An entity, facility, or distinct part of a facility providing diagnostic and treatment services related to physical rehabilitation. Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are licensed health care professionals who are experts in the movement system and help individuals maintain, restore, and improve movement, activity, and functioning, thereby enabling optimal performance and enhancing health, well-being, and quality of life. Their services prevent, minimize, or eliminate impairments of body functions and structures, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Physical therapy is provided for individuals of all ages who have or may develop impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to (1) conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems or (2) the negative effects attributable to unique personal and environmental factors as they relate to human performance. Source: Guide to PT Practice 3.0 [1/1/2020: definition added]
Additional resources: http://guidetoptpractice.apta.org/; American Physical Therapy Association, www.apta.org.