As of 2015, a current physical therapy research topic is the effectiveness of acetaminophen in back pain management compared to physical therapy exercises. Another good research topic is whether or not physical therapy can help treat vocal problems.
A study published in March 2015 by the British Medical Journal theorizes that results in recent clinical trials may support a move from managing chronic musculoskeletal pain with pills only to a comprehensive treatment plan that includes physical therapists and nutritionists. Part of the theory states that physical therapy and strengthening exercises should be implemented before pain pills are administered or prescribed to ensure long-term effectiveness. Research in this topic is ongoing.
In April 2015, a report exploring physical therapy as a treatment for vocal problems was released by Virginia radio station WVTF concerning Dr. Jim Daniero's work using physical therapy as a means to relieve stress on the neck and shoulders of patients with vocal problems. The head and neck surgeon has seen many patient issues improve with this kind of treatment. Therapy relieves stress or strengthens muscles that are important in supporting the voice.
Other research topics include how physical therapy helps prepare a woman's body for giving birth or how using physical therapy in a comprehensive treatment plan for diabetes improves the quality of life for patients.