FAQ – What is Physical Therapy?
The American Physical Therapy Association describes physical therapy as a form of health care that prevents, identifies, corrects, and alleviates acute or prolonged movement dysfunction of anatomic or physiologic origin. The primary objective of physical therapy is to promote optimum human health and function.
Physical Therapists can apply their skills in most disciplines in medicine including:
- general surgery
- family practice
- internal medicine
- cardiovascular medicine
- cardiopulmonary medicine
- sports medicine
For their education, Physical Therapists must complete three years of graduate school to obtain a Master’s or Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy, after multiple internships in the different areas of Physical Therapy. Graduated students must pass a licensing exam for the state in which they choose to practice. Throughout their careers, Physical Therapists are encouraged to attend continuing education courses to keep informed with the latest advances in the field.
Excerpted from “Why Physical Therapy?”, a publication of The American Physical Therapy Association. For more information about Physical Therapy, visit www.apta.org.