Physical therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy, is one of the allied health professions that, by using evidence-based kinesiology, electrotherapy, shockwave modality, exercise prescription, joint mobilization, and health education, treats conditions such as chronic or acute pain, soft tissue injuries, cartilage damage, arthritis, gait disorders, and physical impairments typically of musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, neurological and endocrinological origins. Physical therapy is used to improve a patient’s physical functions through physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, physical intervention, rehabilitation, and patient education. It is practiced by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in many countries).
In addition to clinical practice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapy profession include research, education, consultation, and administration. Physical therapy is provided as a primary care treatment or alongside, or in conjunction with, other medical services. In some jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, physical therapists have the power to prescribe medication.