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PTs are finding innovative ways to use imaging.

Physical therapists have been using imaging in practice, research and education for decades, and advances in imaging technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound imaging are opening even more possibilities.

It's clear that expanded ability for imaging in PT practice—an evolution supported by APTA at both the state and federal levels—will better inform patient management. Physical therapists need to be ready to take up imaging opportunities as they arise, and to do that, they need to have a solid understanding of the current field as well as emerging trends.

If you are interested in this topic, engage with APTA's Frontiers in Rehabilitation, Science, and Technology Council.

Recommended Content

Putting Imaging Into Focus

Mar 1, 2022 / Article

PTJ Analysis: Ordering of Diagnostic Imaging by PTs

Jan 31, 2019 / Resource

Imaging Information from the APTA Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Oct 5, 2021 / Article

Progress for PTs Doing Imaging

Mar 19, 2018 / Podcast

Additional Imaging and Physical Therapy Content

State Advocacy for Imaging Orders by Physical Therapist

Aug 28, 2023 / Resource

This resource was developed to help APTA state chapters advocate for explicit authority for physical therapists to order imaging for patients.

APTA 2021 Statehouse Roundup: New Prepayment Review Law, Imaging Wins, More

Jul 26, 2021 / Roundup

From better insurer responsiveness to direct access improvements, to breakthroughs on PT use of imaging, lots of state-level achievements.

The Referring Provider Owns the Results—Referral for Imaging by PTs

Apr 12, 2021 / Podcast

Data indicate that PTs refer for imaging less often and use it more appropriately than other first-contact providers.

Opportunities for PTs to Advance Proficiency in MSK Ultrasound

Oct 1, 2020 / Article

PTs are eligible for education and training toward becoming registered in musculoskeletal sonography.

Ordering of Diagnostic Imaging by PTs: A Practice Analysis - PTJ

Aug 9, 2019 / Podcast

As more PTs transition into direct access roles, it seems prudent to consider how additional resources common to other first-contact providers might impact patient care.

Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Positional Plagiocephaly: 2. The Role of Imaging

Nov 1, 2016 / Article

This guideline provides recommendations reated to the diagnostic utility of imaging for infants with suspected positional plagiocephaly.