy aids patients in achieving a number of goals like:

  • Recovering from surgery
  • Recovering from injury
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Targeting weak areas to prevent injury
  • Managing pain

Physical therapy is the most conservative, natural treatment of musculoskeletal or neuromuscular conditions and injuries. A physical therapist guides a patient through programs that help them meet their physical function goals.

Therapists will help increase flexibility and balance, correct posture and alignment, and strengthen and massage soft tissues that cause pain. A physical therapist may use a number of tools, such as a treadmill, foam roller, weights, etc., that aid in stretching and strengthening programs. This conditioning helps a range of different individuals, from rehabilitating an elderly patient so they may walk more easily or enabling a tennis player to fully recover range of motion in their elbow.

Treatments and exercises will become increasingly more intense or challenging to ease the body into reaching its full potential. A physical therapist is also able to correct a patient’s posture and teach how to perform certain activities in order to prevent pain or future injury.


Physical therapy encompasses many different methods of treatment, including:


During manual therapy a physical therapist uses his or her hands to treat a patient rather than guiding them through activities that they would perform on their own. Manual therapy includes methods of treatment like:

Massage/Myofascial Release – A physical therapist applies pressure to soft tissues, especially muscles, in order to release tension and knots that can cause pain. This increases circulation and helps relax the tissues, increasing range of motion, reducing inflammation, and relieving pressure on surrounding nerves.

Mobilization — A physical therapist will manually stretch and move parts of the body without the patient putting forth an effort. Slow movements of specific limbs help realign bones and joints. While being gradually forced back into proper position, tissues surrounding a joint will relax, and increase flexibility and decrease pain in the region.

Manipulation — A physical therapist will apply force to a joint that may vary in intensity and time periods. This will gradually force joints into position and decrease pain in the area.


A physical therapist may use modalities to complement a routine or make it easier to perform. These include:

Ice — Icing an area will restrict blood vessels, reducing inflammation and numbing an area to pain. This may allow a patient to better perform a following physical therapy routine.

Moist Heat — Heat is often used when treating soft tissues that are tight or spasming, forcing them to relax. Reduced tension allows tissues to be more receptive to movement and massage.

Ultrasound — Ultrasound uses waves to transmit heat to tissues deep in the body, making them more easily manipulated. This is especially helpful in treating connective tissue damage, since it is far beneath the skin.

TENS — Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a method of pain control that sends electrical currents to muscles or joints. Small wires attach to the skin, stimulating nerves to disrupt pain signals to the brain. This is most often used on those with conditions that cause chronic pain like arthritis or back and neck pain.

Electrical Stimulation — ESTIM is a type of electrical stimulation that forces muscles to contract. This increases blood flow to the targeted area which reduces swelling and promotes healing. It is usually used on patients recovering from injury like sprains or fractures.


Much of the pain that patients experience in their spine is due to narrowing of the space between vertebrae. This causes wear on the bones, disc damage, nerve root compression, and other painful consequences. A physical therapist performs traction to increase space between vertebrae, relieving these symptoms and preventing further issues in these spaces.

Manual — A physical therapist will manually apply pressure to certain areas of the spine for short periods of time to push vertebrae apart. When done multiple times, the vertebrae will gradually conform to the alignment.

Mechanical — A system of weights will push down on or pull on the spine and hold it in that position for long periods of time, encouraging the spine to stay in that position.


Exercises encompass a wide range of activities that a physical therapist guides a patient through to target certain areas of the body. They may help strengthen particular muscles or stretch certain tissues. It is the job of the physical therapist to select certain exercises that focus on strengthening or stretching the required tissues or joints to meet specific patient goals. It is the most effective way of working out aches and pains and preventing them from occurring again.


Myofascial decompression (MFD), more commonly referred to as cupping, is a traditional Chinese therapy that has been adapted to the field of Sports Medicine. Our therapists use cupping to promote healing and blood flow to the injured area. Cupping can eliminate pain, mechanical deficiencies caused by restricted soft tissue, treating myofascial strains and soft tissue restrictions unrelated to injury. 

What our Patients are Saying…

Incredible Overall Experience!

Incredible Overall Experience! I have been to at least seven other physical therapists in my life, but I’ve never had Read more “Incredible Overall Experience!”

Stacie B.

Still Feeling Great

So a year later I’m feeling great and still doing all the exercises I was taught to stay in shape! Read more “Still Feeling Great”

Andrew H.

I Always Look Forward to My Sessions

Although getting released from physical therapy is a great thing, it can be bittersweet. I always looked forward to my Read more “I Always Look Forward to My Sessions”


Worked With BEST

Worked With BEST to Properly Recover. I then worked with BEST to properly recover, exercise and eliminate this from happening Read more “Worked With BEST”

Brian L.

Help Your Quality of Life

Help Your Quality of Life. BEST makes sure you are cared for explaining and teaching you what you need to Read more “Help Your Quality of Life”


The Fine Line

Excel at Finding the Fine Line. Both Kathy and Kathryn excel at finding the fine line between discomfort and pain Read more “The Fine Line”

Sally P.

Super Professional!

Super Professional! I enjoyed how much they got to know me, what I will be doing, and what I am Read more “Super Professional!”


I Have Recommended BEST Physical Therapy

I first started PT at BEST Physical Therapy in 2008. Over the years I have been back after other surgeries Read more “I Have Recommended BEST Physical Therapy”


Staff are Skilled, Knowledgeable and Friendly

Every single staff person is on point. From day one when I called to schedule my first appointment and throughout Read more “Staff are Skilled, Knowledgeable and Friendly”


Two Locations

I like that BEST has two locations and has always been able to accommodate my Read more “Two Locations”

Bill C.

I Love the BEST Approach

This is my 3rd experience with physical therapy. I never completed my treatment with the first two because I was Read more “I Love the BEST Approach”


A God Send!

A God Send! Best Physical Therapy, Cupertino, has been a God send for our son! They have given him the Read more “A God Send!”

Brigid G.


I love my physical therapist.  She makes me feel so good after I’ve just beat myself up at the gym.  Read more “AWESOME!”


My Physical Therapist was Amazing

My Physical Therapist was Amazing. She got right to the root of the problem and addressed each muscle individually. She Read more “My Physical Therapist was Amazing”


This Place is Amazing!

This Place is Amazing! This place is amazing. The staff is very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The environment is very Read more “This Place is Amazing!”

Alex Y.


Phenomenal! About a year ago I had a work related injury and was referred to Best Physical Therapy by my Read more “Phenomenal!”

The Premier Physical Therapy Center

The Premier Physical Therapy Center. BEST Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapy treatment center in the South Bay. I Read more “The Premier Physical Therapy Center”

Gail B.

The Folks at BEST Physical Therapy Can Help!

Don’t Live with Physical Ailments! Don’t resort to steroid injections, pain pills, or simply living with physical ailments! The folks Read more “The Folks at BEST Physical Therapy Can Help!”

Bobby M.

Significant Progress

I’ve noticed significant progress in my rehabilitation. I would without a doubt recommend BEST PT to family, friends and a Read more “Significant Progress”


I Have Made Tremendous Improvement

Kinjal is an excellent physical therapist. I made tremendous improvement under her care and guidance. Always educating her patient, smiling Read more “I Have Made Tremendous Improvement”