6 New Non-Traditional Areas Physiotherapists Can Practice

Pamela Duffy PT.MEd.OCS has highlighted what APTA terms "Emerging Areas" for Physiotherapy Practice. These new areas are steadily experiencing an increase in Physiotherapists participation.

These 6 new emerging non traditional areas identified by American Physical Therapy Association are:

1. Performing Arts
2. Obesity Management
3. Health Clubs
4. Animal Therapy
5. Women's Health
6. Emergency/Urgent Care

Performing Arts
Professionals in the Performing Arts whose careers depend on their bodies being in good shape are becoming beneficiaries of physical therapy "behind the scenes". Examples of professionals in this field are figure skaters, dancers, musicians, gymnasts, circus performers, dancers, actors and musicians.
When it comes to prevention of rehabilitation from injuries, the  physical therapist is beginning to gain relevance.

Obesity Management
When it comes to Obesity management, one would wonder why it's still an "emerging area" for Physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapists are qualified to develop and supervise wellness programs for the obese and should be the preferred practitioners, especially for those who are prone to injury or conditions like stroke, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.

Health Clubs
It's not uncommon these days to see a physiotherapist who runs a health club. According to Pamela, " Health clubs welcome the credibility PTs provide, and patients like the convenience of receiving treatment in a health club. In addition, patients benefit from the opportunity to transition seamlessly from a hands-on PT program to an independent wellness and fitness program."

Women's Health
It's quite interesting that these days, women are showing preference for health practitioners that specialize in "Women's Health". Physiotherapists that specialize in women's health handle cases such as post-mastectomy care, fitness, incontinence and osteoporosis, among others.

Animal Therapy
A growing number of physical therapists are now involved in animal rehabilitation, working with mostly horses and dogs.

Emergency Department
Some hospitals now have physical therapists working in their Emergency department. A patient in the emergency ward that has access to physical therapy is a big plus on the path of recovery. Conditions topping the list in the emergency department are acute musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions, especially Back pain.



  1. Hi dear experience in physiotherapy during studies is accepted for dha license ?? Like in the morning doing studies and in the evening doing internship or job as junior physiotherapist. Please reply thanx...

  2. Hi Jalal,
    Sorry for the late response, my host had not been notifying me of your comments.
    As long as you can prove you've been working for a 2year period.


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