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Alabama Physical Therapy Scope of Practice

Definition of Physical Therapy

The treatment of a human being by the use of exercise, massage, heat, cold, water, radiant energy, electricity, or sound for the purpose of correcting or alleviating any physical or mental condition or preventing the development of any physical or mental disability, or the performance of neuromuscular-skeletal tests and measurements to determine the existence and extent of body malfunction; provided, that physical therapy shall be practiced only upon the referral of a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery, a dentist licensed to practice dentistry, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed assistant to a physician acting pursuant to a valid supervisory agreement, or a licensed certified registered nurse practitioner in a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

Physical therapy does not include radiology or electrosurgery.

Does Alabama allow PTs to practice dry needling?

Yes. October 23, 2007: Board Minutes: Acupuncture & Dry Needling does fall within the scope of practice for physical therapy.

Does Alabama allow PTs to practice electromyography?

The Board does not specify if electromyography is allowed, however, PTs can perform electromyography and nerve conduction studies through BCBS Alabama.

Does Alabama allow PTs to practice wound care?

Not specified.  However, debridement and other forms of wound therapy are covered through BCBS Alabama.

Can PTs practice through telehealth?

The Alabama Physical Therapy Board currently has no provision on telehealth.   Alabama also does not have a general law on the practice of telehealth. 


Ala. Code ยง 34-24-191

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