• About Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs)

    Physical therapists are movement experts who treat people of all ages and abilities, helping them improve and maintain function and quality of life.

    Physical therapists create individual treatment plans to match each person’s goals, helping people improve their fitness and function, avoid surgery, reduce the use of opioids and other drugs, and partner in their own care.

    What to Expect from a Physical Therapist:

    Evidence-Based Treatment to Meet Your Needs

    Physical therapists combine extensive education, clinical experience, and the latest research to create treatment plans tailored to a person’s specific needs and goals.

    Care Across the Lifespan

    Physical therapists care for people of all ages and abilities. They diagnose and treat existing health conditions, but they also provide patient education, customize plans of care, and preventative treatments that can help people avoid many health problems before they occur.


    You can see a physical therapist almost anywhere, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, people’s homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. You do not need a physician’s referral to make an appointment with a physical therapist for an evaluation.

    What to Expect From Physical Therapist Assistants:

    Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are educated and licensed clinicians who work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

    PTAs must complete rigorous academic and clinical education associate degree programs, pass a national licensure examination, and be licensed or certified by the state(s) in which they work (the exception is Hawaii, where there is no licensure/certification for PTAs).