Skip to main content


Physical therapists responded quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic began, installing safety protocols and changing the way they worked with patients. Now, more than 18 months later, a lot of these short-term changes remain, and many believe that physical therapy is forever altered — for PTs, PTAs, patients, and students who seek to enter the field.

Michael Martin, PT, MPT, believes the coronavirus pandemic has affected and will continue to affect the practice and profession of physical therapy in predominantly positive ways in the long term.

"To start, I believe the pandemic and subsequent response further cemented the notion of a physical therapist as an essential health care provider, regardless of practice setting," says Martin, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "From acute response and intervention for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 to the long-term care of patients experiencing post-COVID-19 symptoms and dysfunction, physical therapy has been an integral component of the care of patients. This can open the door for our profession to be considered and consulted when addressing similar conditions in the future."

Log in or create a free account to keep reading.

Join APTA to get unlimited access to content.

You Might Also Like...


From PTJ: Functional and Aerobic Exercises Can Aid Long COVID Recovery

Jan 23, 2024

Researchers also found that telerehab may be ‘an optimal intervention’ for physical therapy patients with long COVID.


Coronavirus and Long COVID Update, October 2023

Oct 23, 2023

SSRIs and Long COVID, Post-COVID-19 organ abnormalities, lingering symptoms among children, and more.


CDC: Nearly 7% of U.S. Adults Had or Have Long COVID; Rates Vary by Demographics

Oct 4, 2023

Results of a 2022 survey show that women, Hispanic respondents, and residents of non-metro areas experienced the condition at higher rates.