How Is Math Related to Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists use math related to ratios, percents, statistics, graphing and problem-solving. Physical therapists need basic problem solving skills, group problem solving skills, inductive and deductive reasoning, and geometry skills.

Physical therapists treat people with injuries or abnormalities in their anatomy that limit their ability to move. They apply exercise and other rehabilitation techniques to reduce the pain and lack of mobility associated with the injury or abnormality. Because it is a medical field, math plays a large role in the knowledge physical therapists use.

Physical therapists need a good knowledge of physics to understand the mechanics of their patients’ bodies. Geometry helps them understand how to manipulate angles to rehabilitate injured joints. In fact, basic math figures into the job from start to finish. Physical therapists have to administer assessment tests to determine a baseline of patients’ abilities. They continue administering these tests to monitor improvement. Such tests also feature a threshold that marks when a patient has shown maximum improvement.

Solving mathematical equations teaches people both basic and group problem solving skills. This is necessary for physical therapists as they work around injuries and anatomical abnormalities to allow patients to live normal lives.

As physical therapists get promoted or go into business for themselves, they need to know business math. In this case, it is important to understand how to budget and staff a physical therapy clinic.