Physical Therapy Degree

Physical therapists are health care professionals with the goal of improving the overall physical functionality of their patients. This can include enhancing their muscle strength, functional ability, flexibility, endurance or mobility. Physical therapists also work to relieve pain, prevent or reverse muscular degeneration and atrophy, restoring independence in their patients. They can accomplish these goals using a variety of methods, including guided exercise, massage or dance therapy.

Physical Therapy Degrees

According to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, physical therapists are required to possess a master’s degree from an accredited physical therapist educational program before practicing. All states require a licensure exam before entering into practice, although specific regulations vary from state to state.

Physical Therapy Fields

An online degree in physical therapy can help prepare you for numerous career opportunities, including those below.

  • Chiropractor

    A chiropractor, also called a chiropractic physician, is a professional who treats patients with medical problems related to the spine and nervous, muscular and skeletal systems.

  • Kinesiotherapist

    Under the supervision of a physician, the kinesiotherapist provides therapeutic and rehabilitative exercise to increase the strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance of individuals with functional physical limitations.

  • Massage Therapist

    Research has indicated that a massage can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, increase circulation and improve range of motion, as well as other benefits. Training, licensing and certification vary from state to state.

  • Movement Therapist

    Dance/movement therapy is a creative arts therapy in which expressive movement is used to integrate the individual’s mind, body and emotions. The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) reports that there are about 1,300 dance/movement therapists in 46 states and 41 foreign countries. With a master’s degree and licensing, the student can earn a DTR (Dance Therapist Registered) and practice dance/movement therapy. To teach or open a private practice, an ADTR (Academy of Dance Therapists Registered) license is required.

  • Physical Therapist

    Physical therapists are health care professionals whose goal is to improve the overall physical functionality of their patients. This can include enhancing their muscle strength, functional ability, flexibility, endurance, mobility, or all of the above. Physical therapists also work to relieve pain, prevent or reverse muscular degeneration and atrophy, and to restore independence in their patients.

  • Physical Therapy Assistant

    Physical therapist assistants (PTA) and physical therapist aides work with, and under the supervision of, a licensed physical therapist. Their responsibilities consist primarily of performing routine support tasks as directed by the therapist, whose goal is to improve the overall physical functionality of their patients.

  • Rehabilitation Therapist

    A rehabilitation therapist, also known as a physical therapist, is a health and wellness specialist trained to assist, diagnose and treat individuals with mobility problems caused by injury, illness or accidents.



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