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Florida Physical Therapy Scope of Practice

How is the practice of Physical Therapy defined in Florida?

“Practice of physical therapy” means the performance of physical therapy assessments and the treatment of any disability, injury, disease, or other health condition of human beings, or the prevention of such disability, injury, disease, or other condition of health, and rehabilitation as related thereto by:

  • The use of the physical, chemical, and other properties of air;
  • Electricity;
  • Exercise;
  • Massage;
  • The performance of acupuncture only upon compliance with the criteria set forth by the Board of Medicine, when no penetration of the skin occurs;
  • The use of radiant energy, including ultraviolet, visible, and infrared rays;
  • Ultrasound;
  • Water;
  • The use of apparatus and equipment in the application of the foregoing or related thereto;
  • The performance of tests of neuromuscular functions as an aid to the diagnosis or treatment of any human condition; or
  • The performance of electromyography as an aid to the diagnosis of any human condition only upon compliance with the criteria set forth by the Board of Medicine.

Services specifically excluded from the scope of practice

The use of roentgen rays and radium for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and the use of electricity for surgical purposes, including cauterization, are not “physical therapy”.

The practice of physical therapy does not authorize a physical therapy practitioner to practice chiropractic medicine, including specific spinal manipulation. For the performance of specific chiropractic spinal manipulation, a physical therapist shall refer the patient to a chiropractor.

Can PTs practice dry needling?

As of now, PTs cannot practice dry needling in Florida.

Can PTs practice electromyography?

See Florida Physical Therapy Electromyography.

Can PTs administer topical medications?

Pursuant to a physician’s prescription for the patient, a physical therapist may retain custody of that patient’s non-scheduled legend topical medications and administer those medications to that patient. All prescription medication used in physical therapy treatment shall be properly dispensed by a Florida licensed pharmacist and administered only to the patient for whom the prescription was authorized.

Reference

Fla. Stat. § 486.021

Fla. Admin. Code § 64B17-6.006

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