What is a physical therapist?
Physical therapy focuses on the evaluation, management, and prevention of disorders
of human motion.
Physical therapists (PTs) are important members of the rehabilitation (rehab) team.
They evaluate and provide treatment for persons with health problems and disabilities
caused by injury, disease, overuse of muscles or tendons, pain, or loss of a body
PTs focus on restoring a person's movement (mobility) and function. They also help
prevent further disability.
PTs may provide treatment and education for:
Balance and gait retraining
Heat and cold therapy and massage
Activities of daily living (ADLs)
Casting and splinting
Wheelchair, walkers, canes, and crutches
Use of braces and splints (orthotics) and prosthetics artificial limbs (prosthetics)
PTs work in many settings, including:
PTs have either a master's degree or a doctorate from a school accredited by the American
Physical Therapy Association. To practice, all graduates must be licensed by their
state by passing a national certification exam.