Physical Therapy Abbreviations Resource


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There are many abbreviations specific to the field of physical therapy. This can often be confusing to other health care professionals and students starting their training in therapy. If you are a patient of physical therapy, your doctor may have provide you with a prescription for rehab services. This script may have some confusing abbreviations. Learning these abbreviations can help you determine what sort of techniques your PT may be using to help you recover fully.

Use this resource to review the most common abbreviations in physical therapy and their meanings.


  • a- before
  • AAROM- active assistive range of motion
  • Abd- abduction
  • ACJ- acromioclavicular joint
  • ACL- anterior cruciate ligament
  • Add- adduction
  • ADL- activities of daily living
  • AFO- ankle foot orthosis
  • AKA- above knee amputation
  • Amb- ambulation
  • AROM- active range of motion


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


  • C- with
  • CGA- contact guard assist
  • CKC- closed kinetic chain
  • CP- cold pack
  • CPM- continuous passive motion
  • CTx- cervical traction


  • DJD- degenerative disc disease
  • DF- dorsiflexion


  • E Stim- electrical stimulation
  • ER- external rotation
  • Ex- exercise
  • Ev- eversion


  • Flex- flexion
  • FIM score- functional independence level
  • FWB- full weight bearing
  • Fx- fracture


  • GHJ- glenohumeral joint


  • HEP- home exercise program
  • H/o- history of
  • HOB- head of bed
  • HP- hot packs
  • HVGS- high voltage galvantic stimulation
  • Hx- history


  • I- independent
  • Inv- inversion
  • IR- internal rotation
  • ITB- iliotibial band


  • KAFO- knee ankle foot orthosis


  • LAQ- long arc quad
  • LBQC- large base quad cane
  • LCL- lateral collateral ligament
  • LE- lower extremity
  • LTG- long term goals


  • MCL- medial collateral ligament
  • MFR- myofascial release
  • Mm- muscle
  • MMT- manual muscle test
  • Mobs- mobilization


    • NMES-neuromuscular electrical stimulation.
    • NWB- non weight bearing
    • NDT- neuro developmental technique (also known as Bobath technique)


    • OKC- open kinetic chain


    • PCL- posterior cruciate ligament
    • PF- plantar flexion
    • PFS- patellofemoral syndrome
    • PNF- proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
    • PMHx- past medical history
    • Pro- pronation
    • PROM- passive range of motion
    • PT- physical therapist
    • Pt.-patient
    • PTA- physical therapy assistant
    • PWB- partial weight bearing


    • Q- every
    • QC- quad cane
    • QD- every day
    • QID- four times a day


    • RICE- rest,ice,compression,elevation ROM- range of motion
    • RC-Rotator cuff
    • ROM-Range of motion
    • Rot- rotation
    • Rx- treatment


    • S-without (sans)
    • SAQ- short arc quad
    • SB- side bending
    • SBA- stand by assist
    • SBQC- small base quad cane
    • SC- straight cane
    • SLR- straight leg raise
    • STM- soft tissue mobilization
    • Sup- supination


    • TENS- transcutaneous electrical stimulation
    • THA- total hip arthroplasty
    • Ther Ex- therapeutic exercise
    • TID- three times a day
    • TKA- total knee arthroplasty
    • TLSO- thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis
    • TTWB- toe touch weight bearing


      • UE- upper extremity
      • US- ultra sound


      • WBAT-weight bearing as tolerated
      • W/c- wheel chair
      • WFL- within functional limit
      • WNL- within normal limits

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