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Florida Physical Therapy Scope of Practice

How is 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 health condition, and the rehabilitation of such disability, injury, disease, or other health condition by alleviating impairments, functional movement limitations, and disabilities.

What is included in the practice of physical therapy?

Designing, implementing, and modifying treatment interventions through:

    • Therapeutic exercise;
    • Functional movement training in self-management and in-home, community, or work integration or reintegration;
    • Manual therapy;
    • Massage;
    • Airway clearance techniques;
    • Maintaining and restoring the integumentary system and wound care;
    • Physical agent or modality;
    • Mechanical or electrotherapeutic modality;
    • Patient-related instruction;
    • The use of apparatus and equipment in the application of such treatment, prevention, or rehabilitation;
    • 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.

What is specifically excluded from the 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” for purposes of this chapter.

The practice of physical therapy does not authorize a physical therapy practitioner to practice chiropractic medicine as defined in chapter 460, including specific spinal manipulation, or acupuncture as defined in chapter 457. For the performance of specific chiropractic spinal manipulation, a physical therapist shall refer the patient to a health care practitioner licensed under chapter 460.

Are there any special trainings required?

Florida PT Dry Needling

Florida PT Electromyography

Florida PT Administration of Topical Medications


Fla. Stat. ยง 486.021

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