physical therapist A health professional who focuses on the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary systems of the human body, as these systems relate to human motion and function. Physical therapists evaluate and provide treatment for patients with health problems resulting from injury, disease, or overuse of muscles or tendons. Some physical therapists specialize in caring for children. They focus on restoring the child's mobility and function, cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, and efficiency in the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
Physical therapists have an undergraduate degree in physical therapy, and many have a mas ter's degree. In order to practice, all graduates must be licensed by their state by passing a national certification examination. There are more than 90,000 physical therapists practicing in the United States in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, sports facilities, community health centers, and private practice.
pigeon toe A condition of the foot in which the toes rotate inward but the heels remain straight. This common condition of infants and young children is not usually serious and is usually outgrown without treatment as children get older.
It is not clear why some children are born pigeon-toed, but it may be related to the baby's position in the womb before birth, or because of problems with the ankles, knees, or hips.
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