About the Physical Therapy Profession

The profession of Physical Therapy promotes optimal human health and function through application of scientific principles to prevent, identify, assess, correct and alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction. The roles of the physical therapist practitioner in achieving this purpose are multidimensional; they encompass planning and implementing patient care and education, as well as providing consultative and administrative services in the delivery of physical therapy services. The professional also needs knowledge and expertise in directing clinical research and quality-improvement management.

Physical therapists, or PTs, are health care professionals who evaluate and treat people with health problems resulting from injury, disease, or biomechanical dysfunction. Physical therapists are integral members of the primary care team and are involved in prevention of disability and promotion of positive health. They are also acting consultants in restorative care.

Physical Therapy practice today is based on well-developed body of scientific and clinical knowledge. Physical therapists apply knowledge from the basic, behavioral, and social sciences. Physical therapists must also demonstrate effective communication skills. Insight and sensitivity to the unique needs of diverse populations are essential to effectively maximize the individual's functional potential in society.