Online physical therapy resources

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Online physical therapy resources that are reputable help PTs keep up with the changing healthcare landscape and the evolution in physical therapy practice. Luckily, the depth and breadth of online physical therapy resources have expanded generously over the last decade and physical therapists now have access to tools to support them in their practices. In this blog we will outline many of the online physical therapy resources to help improve their practice and prevent burnout.

Professional associations and organizations

Some of the most reputable and helpful online physical therapy resources lie in professional associations and organizations. These organizations have been developed with the goal of advocating for professionals and providing high-quality information related to many facets of practice and patient care. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents over 100,000 physical therapists, student physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. Many therapists are familiar with the PT Journal, the specialty sections and the advocacy work that the association performs at the state and Federal levels, but the association also provides many online physical therapy resources.

Here is a small sample of the resources you have available to you as a member of the APTA:
Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Tests and measures
  • Clinical summaries
  • Foundation for Physical Therapy Research
APTA Advocacy Network
  • Members receive special legislative updates and action alerts when their voices are needed
Payment Resources
  • Cash-based practice
  • Coding and billing
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Value-based payment models
Sections, chapters and special interest groups

Outside of the APTA, other professional organizations may also provide helpful online physical therapy resources.

Here are some other examples to consider:

Online physical therapy research databases

Online physical therapy databases can be a great tool for locating published research, in that they provide access to a large pool of scholarly articles. Below is a list of some of the larger online research databases.

Access to specific articles may be free (Open Access), require a fee or association with an academic institution, hospital or other organization that pays for access through their library on your behalf.


If you are a student, faculty at a university or even a clinical instructor, you should be able to access these online physical therapy resources and research databases through your university library website. If you work for a hospital, they may have a librarian that can access articles by request.

Professional journals

Professional journals are an excellent way to stay up to date on the latest research in a particular practice area and most can be accessed online.

There is not enough room in this blog for a comprehensive list of online physical therapy journals that a therapist may find helpful, but to get you started, here are some examples:

Examples of helpful online physical therapy journals from outside of physical therapy


Subscribing to journals is an excellent way to stay on top of the latest research in a number of areas without having to search through large databases.

Apps for physical therapists

As technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, phones and tablets have become learning tools for therapists and teaching tools for patients.

There are many new apps in the physical therapy space under development but here are a few apps you may find helpful in your practice today:
  • Pocket Anatomy: Helpful for reviewing anatomy as a therapist or as a teaching and demonstration tool with your patients.

  • Goniometer App: Simply place your phone on the patient’s limb to record a starting position then the device records the joint angle as the patient moves!

  • PT 365 NPTE Study App: For students studying for the National Physical Therapy Exam or experienced practitioners wanting to refresh their knowledge, this app is a great way to test your PT know-how.

Diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and intersectionality in physical therapy

It is incumbent upon each of us as physical therapists to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the profession and through our interactions with patients and colleagues. Being an advocate for change starts with educating oneself and accessing reputable online physical therapy resources is a great place to start. The APTA, for example, has published their DEI Action Plan specifically to outline a set of guiding principles and primary areas of action. You can access this plan on the APTA website.

Intersectionality is a concept that recognizes that health is shaped by a multidimensional overlapping of personal and social factors such as race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity etc. Practicing and recognizing intersectionality as healthcare workers can go a long way in combating inequalities in health and healthcare faced by many due to these factors. 

This concept may be new to many healthcare providers but learning about the topic and how it can be used in our profession is an important step for all of us to take. UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality, published a helpful resource guide and toolkit specifically to address intersectionality, and can be accessed here.

Battling self-care and burnout

Burnout amongst physical therapists is a serious issue. It is causing many amazing therapists to leave the profession and is an issue that we hope our professional organizations and employers will work hard to combat. 

The CDC recognizes the importance of support for public health workers and healthcare professionals when it comes to mental health. 

On their website they describe ways to recognize stress and burnout in healthcare workers, provide tips to enhance resilience and provide guidance to supervisors and managers who are looking to combat stress and burnout among their employees. To find this resource, click here. They have even created an online training wherein public health supervisors can learn strategies to prioritize employee health and well-being and prevent burnout. TheraPlatform also provides a resource on self-care for therapists.

When it comes to compassion fatigue and self-care, one therapy clinic in California, RE+ACTIVE Physical Therapy and Wellness, has created a starter kit to help PTs and OTs learn to care for themselves as much as their patients. Their online physical therapy resource includes a support checklist, grounding technique, and self compassion visual reminders. To access this resource, click here.

Start 30-day Free Trial and explore TheraPlatform. HIPAA Compliant Video and Practice Management Software for Therapists.

Use your time online well

After reading this summary, we hope you are pleasantly surprised at the number of online resources available to support you as a physical therapist. As you might imagine, the number of online resources greatly exceeds what could be covered in this post and we encourage you to explore both the resources provided above as well as additional resources put out by reputable, science- and research-backed organizations. Personal and professional development should continue throughout your career and taking advantage of online resources is a great way to accomplish this task.


TheraPlatform, an EHR, practice management and teletherapy tool built for therapists, offers numerous resources and tools. They also offer a free, 30-day trial with no credit card required. Cancel anytime.

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