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Indiana Physical Therapy Scope of Practice

How is physical therapy defined in Indiana?

Examining, evaluating, and conduct testing on patients with mechanical, physiological, or developmental impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities or other health and movement related conditions in order to determine a physical therapy diagnosis.

Reducing the risk of injury, impairment, functional limitation, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of fitness, health, and wellness in populations of all ages.

What is included in the practice of physical therapy?

Alleviating impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities by designing, implementing, and modifying treatment interventions that may include:

    • Therapeutic exercise,
    • Functional training in home, community, or work integration or reintegration that is related to physical movement and mobility,
    • Manual therapy, including soft tissue and joint mobilization or manipulation,
    • Therapeutic massage,
    • Prescription, application, and fabrication of assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, and supportive devices and equipment, including prescription and application of prosthetic devices and equipment,
    • Airway clearance techniques,
    • Integumentary protection and repair techniques,
    • Debridement and wound care,
    • Physical agents or modalities,
    • Mechanical and electrotherapeutic modalities, and
    • Patient related instruction.

Using solid filiform needles to treat neuromusculoskeletal pain and dysfunction (dry needling), after completing board approved continuing education and complying with applicable board rules. However, a physical therapist may not engage in the practice of acupuncture the physical therapist is licensed as an acupuncturist.

Engaging in administration, consultation, education, and research.

What is specifically excluded from the practice?

A PT or certified as a PTA is not authorized to:

    • Evaluate any physical disability or mental disorder except upon the order or referral of a physician, podiatrist, psychologist, chiropractor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or dentist;
    • Practice medicine, surgery, dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, psychology, chiropractic, or podiatric medicine; or
    • Prescribe a drug or other remedial substance used in medicine.

Are there any special trainings or requirements?

A PT who conducts testing using electrophysiologic or electrodiagnostic testing must obtain and maintain the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Clinical Electrophysiologic Specialist Certification.


IC 25-27-1-1

IC 25-27-1-2

IC 25-27-1-3.5

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