physical therapy

noun

Definition of physical therapy

: therapy for the preservation, enhancement, or restoration of movement and physical function impaired or threatened by disease, injury, or disability that utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities (such as massage and electrotherapy), assistive devices, and patient education and training

called also physiotherapy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from physical therapy

physical therapist noun

Examples of physical therapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Gardening and bingo are key forms of physical therapy for residents, according to Jensema. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "A broken bingo machine left this D.C. veterans’ retirement home mourning. A 16-year-old girl decided to help.," 27 Aug. 2019 People using the chairs in Long Island Sound will be able to use the salt water for physical therapy. Mikala Kane, courant.com, "Good news this week: A Glastonbury mom wins her custody battle in the UAE, and 10 Connecticut colleges make the Princeton Review’s best colleges list," 9 Aug. 2019 And unlike the challenges of physical therapy, movement in Candy Land is so effortless, it’s literally all one can do. Alexander B. Joy, The Atlantic, "Candy Land Was Invented for Polio Wards," 28 July 2019 Since then, the Purple Heart recipient has undergone 24 surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Wounded veteran chooses Ramona for new home," 24 July 2019 But after years of rigorous physical therapy, Mr. Clark has proved much of the original prognosis to be wrong, while also starting a successful skin care business called Clark’s Botanicals. Alix Strauss, New York Times, "How the Founder of Clark’s Botanicals Spends His Sundays," 19 July 2019 Chronic pain management typically involves physical therapy, medications, and mental health interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy, says Dr. Durbhakula. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "People Living With Chronic Pain Are Turning to This Support Group for Help," 16 Sep. 2019 But after multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy, Cooper felt compelled to give it a try. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "One year after being shot in the head, this police officer participated in a 5K," 15 Sep. 2019 He was discharged and continues to do occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy three times a week, four hours each – with some additional homework to continue exercises away from the facility. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "Former NBA player Kenny Anderson doing well in rehab from stroke: ‘I’m almost back to normal’," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'physical therapy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of physical therapy

1919, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about physical therapy

Statistics for physical therapy

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for physical therapy

The first known use of physical therapy was in 1919

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for physical therapy

physical therapy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of physical therapy

US, medical : the treatment of a disease or an injury of the muscles or joints with massage, exercises, heat, etc.

physical therapy

noun

Medical Definition of physical therapy

: therapy for the preservation, enhancement, or restoration of movement and physical function impaired or threatened by disability, injury, or disease that utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities (as massage and electrotherapy), assistive devices, and patient education and training

called also physiotherapy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on physical therapy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for physical therapy

Spanish Central: Translation of physical therapy

Britannica English: Translation of physical therapy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about physical therapy

Comments on physical therapy

What made you want to look up physical therapy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!