All physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy assistants (PTAs) are trained in the basic areas of physical therapy. Specialization is the process by which a PT builds on this broad base of professional education and practice to develop a greater depth of knowledge and skills related to a particular area of practice. Clinical specialization in physical therapy responds to a specific area of patient need and requires knowledge, skill, and experience exceeding that of the PT at entry level into the profession and unique to the specialized area of practice. You can compare this to medical students who first are generalized but then pick a specialty such as orthopedics, neurology, cardiology, etc.
Physical therapy specialty areas include:
About Specialist Certifications
To set themselves apart as a specialist, physical therapists can become a board certified specialist. The specialist certification program was established to provide formal recognition for physical therapist with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these physical therapists.
In order to become a board certified specialist, the PT must meet certain requirements made by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists (ABPTS), which includes passing a board certification exam. Minimally, a certified specialist must have current licensure to practice physical therapy, have provided evidence of a minimum of 2, 000 hours of clinical practice in a specialty area (25 % of which occurred with 3 years of initially taking the specialty exam) or completed a credentialed residency program, and passed the board certified exam. To learn more about each specialty area and the unique qualifications of these specialists, click on the appropriate link above.
Who's Your Physical Therapist?
Find a PT allows you to search a national database of physical therapist members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for the purpose of finding a physical therapist who is right for you. Click on the link to search for a PT, by specialty, in your area today!
Who is Your Physical Therapist?
Most people can tell you who their dentist or even hairdresser is. People build relationships with these professionals. How often do you hear people discuss who their physical therapists are?
Having a PT who knows you and your functional goals can go a long way when dealing with pain, strength/motion loss, and nerve damage from a variety of injuries. PTs provide individualized and hands-on methods to decrease discomfort and movement limitations.
It’s like knowing who to call for a toothache. Who is your physical therapist?
How Can Physical Therapy Help You?
A physical therapists (PT) provides care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. PTs diagnose and treat people of all ages, including newborns, children and elderly individuals. They may consult and practice with other health professionals to help you improve your mobility.
The physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a licensed individual who works under the direction and supervision of a PT. The PTA has the knowledge, skills and value-based behaviors needed to help implement interventions prescribed by the PT in a plan of care. PTs and PTAs are the only valid providers of physical therapy services.
Your Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Can Help You With:
- Balance Disorders
- Back Pain
- Knee Pain
- Overuse Injuries
- Shoulder Pain
- Sprains, strains, and fractures and much more...
In Ohio, you can see a Physical Therapist Without Referral!
In most states, you can make an appointment with a physical therapist directly, without a physician’s referral. In 2004 Ohio became the 39th state in the nation to authorize physical therapists to evaluate and manage patients without a referral. More information on Direct Access
Find My Physical Therapist
Find a PT allows you to search a national database of physical therapist members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for the purpose of finding a physical therapist who is right for you.
Become a PT or PTA
Learn more about the profession of physical therapy and how you can become a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant through the links below.