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Colorado Physical Therapy Scope of Practice
How is physical therapy defined in Colorado?
"Physical therapy" means the examination, physical therapy diagnosis, treatment, or instruction of patients and clients to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate, or limit physical disability, movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, or pain from injury, disease, and other bodily conditions.
What is included in the practice of physical therapy?
The practice of physical therapy in Colorado includes:
What is specifically excluded from the practice?
Use of roentgen rays and radioactive materials for therapeutic purposes; the use of electricity for surgical purposes; or the diagnosis of disease.
Are there any special trainings required?
Administration of medications
Physical therapists or physical therapist assistants under the direct supervision of a physical therapist may administer topical and aerosol medications when they are consistent with the scope of physical therapy practice and when any such medication is prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner who is authorized to prescribe that medication. A prescription or order shall be required for each such administration.
A physical therapist is authorized to perform wound debridement under a physician's order or the order of a physician assistant authorized under section 12-240-107 (6) when debridement is consistent with the scope of physical therapy practice. The performance of wound debridement does not violate the prohibition against performing surgery pursuant to section 12-285-108 (1)(a).
A licensed physical therapist may order or perform, with clinical justification, any diagnostic imaging which is within the recognized standards of the practice of physical therapy, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-285-104
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-285-108
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-285-116
Colorado Physical Therapy Board Policies