Four Physical Therapy Books to Improve Your Practice

Discover the top 4 books on physical therapy to read in 2023. Improve your practice with these informative and valuable resources.

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Four Physical Therapy Books to Improve Your Practice

Continual growth and development are critical to any successful physical therapy practice. Aside from continuing education courses and seminars, PTs can quickly gain valuable new knowledge by reading recent publications and books on physical therapy. From honing a specific skill to refreshing fundamental best practices, physical therapy books can help improve your therapists and practice, one page at a time.

Main Takeaways From This Article:

  • Reading physical therapy books can help you learn a new specialized skill or refresh foundational skills to become a better physical therapist.
  • Recent publications can help you stay relevant, learning the latest medical technology for diagnosis and treatment with modern case studies and evidence from various complementary medical fields.
  • Books written from the patient's perspective can help you view your patients differently, allowing you to better understand and empathize with your patients.
  • Better PT education and knowledge can improve patient knowledge and understanding, help optimize treatment plans, and lead to better results.

The Benefits of Reading Books on Physical Therapy

Staying Current With Industry Trends

Knowledge is power; the more you learn about innovative treatments and procedures in physical therapy, the better you'll be as a physical therapist. Reading newer PT publications helps keep you current with industry trends. Newly published PT books will address growing trends in the field and shed new light on the latest treatments and practices.

Expanding Your Knowledge and Skillset

Whether you're gaining a new understanding of a specific skill or need a refresher for some best practices, reading physical therapy books can help expand your knowledge. Many publications are available describing specialized treatments, particular diseases or conditions, and groundbreaking case studies that can help grow your current knowledge. Reading a PT classic explaining best practices and pivotal knowledge sets can help you remember the basics and reinforce the foundations needed to be a great physical therapist.

Gaining Motivation and Inspiration

Not all of the best books on physical therapy are thick textbooks filled with descriptive clinical practices. Some books share the story of real people working with and living through painful conditions or injuries. Reading current books detailing day-to-day life for someone with chronic pain can teach PTs the compassionate side of treatment, ignoring clinical practice for a moment. When PTs take a moment to read first-hand accounts from other physical therapists and patients, they can regain motivation and inspiration to treat their own patients with a better understanding and mindset.

The Top Four Physical Therapy Books to Read in 2023

While therapeutic, reading can help sharpen your knowledge base, allowing you to grow as a therapist. Adding a classic textbook created for practicing PTs or a NY Times Bestseller to lift your spirits will undoubtedly expand your horizons. Below, you'll find our top four books addressing various specialties in physical therapy.

1. Sports Physical Therapy

Whether you're a seasoned professional or still a PT student, Principles of Athletic Training: A Guide to Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 17th edition, by William Prentice, is essential for anyone interested in sports physical therapy. While several editions exist, the author released the newest 17th edition in 2020. Described as a go-to guide for athletic therapists, this book details all aspects of athletic training.

Principles of Athletic Training begins with teaching the foundations of athletic movement, describing the musculoskeletal system and how it relates to many common sports injuries. The text details all facets of sports physical therapy, including injury prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term injury management. The book is easy to read and understand and centered around evidence-based clinical practices commonly taught in sports therapy programs.

2. Physical Therapy for Seniors

Many seniors struggle with degenerative conditions that lead to chronic pain. Explain Pain, by David S. Butler and G. Lorimer Moseley, takes readers on a thought-provoking journey exploring the body's response to pain. Published in 2013, this book is a must-have for any physical therapist that works with patients suffering from chronic pain caused by disease or injury.

Explain Pain draws on medical research from multiple medical disciplines like immunology, psychology, brain imaging, and cellular biology to paint the picture of pain's journey through the body. This book focuses on all elements of pain science, from the initial point of pain origination to continual persistence after the injury has healed. Understanding how the body generates pain is the first step to PT and eventual patient education. Once patients understand how pain functions and how the body reacts to pain, they can better manage symptoms and maximize their PT treatments.

3. Neurology Clinical Specialist

Published in 2011, Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova, is a different type of book compared to others on our list. Stepping away from a dry textbook, Left Neglected tells a story, presenting the patient as the main narrator. The main character, Sarah Nickerson, suffers from a condition where she loses control of one side of her body. The book then chronicles how Sarah navigates the world with half of her body immobile.

This NY Times Bestseller is a beautiful way to get an inside view of what it is like to be a patient suffering from a cognitive handicap impairing day-to-day life. Not only does the author describe physical challenges but also psychological hurdles the patient has to work through. While a physical therapist or assistant may not gain any new technical skills by reading this book, they'll better understand the patient's perspective and learn how to connect skillfully with patients suffering from neurological disorders.

4. Orthopedic Physical Therapy

If you own one physical therapy book in your home library, this book needs to have a place on the shelf. Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain, by Florence P. Kendall, is the classic manual describing muscles and their relationship to the human body. Initially published in 1983, editors recently updated this book with the fifth edition, released in 2005. This essential book details how to test for different ailments through manual muscle testing, as well as provides a description of the evaluation and treatment process. The authors further list various corrective exercises that address a range of injuries and conditions.

While designed for orthopedic therapists, the content in this book will help professionals working in all aspects of physical therapy, covering many diseases, chronic conditions, and injuries. For new PTs, this book will be the gateway to understanding physical evaluation and treatment. For experienced PTs, this book acts as the perfect reference guide.

Bottom Line: Grow Your Skills and Your Practice with EmpowerEMR

The top physical therapy books recommended for physical therapists cover various topics for multiple abilities. Whether learning as a new PT student or refreshing your knowledge as a seasoned professional, reading books in several specialties can help hone your skills and make you think about patient care and treatment from a fresh perspective.

Viewing treatment through a new lens can help improve your practice and increase physical therapist compliance within your clinic. To help manage your daily tasks and KPI tracking, invest in new software from EmpowerEMR to create smooth functionality. Created by PTs, EmpowerEMR is a trusted source with varied services for your clinic. Try a free demonstration today to see how EmpowerEMR can help.

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