APTA Responds to HOAJ Use of the Term 'Physical Therapy'

Dear Editor:

On the "Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation" area of the HOAJ website it states that, "Physical Therapy is a chiropractic way of treating physiological disorders and disabilities."

On the contrary, 'physical therapy' describes only those services provided by a licensed physical therapist. It is not a generic term. Chiropractors may provide some of the same treatment modalities as physical therapists, but their services should be portrayed as chiropractic and not as 'physical therapy.'

Physical therapists use evidence-based techniques to examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. In many cases, their conservative and cost-effective approach helps patients avoid the cost and trauma of surgery and the side effects associated with long-term use of prescription medications.

Nearly all physical therapists graduating today enter the profession with a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy. In every state, individuals can make an appointment for an evaluation by a physical therapist without a physician referral.

I respectfully ask that the description of 'physical therapy' be amended on your website. Please visit the American Physical Therapy Association's consumer website, www.MoveForwardPT.com, to learn more about physical therapy and its benefits.

Yours sincerely,

Emilio J. Rouco
director, public and media relations