Direct Access Physical Therapy in Lafayette, LA

In the State of Louisiana, patients no longer need a doctor’s approval to see a Physical Therapist. Beginning in June of 2016, in an effort by the state to improve access to physical therapy, patients can now seek “direct access” to a physical therapist, bypassing a separate trip to their doctors’ offices.


Physical Therapy South provides a full range of physical therapy techniques, including manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and modalities. We provide care in a compassionate and professional atmosphere, with a focus on the entire patient. We aim to improve the livelihoods of our patients through education, information, and one-on-one consultation to create outcomes-based success stories.


Conditions Treated:

  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Mid Back Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Pectoral Pain
  • Tailbone Pain
  • Sciatic/Gluteal Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Ankle Pain
  • Postoperative Pain
  • Sports Injuries


Our treatment plans are based on the most up-to-date and current guidelines of care, and we make treatment more enjoyable with smiles, encouragement, and a positive environment. Our therapists have over 75 years of combined experience treating patients young and old. We use an outcomes-based focus on treatment that creates measurable results for our patients.


We are capable of treating patients on the entire spectrum of musculoskeletal health, from those who have never exercised all the way up to elite professional athletes. Our goal is to compassionately treat, inform, educate, and improve the lives of our patients. If you are suffering with pain or a specific issue, we provide a musculoskeletal examination performed by one of our physical therapists to assess if the potential patient needs physical therapy. If not, exercises and stretches can be recommended to further assist the patient’s issue. This service is free of charge and does not require a doctor’s referral because no treatment is performed on the patient.


We have two convenient outpatient physical therapy clinics: our original location in Lafayette, LA near River Ranch and Ambassador Town Center; and our newest facility near Sugar Mill Pond and Rouse’s in Youngsville, LA. Physical South has been helping patients rehab and train since 2001.




Manual therapy, sometimes referred to as manipulative therapy, is a type of skilled musculoskeletal treatment (passive movement of muscles and joints) used to treat pain or disability by kneading, massaging or otherwise physically manipulating joints and muscles to help treat chronic pain or injury. Typically, you can define manual therapy as “hands-on” therapy, as it is typically administered in the form of joint mobilization, massage, and joint manipulation by the therapists’ hands.


Patients with or without a physician referral can come in for an initial evaluation, where a therapist will spend one-on-on time with you assessing your gait (the way you walk), your risk for fall or further injury, your flexibility, your strength, and your coordination using a series of short tests to determine the best plan of care. Our therapists seek to isolate the root causes of why muscles are not functioning properly, and they can determine if manual therapy is a better method of restoring function.


Mechanically, the passive movement of a joint helps to realign scar tissue and separate adhesions that can lead to a greater range of motion. Additionally, there are biomechanically, neurologically and psychologically positive effects apparent after manual therapy.  


Many patients find long term relief for conditions such as low back or lumbar pain, sciatic pain, neck and shoulder pain, and ankle pain through manual therapy. Your therapist will help determine the duration and frequency of your therapy and create a plan of care through regular office visits, where they will be monitoring, measuring, and reassessing your progress periodically.




Therapeutic exercise, often nicknamed “therex”, is the use of specific exercises to strengthen the muscles necessary to support our skeletal system. Strengthening weak muscles is a mandatory step in recovering from injury or illness, and even more important to prevent re-injury or relapse of pain. Our licensed therapists and technicians will guide you and educate you about the correct form to conduct your exercises, both in our gym setting and for your home exercises. Therapeutic Exercise improves pain, mobility, range of motion, strength, balance, and overall coordination.


Physical Therapy south utilizes Cybex weight training equipment, among the most ergonomic, safe, and effective equipment available on the market. Your Physical Therapist will work with you on an exercise program while you are in the clinic receiving treatment, and may also recommend home stretches and exercises for certain conditions or injuries.


Therapeutic exercise is supervised by a licensed therapist, usually accompanied by a technician. Some therapeutic exercise treatments include:


  • Agility Training
  • Balance and Body Mechanics Training
  • Breathing and Coordination Exercises
  • Gait Training
  • Neuromuscular Re-Education
  • Postural Stabilization
  • Soft Tissue Stretches
  • Strength, Power and Endurance Exercises
  • Weight training to isolate specific muscle groups


In addition to improving strength and balance, therapeutic exercise can improve blood flow, slow the rate of muscular atrophy (especially in older adults), prevent clot formation from venous stasis, and improve motor control.


Stretching is an important component of therapeutic exercise, and is the most commonly recommended home exercise for patients who want to get bettter faster. Our therapists are well versed in manual stretching, mechanical stretching, ballistic stretching, static stretching, and dynamic stretching techniques.




In addition to manual therapy and exercise, your plan of care may include proven applications (called modalities) that improve functionality, pain management, swelling, and promote healing.


Hot & Cold Packs:

Physical Therapists use moist heat to relax tight muscles and increase blood circulation to the affected areas, making subsequent therapeutic massage and stretches more effective by lessening the acuteness of the patient’s muscle tightness and spasms. Cold packs are used to treat pain and inflammation, and to decrease swelling.



Ultrasound machines create high and low frequency sound waves, and transmit those frequencies deep into the patient’s muscle tissue. This causes deep warming of the muscle, which allows the muscle to become more flexible while reducing pain and muscle spasm frequency, duration and intensity.


Electrical Stimulation (E-Stim)

Electrical Stimulation is a modality of physical therapy which utilizes electrical currents to force muscles to contract, allowing therapists to single out muscles and retrain them. Electrodes are placed directly on the skin of the patient, and the subsequent mild electrical current helps to improve muscle contraction, strength, and blood circulation.


Another form of electrical stimulation is called iontophoresis, which uses electricity to push medication through your skin into affected areas.



A therapeutic massage (soft tissue massage) performed by a Physical Therapist differs from the spa and health club massages that you may be accustomed to. Therapeutic massage by a therapist is more scientific in nature, and more focused on a specific area. Massages can help to minimize pain, improve circulation, limit swelling and increase the flexibility of your muscles. Physical Therapy South offers therapeutic massage in 15 minute increments for certain conditions. Ask your therapist if therapeutic massage is a viable option to include in your plan of care.


It is important to remember that while physical therapy modalities can work to decrease pain, increase tone and strength, and get you feeling and moving better, they are not intended to replace traditional physical therapy and should always be administered in addition to a traditional plan of care.

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