Physical Therapy Clinic Directory
Including Occupational Therapy and Hand Therapy Clinics

Therapist Qualifications

Is my therapist licensed?

YES! Here’s what the different licenses mean: Physical Therapist (PT): Licensed by each state, receive a graduate degree to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). They must also pass a national exam to obtain licensure or certification.

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA): Licensed by each state, receive an associate’s degree. They must also pass a national exam to obtain licensure or certification.

Qualifications to Look for in a Physical Therapist

Experience working with other people with the same condition

Licensed as a physical therapist in your state

Training in multiple modalities and treatment techniques

Accessible to you to discuss your unique injury, goals and needs

Physical Therapy Specialty Certifications

If your physical therapist has one of the following specialty certifications, it means they have advanced training in the specialty area as well as passing a rigorous examination.

Orthopedic Certified Specialist - An orthopedic physical therapist specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect any part of your musculoskeletal system. They deal with the entire musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, tendon, ligaments, and joints.) Some are board certified as Orthopedic Certified Specialists (OCS).

Neurologic Certified Specialist - These therapists help people with diseases, injury, or disorders of the nervous system. They provide functional retraining including walking, wheelchair use, help people improve in completing daily activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, and basic housekeeping. A certified specialist holds a Neurologic Certified Specialist title (NCS).

Certified Hand Therapist - A Certified Hand Therapist (CHTs) is a board certified therapist who specializes in dysfunctions of the hand and wrist. A hand therapist works with patients who may have been affected by an accident or trauma to mitigate the effects of scarring and other tissues damage. They also help those who suffer from cumulative trauma disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic conditions like arthritis.

Pediatric Certified Specialist - A Pediatric Certified Specialist (PCS) is a board certification that some therapists obtain to specialize in working with children under the age of 18. They help patients with anything ranging from developmental delays to recovering from sports injury.

Geriatric Certified Specialist - Some therapists specialize in treating aging adults. While most physical therapists treat gereiatric patients, some are board certified as Geriatric Certified Specialists (GCS). They will focus on optimizing the function of the aging adult.

Industrial Rehabilitation Specialist - These types of therapists help people recovering from specialists on-the-job injuries. They also evaluate work places to look for ergonomic setups, and help redesign work flows to decrease the incidence of injury.

Sports Certified Specialist - A therapist who is board certified in sports rehabilitation has a Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) title. They help athletes recover from injuries related to sports. They also offer preventative care to help athletes avoid injury, especially due to repetitive use or overuse.

McKenzie Certified Therapist - Also known as Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), the McKenzie Method, is a type of assessment used to evaluate not only low back pain, but also neck pain and pain in the extremities. The therapist then uses that information in diagnosing and treating symptoms.

Women’s Health Specialist - This is a physical therapist who has knowledge, skill, and experience unique to the area of women’s health practice. They can help women through any phase of life, including pregnancy and postpartum.

Can my therapist provide me with a diagnosis?

In most states, physical therapists cannot make a medical diagnosis. This is something that your medical doctor will provide for you. Physical therapists are important members of your medical team. At this point in time, physicians are typically the health care providers that will provide you with a medical diagnosis.