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Utah PT Scope of Practice

How is physical therapy defined in Utah?

"Physical therapy" or "physiotherapy" means:

    • Examining, evaluating, and testing an individual who has a physical impairment or injury;
    • Identifying or labeling a physical impairment or injury;
    • Formulating a therapeutic intervention plan for the treatment of a physical impairment, injury, or pain;
    • Assessing the ongoing effects of therapeutic intervention for the treatment of a physical impairment or injury;
    • Treating or alleviating a physical impairment by designing, modifying, or implementing a therapeutic intervention;
    • Reducing the risk of an injury or physical impairment;
    • Providing instruction on the use of physical measures, activities, or devices for preventative and therapeutic purposes;
    • Promoting and maintaining health and fitness;
    • The administration of a prescription drug pursuant to Section 58-24b-403;
    • Engaging in administration, consultation, education, and research relating to the practices described above.

What is included in physical therapy testing?

"Testing" means a standard method or technique used to gather data regarding a patient that is generally and nationally accepted by physical therapists for the practice of physical therapy.

"Testing" includes measurement or evaluation of:

    • Muscle strength, force, endurance, or tone;
    • Cardiovascular fitness;
    • Physical work capacity;
    • Joint motion, mobility, or stability;
    • Reflexes or autonomic reactions;
    • Movement skill or accuracy;
    • Sensation;
    • Perception;
    • Peripheral nerve integrity;
    • Locomotor skills, stability, and endurance;
    • The fit, function, and comfort of prosthetic, orthotic, or other assistive devices;
    • Posture;
    • Body mechanics;
    • Limb length, circumference, and volume;
    • Thoracic excursion and breathing patterns;
    • Activities of daily living related to physical movement and mobility;
    • Functioning in the physical environment at home or work, as it relates to physical movement and mobility; and
    • Neural muscular responses.

What is included in physical therapy interventions?

"Therapeutic intervention" includes:

    • Therapeutic exercise, with or without the use of a device;
    • Functional training in self-care, as it relates to physical movement and mobility;
    • Community or work integration, as it relates to physical movement and mobility;
    • Manual therapy, including:
      • Soft tissue mobilization;
      • Therapeutic massage; or
      • Joint mobilization, as defined by the division, by rule;
    • Prescribing, applying, or fabricating an assistive, adaptive, orthotic, prosthetic, protective, or supportive device;
    • Airway clearance techniques, including postural drainage;
    • Integumentary protection and repair techniques;
    • Wound debridement, cleansing, and dressing;
    • The application of a physical agent, including:
      • Light;
      • Heat;
      • Cold;
      • Water;
      • Air;
      • Sound;
      • Compression;
      • Electricity; and
      • Electromagnetic radiation;
    • Mechanical or electrotherapeutic modalities;
    • Positioning;
    • Instructing or training a patient in locomotion or other functional activities, with or without an assistive device;
    • Manual or mechanical traction;
    • Correction of posture, body mechanics, or gait; and
    • Trigger point dry needling.

Which services are specifically excluded from the practice?

"Physical therapy" or "physiotherapy" does not include:

    • Diagnosing disease;
    • Performing surgery;
    • Performing acupuncture;
    • Taking x-rays; or
    • Prescribing or dispensing a drug

Are there any special trainings or requirements?

Utah PT Dry Needling

Utah PT Prescription Drugs

Utah PT Animal Physical Therapy


Utah Code § 58-24b-102

Utah Code § 58-24b-403

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