pertaining to the body, to material things, or to physics.
physical fitness a state of physiologic well being that is achieved through a combination of good diet, regular physical exercise, and other practices that promote good health.
a rehabilitation professional who promotes optimal health and functional independence through the application of scientific principles to prevent, identify, assess, correct, or alleviate acute or chronic movement dysfunction, physical disability, or pain. A physical therapist is a graduate of a physical therapy
program approved by a nationally recognized accrediting body or has achieved the documented equivalent in education, training, or experience; in addition, the therapist must meet any current legal requirements of licensure or registration and be currently competent in the field.
Persons wishing to practice as qualified physical therapists must be licensed. All 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico require such licensure. All applicants for licensure must have a degree or certificate from an accredited physical therapy educational program. To qualify for licensure they must pass a state licensure examination.
Physical therapy assistants and aides work under the supervision of professional physical therapists. Training requirements for physical therapy assistants are not uniform throughout the United States. In 39 of the states licensure is available to graduates of an accredited two-year associate degree program; some require the passing of a written examination. Physical therapy aides can qualify for that position by training on the job in hospitals and other health care facilities.
Further information about the curriculum for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, available programs of study, requirements for practice, and other relevant information can be obtained by contacting the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314, telephone (703) 684–2782.
physical therapy the profession practiced by licensed physical therapists. According to guidelines published by the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapy should be defined as the examination, treatment, and instruction of persons in order to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate, and limit physical disability and bodily malfunction. The practice of physical therapy includes the administration, interpretation, and evaluation of tests and measurements of bodily functions and structures and the planning, administration, evaluation, and modification of treatment and instruction, including the use of physical measures, activities, and devices, for preventive and therapeutic purposes. Additionally, it provides consultative, educational, and other advisory services for the purpose of reducing the incidence and severity of physical disability, bodily malfunction, movement dysfunction, and pain.