January 27, 2012
I am writing in response to the photo caption in your article, "Aches and pains: Physical therapist returns service members back to the fight" which refers to the treatment offered by the physical therapist as a "chiropractor move." Your article provides an overall superb insight into the important role physical therapists play in helping patients to regain the motion and mobility that is so important to all of us.
I would, however, like to point out the fact that, while chiropractors may provide some of the same treatment modalities as physical therapists, including spinal manipulation, physical therapist services are separate and distinct from chiropractic and may only be provided by a licensed physical therapist.
Physical therapists examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. They treat numerous musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions, affecting muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints. As an evidence-based treatment that is conservative and cost-effective, physical therapy helps patients avoid the cost and trauma of surgery and the side-effects of prescription medications, in many cases.
Physical therapists are also highly educated health care professionals. Today, all graduating physical therapists enter the profession with either a master's degree or a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. Physical therapists must also be licensed in the state or states in which they practice.
We appreciate your spotlighting the profession and the fact that the information provided in the article was overall very positive. We just wanted to ensure your readers were aware that physical therapist services are separate and distinct from chiropractic.
Thank you for your time and kind consideration.
Emilio J. Rouco
Director, Public and Media Relations
American Physical Therapy Association