A number of Physical Therapy abbreviations are used today, so we wanted to provide a comprehensive guide to Physical Therapy acronyms for PTs and PTAs to use to refer to various movements, devices, viewpoints, anatomical landmarks, surgical procedures, and certifications.

Common Physical Therapy Abbreviations


AAROM – active assistive range of motion
ABD – abduction
AC – acromioclavicular
ACDF – anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
ACJ – acromioclavicular joint
ACL – anterior cruciate ligament
AD – assistive device
ADD – adduction
ADL – activity/activities of daily living
AET – Advanced Exercise Therapist
AFO – ankle foot orthosis
AICD – automated implantable cardiac defibrillator
AKA – above-knee amputation
Amb – ambulation
A/P – anterior/posterior
AROM – active range of motion
ART – Active Release Techniques
ATC – Athletic Trainer, Certified


B – bilateral
BID – twice a day
BKA – below-knee amputation


CABG – coronary artery bypass graft (open heart surgery)
CAFS – Certification in Applied Functional Science®
CAPP-OB – Certificate of Achievement in Pregnancy and Postpartum Physical Therapy
CAPP-Pelvic – Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy
CCI – Certified Clinical Instructor
CCM – Certified Case Manager
CCP – Clinical Certification Program
CCS – Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Certified Specialist
CCVT- Certified Clinical Vestibular Therapist
CDE – Certified Diabetes Educator
CEAS -Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist
CEES – Certified Ergonomic Evaluator Specialist
CFCE – Certified Functional Capacity Evaluator
CFMT – Certified Functional Manual Therapist
CGA – contact guard assist
CHC – Certified in Healthcare Compliance
CHT – Certified Hand Therapist
CKC – closed kinetic chain
CKTP -Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner
CLT – Certified Lymphedema Therapist
COMT – Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist
C/O – complains of
CP – cold pack, cerebral palsy
CPM – continuous passive motion
CPHQ – Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
CPHRM – Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management
CPT – Certified Personal Trainer
CPT – Certified Pilates Teacher
CTx – cervical traction
CREX – Certification in Rehabilitative Exercise
CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
CST – Craniosacral Therapist/Therapy
CST-D – Craniosacral Therapy Diplomate
CVT – Clinical Vestibular Therapist
CWCE – Certified Work Capacity Evaluator
CWS® – Certified Wound Specialist
CYI – Certified Yoga Instructor
CYT – Certified Yoga Therapist


DDD – degenerative disc disease
DF – dorsiflexion
DJD – degenerative joint disease
DMT – Doctor of Manual Therapy
DWC® – Diabetic Wound Certified


ECS – Clinical Electrophysiologic Certified Specialist
EdD – Doctor of Education
EEG – electroencephalogram
EMR – Physical Therapy EMR (Electronic Medical Record)
EOB – edge of bed
ER – external rotation
Estim or ES – electrical stimulation
EV – eversion
Ex – exercise
Ex Lap – exploratory laparotomy or laparoscopy
Ext (or /) – extension


FAAOMPT – Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists
FAFS – Fellow of Applied Functional Science®
FCE – Functional Capacity Evaluator
FIM – functional independence level (also called FIM score)
Flex (or ✓) – flexion
FOC – Functional Orthopedic Certification
FWB – full weight-bearing
Fx – fracture
FWW – front-wheeled walker


GCFP – Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
GCS – Geriatric Certified Specialist
GHJ – glenohumeral joint


HEP – home exercise program
HKAFO – hip-knee-ankle foot orthosis
HNP – herniated nucleus pulposus (herniated disc)
HHP – Holistic Health Practitioner
H/o – history of
HOB – head of bed
Horiz – horizontal
HP – hot pack
HVGS – high-voltage galvanic stimulation
Hx – history


I (or Ind) – independent
I&D – incision and drainage (debridement)
ICD-10 – 10th revision: International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems
Inv – inversion
Ionto – iontophoresis
IR – internal rotation
ITB – iliotibial band


JSCC – Jones Strain Counterstrain Certified


KAFO – knee ankle foot orthosis


L – left
LAQ – long-arc quad
LBQC – large-base quad cane
LCL – lateral collateral ligament
LE – lower extremity
LLE® – Lymphedema Lower Extremity Certified
LMP – Licensed Massage Practitioner
LMT – Licensed Massage Therapist
LOA – level of assist
LOS – length of stay
LP – leg press
LSO – lumbosacral orthosis
LTG – long-term goals


Max A – maximum assist
MBA – Master of Business Administration
MCL – medial collateral ligament
MD – medical doctor
MDT – Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy®
MFR – myofascial release
MHA – Master of Healthcare Administration
MHP – moist hot pack
Min A – minimum assist
Mm – muscle
MMT – manual muscle test
Mob – mobilization
Mod I – modified independent
MTC – Manual Therapy Certified


NBQC – narrow base quad cane
NCS – Neurologic Certified Specialist
NDT – neuro-developmental technique
NDT – Neuro-developmental Treatment Certified
NMES – neuromuscular electrical stimulation
NWB – non-weight bearing


OCS – Orthopedic Certified Specialist
OKC – open kinetic chain
OOB – out of bed


PAS – Postural Alignment Specialist
PCL – posterior cruciate ligament
PCS – Pediatric Certified Specialist
PF – plantarflexion
Pfin – paraffin bath
PFS – patellofemoral syndrome
PhD – Doctor of Philosophy
Phono – phonophoresis
PMX (or PMHx) – past medical history
PNF – proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
Pro – pronation
PROM – passive range of motion
Pt – patient
PUW – pick-up walker
PWB – partial weight bearing
PD – peritoneal dialysis
PEG – percutaneous endoscopic gastrotomy
PICC – peripherally inserted central catheter
PLIF – posterior lumbar interbody fusion


Q – every
QC – quad cane
QD – every day
QID – four times a day


R – right
RC – rotator cuff
RD – radial deviation
RHIA – Registered Health Information Administrator
RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation
RN – registered nurse
ROM – range of motion
Rot – rotation
RT – respiratory therapist/therapy
RW – rolling walker
Rx – treatment


S (with a line over a lower-cased S) – without
SAQ – short arc quad
SB – side bending (or Swiss ball)
SBA – stand-by assist
SBQC – small base quad cane
SC – straight cane
SCS – Sports Certified Specialist
SLR – straight leg raise
SPC – single-point cane
STM – soft tissue mobilization
STS – sit-to-stand
Sup – supination
SW – standard walker


TB – TheraBand, tuberculosis
TDWB – touch-down weight-bearing
TENS – transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation
THA – total hip arthroplasty
Ther Ex – therapeutic exercise
THR – total hip replacement
TID – three times a day
TKA – total knee arthroplasty
TKR – total knee replacement
TLSO – thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis
TLIF – transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
TM – treadmill
TMJ – temporomandibular joint
Total A – total assist
Trxn – traction
TTWB – toe-touch weight-bearing


UBE – upper body ergometer
UD – ulnar deviation
UE – upper extremity
US – ultrasound


WBAT – weight-bearing as tolerated
WBQC – wide-base quad cane
WC (or w/c) – wheelchair
WCC® – Wound Care Certified
WCS – Women’s Certified Specialist
WFL – within functional limits
WNL – within normal limits
WW – wheeled walker
4WW – four-wheeled walker
# – pounds

If we missed any common Physical Therapy acronyms, let us know. Leave a comment below.

Interested in Clinicient?
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