What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a form of health care that prevents, identifies, corrects, or alleviates acute or prolonged movement dysfunction or pain of anatomic or physiologic origin.

The practice of physical therapy includes but is not limited to:

(1) measurement or testing of the function of the musculoskeletal, neurological, pulmonary, or cardiovascular system;

(2) rehabilitative treatment concerned with restoring function or preventing disability caused by illness, injury, or birth defect;

(3) treatment, consultative, educational, or advisory services to reduce the incidence or severity of disability or pain to enable, train, or retrain a person to perform the independent skills and activities of daily living; and

(4) delegation of selective forms of treatment to support personnel while a physical therapist retains the responsibility for caring for the patient and directing and supervising the support personnel.

Only physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) licensed by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (TBPTE) can provide physical therapy in Texas. A PTA can provide physical therapy services only under the direction and supervision of a PT. A physical therapy aide or technician is a person not licensed by this Board who has on-the-job training and aids in the provision of physical therapy services only with onsite supervision of a PT or PTA.

As of December 31, 2023, there were 21,907 actively licensed PTs and 11,256 actively licensed PTAs in Texas.