Common Physical Therapy Abbreviations You May Find

Physical Therapy AbbreviationsYou may find that as you first launch your career as a Physical Therapist, there are several abbreviations that you may not have learned in PT School (Thanks APTA!) While APTA does not officially endorse a standard, you can find plenty of practices that share common shortened physical therapy abbreviations. This list is what I have come across, along with what I have gathered online to help you familiarize yourself with the abbreviations! This is a list of Physical Therapy Abbreviations to know!

This is also great for students in Physical Therapy program who are just starting their rounds in clinic. It’s great to review this as you may run into some things you are not used to seeing!





Common Physical Therapy Abbreviations

A/P —    Anterior Posterior

AAROM —  Active Assistive Range of Motion

ABD    —    Abduction

ACJ —  Acromioclavicular Joint

ACL —  Anterior Cruciate Ligament

ACL     anterior cruciate ligament

AD —  Assistive Device

ADD —  Adduction

ADL —  Activities of Daily Living

ADL’s activities of daily living

AFO —  Ankle Foot Orthosis (Used To Treat Foot Drop)

AKA —  Above Knee Amputation

ALS    —  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amb —  Ambulation

AMB —     ambulate

ANT —  Anterior

Appt.  —  appointment

AROM —  Active Range Of Motion

As tol —  As tolerated

B —  Bilateral

BAPS —  Biomechanical Ankle Platform System

bed mob.  — bed mobility

BID —  Twice a Day

BIW —     bi-weekly, twice weekly

bk  —        back

BKA —  Below Knee Amputation

BOS —     Base of support

BP   —    Blood pressure

bpm —   Beats per minute

Bwd  —   Backward

C/o      Complains of

C/S      cervical spine

CA       Cancer

CC       Chief Complaint

cerv.    cervical

CF        Cystic Fibrosis

CGA —  Contact Guard Assist

CGA     Contact Guard Assist

CHF     Congestive Heart Failure

CHI      closed head injury

CKC —  Closed Kinetic Chain

COG     Center of gravity

Cont    Continue

Cont.   continue

COPD  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COTA  certifi ed occupational therapy assistant

CP —  Cold Pack

CP       Cerebral Palsy

CP       coldpack, cerebral palsy

CPM —  Continuous Passive Motion

CPM    Continuous passive motion

CRPS   Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

CTS     Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CTx —  Cervical Traction

CVA     Cerebral Vascular Accident

CVD     Cardio-Vascular Disease

Cx.       cancel, cancellation

D/C     Discharge

DB —  Dumbbell

DC       discharge, discontinue

DDD    Degenerative Disc Disease

dep., D      dependent

Dexa   Dexamethazone

DF —  Dorsiflexion

DF —  Dorsiflexion (of The Ankle)

DF       dorsiflexion

Diag    Diagonal

DIP      Distal Interphalangeal Joint

DJD —  Degenerative Disc Disease

DJD     Degenerative Joint Disease

DM      Diabetes Mellitus

DMD   Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

DME    durable medical equipment

DOB    Date of birth

DOI     Date of injury

DOS     Date of surgery

DVT     Deep Vein Thrombosis

Dx        Diagnosis

EOB     Edge of bed

Equip.   equipment

ER —  External Rotation

ER       Emergency Room

E-stim    Electrical Stimulation

Estim or ES —  Electrical Stimulation

EV —  Eversion (of The Ankle)

Ev.       eversion

Eval.    evaluation eversion

Ex —  Exercise

Ex.        exercise

EXT —  Extension (or a Slash Mark Is Used To Signify Extension)

Ext.      extension

Ext. rot., ER     external rotation

F,  3/5  fair (in reference to manual muscle testing)

F/u      Follow up

FCR     Flexor Carpi Radialis

FCU     Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

FES      Functional Electrical Stimulation

FIM score —  Functional Independence Level

FLEX —  Flexion (or Simply a Check Mark Is Used To Signify Flexion)

Flex.    flexion

freq       frequency

FWB —  Full Weight Bearing

FWB    full weight bearing

fwd       forward

FWW   Front wheeled walker

Fx —  Fracture

Fx.        fracture

G, 4/5    good (in reference to manual muscle testing)

GH       Gleno-Humeral

GHJ —  Glenohumeral Joint

GMT    gross muscle test

Gt.        Trng. gait training

H/o —  History of

H/o     History of

H/S     Hamstring

HA       Headache

Hemi. hemiplegia, hemiparesis

HEP —  Home Exercise Program

HEP     home exercise program

HHA    home health aide

HKAFO hip knee ankle foot orthosis

HNP    Herniated Nucleus Pulposus

HOB —  Head of Bed

HOB    Head of bed

Hor      Horizontal

Horiz ABD —  Horizontal Abduction

Horiz ADD —  Horizontal Adduction

HP —  Hot Packs

HP       hot pack

HTN    Hypertension

HVGS   high voltage galvanic stimulation

HVGS —  High Voltage Galvantic Stimulation

Hx —  History

HX       history

I —  Independent

I ,         Indep independent

IDDM  insuline dependent diabetes mellitus

IE        initial evaluation

IFC      interferential current

IMS     intramuscular stimulation

Inf       Inferior

Int. rot., IR   internal rotation

Inv —  Inversion

Inv.      inversion

Ionto   Iontophoresis

Ionto —  Iontophoresis

IR —  Internal Rotation

Isom    isometric

ITB —  Iliotibial Band

ITB      Ilio-tibial Band

IV —  Inversion (of The Ankle)

Jt         Joint

KAFO    Knee ankle foot orthosis

KAFO —  Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis

L –

L , L, Lt.    left

L/S      Lumbar Spine

LAQ —  Long Arc Quad

LAQ     long arc quad (exercise.)

Lat        Lateral

Lats      Latissimus Dorsi

LB         lower body

LBP      low back pain

LBQC   large base quad cane

LBQC —  Large Base Quad Cane (Also Known As a Wide Base Quad Cane (Wbqc))

LCL —  Lateral Collateral Ligament

LCL      Lateral Collateral Ligament

LE —  Lower Extremity

LE        lower extremity

LOA —  Level of Assist

LP —  Leg Press

LQ       lower quadrant

LTG —  Long Term Goals

LTG     long term goal

M/L     Medial Lateral

Max     Maximum

Max.    maximal

MCL —  Medial Collateral Ligament

MCL    Medial Collateral Ligament

MCP    Metacarpophalangeal Joint

MDL    moderately limited

Med     Medial

MENS microcurrent electrical nerve stimulator

MFR —  Myofascial Release

MFR    myofacial release

MFR    Myofascial Release

MHP —  Moist Hot Pack

MHP    Moist Hot Pack

MI       Myocardial Infarction

Min     Minimum

MKL    markedly limited

Mm —  Muscle

  1. muscle

MMT   manual muscle test

MMT —  Manual Muscle Test

MNL    minimally limited

Mob    Mobilization

Mobs —  Mobilization

mod    Moderate

MS       Multiple Sclerosis

MSW   medical social worker

MTP    Metatarsophalangeal Joint

MVA    Motor Vehicle Accident

N, .5/5  normal (re: muscle strength)

N/T     numbness and tingling or not tested

NAGS     Natural Apophyseal Glides

NBQC     Narrow Based Quad Cane

NCV       nerve conduction velocity

NDT —  Neuro Developmental Technique (Also Known As Bobath Technique)

NF       No Fault

NIDDM non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

NMES —  Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation

NMR    Neuromuscular re-education

NS       No Show

NWB   non-weight bearing

NWB —  Non-Weight Bearing

OA       Osteoarthritis

OKC —  Open Kinetic Chain

OOB —  Out Of Bed

OOB    Out of bed

OT       occupational therapy/therapist

OTR     registered occupational therapist

p  after

P, 2/5      poor (re: muscle strength)

P/A     Posterior Anterior

P/u      Push up

PBall   Physio-Ball

PCL —  Posterior Cruciate Ligament

PCL         Posterior Cruciate Ligament

PD       Parkinson’s Disease

Pec          Pectoral / Pectoralis

PF            plantar fl exion

PF —  Plantar Flexion

Pfin —  Paraffin Bath

PFS —  Patellofemoral Syndrome

Phono —  Phonophoresis

Phono Phonophoresis

PIP          Proximal Interphalangeal Jt

PMH       past medical history

PMHx —  Past Medical History

Pn           pain

PNF        Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

PNF —  Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

POC     plan of care

Post     Posterior

PRE     progressive resistive exercises

Prec.    Precautions

Prep.   preparation

PRN     As needed

PRO —  Pronation (Turning Your Wrist Palm Down)

PROM —  Passive Range of Motion

Pron    Pronation

Prox    Proximal

PT —  Physical Therapist

PT       physical therapy/therapist

Pt. — Patient

Pt.        patient

PTA —  Physical Therapy Assistant

PTA     physical therapist assistant

PUW —  Pick Up Walker

PVD     Peripheral Vascular Disease

PWB —  Partial Weight Bearing

PWB    partial weight bearing

Q —  Every

QC —  Quad Cane

QD —  Every Day

QID —  Four Times A Day

QS       Quadriceps Set

Quad   Quadriceps

R , R, rt right

r/o      Rule out

RA       Rheumatoid Arthritis

RC — Rotator Cuff

RD —  Radial Deviation (a Motion of the Wrist)

Re        recheck

Rec’d   received

Rehab. rehabilitation

Reps.   repetitions

Req/d. required

RGO     reciprocating gait orthosis

RICE —  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation Rom

ROM — Range of Motion

ROM    Range of Motion

Rot —  Rotation

Rot.      rotation

RSD     Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

RTC     Rotator Cuff

RTW    Return to work

RW —  Rolling Walker

RW      Rolling Walker

Rx —  Treatment

Rx.       treatment

S — Without (Sans)

S/L      Sidelying

S/p      Status post

SAQ —  Short Arc Quad

SAQ     short arc quad (exercise)

SB        Sidebend

SB —  Side Bending

SBA —  Stand By Assist

SBA     standby assist

SBQC   small base quad cane

SBQC —  Small Base Quad Cane (Also Known As a Narrow Base Quad Cane (Nbqc))

SC —  Straight Cane

SCI       spinal cord injury

Script   Prescription

Sh        shoulder

SI, SIJ  sacroiliac joint

SLP      speech-language pathologist

SLR —  Straight Leg Raise

SLR      Straight Leg Raise

SNAGS Sustained Natural Apophyseal Glides

SOB     Shortness of Breath

SPC     Single point cane

SPT     student P.T.

SPTA   student P.T.A.

ST        speech therapy

STG     short term goals

STM —  Soft Tissue Mobilization

STM    Soft Tissue Mobilization

SUP — Supination (Turning Your Wrist Palm Up)

Sup     Supination or Superior

SW      Standard Walker

SW —  Standard Walker

T, 1/5 trace (re: muscle strength)

T/S      Thoracic Spine

TA         Therapeutic Activities

TB —  Theraband

T-Band Theraband

TBI        Traumatic Brain Injury

TENS    transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator

TENS —  Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation

THA      total hip arthroplasty

THA —  Total Hip Arthroplasty

THA     Total Hip Arthroplasty

Ther Ex —  Therapeutic Exercise

Ther Ex Therapeutic Exercise

THR      total hip replacement

THR     Total Hip Replacement

TIA      Transient Ischemic Attack

TID —  Three Times a Day

TIW      three times per week

TKA  —   total knee arthroplasty

TKR —    total knee replacement

TLSO —  Thoracic Lumbar Sacral Orthosis

TM  —    treadmill

TMJ  —   Temporomandibular Joint

Tol  —     Tolerated

Trxn —  Traction

TTWB —  Toe Touch Weight Bearing

UBE —  Upper Body Ergometer

UD —  Ulnar Deviation (A Motion Of The Wrist)

UE —  Upper Extremity

UQ   —    upper quadrant

US —  Ultra Sound

UV  —      ultraviolet

VC  —     verbal cues

VIC  —    Verbalized informed consent

W/c —  Wheel Chair

W/C  —  Wheelchair

W/cm2 — watts per centimeter squared

WB —  weight bearing

WBAT — weight bearing as tolerated

WBAT —  Weight Bearing As Tolerated

WBQC — Wide based quad cane

WC —  Wheelchair

WFL —  Within Functional Limit

WNL —  Within Normal Limits

WW —  Wheeled Walker

y/o  —  Years old


See something we missed? Let us know and we will update the list! Hope you guys enjoyed the Physical Thearpy Abbreviations List! Let us know what other content you would like to see below in the comments!

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