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Colorado Physical Therapy Definitions 

The Colorado physical therapy legal and regulatory definitions. 

“Accredited Physical Therapy Program” - A program of instruction in physical therapy that is accredited as set forth in section 12-285-110 (1)(a)(I).

“Adverse Action” - Disciplinary action taken by the board based upon misconduct, unacceptable performance, or a combination of both.

“Biofeedback” - The use of monitoring instruments by a physical therapist to detect and amplify internal physiological processes for the purpose of neuromuscular rehabilitation.

“Board” - The Colorado State Physical Therapy Board.

“General Supervision”- The physical therapist is not required to be on site for direction and supervision but must be available at least by telecommunications.

“Direct Supervision”- The physical therapist is physically present in the same physical building.

“Immediate Supervision”- The physical therapist is physically present or immediately available in the same physical building to support the individual being supervised.

“Physical Agents”- Includes, but is not limited to, heat, cold, water, air, sound, light, compression, electricity, and electromagnetic energy.

“Physical Measures, Activities, and Devices” - Includes resistive, active, and passive exercise, with or without devices; joint mobilization; mechanical stimulation; biofeedback; dry needling; postural drainage; traction; positioning; massage; splinting; training in locomotion; other functional activities, with or without assistive devices; and correction of posture, body mechanics, and gait.

“Physical Therapist” - A person who is licensed to practice physical therapy. The terms "physiotherapist" and "physical therapy technician" are synonymous with the term "physical therapist".

“Physical Therapist Assistant” - A person who is required to be certified in Colorado and who assists a physical therapist in selected components of physical therapy.

“Physical Therapy” - 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.

“Physical Therapy”:

    • The administration, evaluation, and interpretation of tests and measurements of bodily functions and structures;
    • The planning, administration, evaluation, and modification of treatment and instruction;
    • The use of physical agents, measures, activities, and devices for preventive and therapeutic purposes, subject to the requirements of section 12-285-116;
    • The administration of topical and aerosol medications consistent with the scope of physical therapy practice subject to the requirements of section 12-285-116;
    • The provision of consultative, educational, and other advisory services for the purpose of reducing the incidence and severity of physical disability, movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, and pain; and
    • General wound care, including the assessment and management of skin lesions, surgical incisions, open wounds, and areas of potential skin breakdown in order to maintain or restore the integumentary system.

“Tests and Measurements” - Tests of muscle strength, force, endurance, and tone; reflexes and automatic reactions; movement skill and accuracy; joint motion, mobility, and stability; sensation and perception; peripheral nerve integrity; locomotor skill, stability, and endurance; activities of daily living; cardiac, pulmonary, and vascular functions; fit, function, and comfort of prosthetic, orthotic, and other assistive devices; posture and body mechanics; limb length, circumference, and volume; thoracic excursion and breathing patterns; vital signs; nature and locus of pain and conditions under which pain varies; photosensitivity; and physical home and work environments.

“Physical Therapy Compact Commission” - The national administrative body whose membership consists of all states that have enacted the "Interstate Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act", and as enacted in this state in part 37 of article 60 of title 24.


Colo. Rev. Code ยง 12-285-104

4 CCR 732-1.1

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