Who Are Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants?
Physical therapists (PTs) are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.
After making a diagnosis, physical therapists create personalized treatment plans that help their patients improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.
You do not need a physician's referral to make an appointment with a PT for an evaluation.
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are educated and licensed clinicians who provide care under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
Care provided by a PTA may include teaching people exercise for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. PTAs may also measure changes in the patient's performance as a result of the physical therapy provided.
PTs and PTAs care for people of all ages and abilities.
PTs and PTAs empower people to actively participate in their own treatment. They work collaboratively with each other, and with other health professionals, to ensure patients receive the best care. You can see a PT and PTA almost anywhere, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, people’s homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes.
Learn More About Physical Therapy