assistants help physical therapists to provide
treatment that improves patient mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or
lessens physical disabilities of patients.
A physical therapist might ask an assistant to help patients
exercise or learn to use crutches, for example, or an aide to gather and
prepare therapy equipment.
accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as
lower-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and
Physical therapist assistants perform a variety of tasks.
Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they provide
part of a patient's treatment. This might involve exercises, massages,
electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, hot and cold packs, traction, and
ultrasound. Physical therapist assistants record the patient's responses to
treatment and report the outcome of each treatment to the physical
therapist. The extent to which an assistant performs clerical tasks depends
on the size and location of the facility.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor