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Arkansas Physical Therapy Scope of Practice 

How is physical therapy defined in Arkansas?

Examining and evaluating patients with mechanical, physiological, and developmental impairments, functional limitations, and disability or other health-related conditions in order to determine a physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and planned therapeutic intervention.

What is included in the practice of physical therapy?

Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions that include:

    • Therapeutic exercise;
    • Functional training in self-care as it relates to patient mobility and community access;
    • Manual therapy techniques, including soft tissue massage, manual traction, connective tissue massage, therapeutic massage, and mobilization, i.e., passive movement accomplished within normal range of motion of the joint, but excluding spinal manipulation and adjustment;
    • Assistive and adaptive devices and equipment as they relate to patient mobility and community access;
    • Physical agents;
    • Mechanical and electrotherapeutic modalities; and
    • Patient-related instruction.

Preventing injury, impairments, functional limitations, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations; and

Engaging in consultation, testing, education, and research.

What is specifically excluded from the practice?

The therapeutic intervention of bronchopulmonary hygiene and debridement of wounds require a physician referral before initiation of treatment.

Physical therapy does not include radiology or electrosurgery.

Are there any special trainings required?



Ark. Code Ann. § 17-93-102

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