Physical Therapist (PT) Profiles

Typical Day of a Physical Therapist

Physical therapist responsibilities include examination, diagnosis, and creation/implementation/adjustment of a plan of care. Patient examinations in physical therapy include, but are not limited to, testing of muscle function, strength, joint flexibility, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, respiration, skin integrity, motor function, quality of life, and activities of daily living. Physical therapists also determine a patient's ability to reintegrate into the workforce or community after illness or injury.

Once an examination is complete and a diagnosis has been determined, the physical therapist designs a plan of care that includes short- and long-term functional goals and interventions that may include, but not be limited to, exercise, traction, mobilization/manual therapy, ultrasound and/or electrotherapy, vestibular training, motor learning and development, and patient and family education. Interventions will often include the use of assistive and adaptive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, orthotics, and prosthetics. An important component of physical therapist patient management involves teaching the patient appropriate ways to move or perform particular tasks to prevent further injury and to promote health and wellness.

What Is It Really Like to Be a Physical Therapist?

In Their Words

The inspirational "This Is Why" column of PT in Motion spotlights a particular moment or incident that led the writer to a career in physical therapy or reinforced why he or she became a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. Read the columns or download the podcasts.

'This Is Why' Series

Other Articles

The following "PT Profiles" articles show some of the diverse opportunities of a physical therapist career.

PTs in the Hospital World

Serving Patients and Country

He's Got Game

Serving Up Some Physical Therapy

A High-Flying Career

That's a Stretch! He Strikes Up the Thera-band

Touchdown for Physical Therapy: The Bell of Fantasy Football

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