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When people are told by their doctors to “get started with physical therapy,” they are often unsure of what this means. To complicate the issue, many of NJ’s best physical therapists advertise services such as “advanced physical therapy,” “specialty physical therapy,” or “rehab physical therapy.” What are the differences—and does it matter?

What’s Special About Advanced Physical Therapy?
To make a long story short, most of the flowery language that physical therapy clinics label themselves with have no particular or industry-wide meaning. Terms like “specialized,” “advanced” or “premiere” usually have more to do with marketing appeal than training or professionalization. While some PT clinics may specialize in rehab or rehabilitative physical therapy, that’s the goal for most physical therapists! Ignore the adjectives and look for a reputable physical therapist who is knowledgeable about your specific conditions.

Recognized Physical Therapy Specialists Provide Targeted Treatment
But wait—aren’t there legitimate physical therapy specialties? There certainly are—in fact, the American Physical Therapy Association has 10 board-certified specialty areas of physical therapy practice. These include cardiovascular and pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, sports, women’s health, and wound management. As you may have noticed, these focus on the population (younger or older people, women), or the condition (cancer, sports injuries, wounds).

What Type of Physical Therapy is Right For You?
Your doctor or medical team can help you find the right type of physical therapy based on your needs, including general or specialized physical therapy. Remember, the name is not the important feature—your physical therapist’s training, education, expertise, and ability to coordinate your treatment with the rest of your medical team is more important than any specialty certification.
Ready to move better? Talk with your primary care or rehab team to see if physical therapy services in NJ can benefit you!