What is a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)?

When scheduling your next round of physical therapy treatments you may have been offered an appointment slot with a PTA. Most likely the word “Assistant” stood out to you, and you weren’t sure what that means. “Do they know what to do? How are they different than my PT?” Both valid and important questions. So let’s get into it.

Physical Therapist Assistants are the only recognized extension of a Physical Therapist. They have all earned degrees from accredited schools, passed national board examinations, and hold licenses to perform physical therapy treatment in their state. How they differ from your PT can be simplified to one simple phrase: They don’t perform Initial Evaluations.

Do you remember the initial visit with your PT when they asked you a lot of questions, performed various tests, and gave you their assessment of what to do next? This is known as an Initial Evaluation. The PT uses this information to set up a plan of care. This plan sets up a scope of what to do, and what not to do, during your treatments.

Colten Yeigh Physical Therapy Associates


This is where the PTA comes in. The education the PTA has completed provides a wealth of knowledge on the theory, and application, of treatments within the plan of care established by your PT. This plan is utilized every time you come in, and the PT and PTA are excellent communicators within their team to update this plan as needed.

To summarize: Once the PT performs their evaluation, PTAs are experts in treating your condition with physical therapy interventions. You are receiving care from a licensed physical therapy professional with a wealth of knowledge on the treatment of patients just like you. What’s even better is that your primary PT continues to follow you as a patient and performs frequent re-checks with you to make sure you are progressing. Think of it as two therapists for the price of one.

So the next time you are scheduling your appointments and a PTA pops up I hope you will feel confident being treated by one of us. Have a happy and healthy week and remember: If its physical its therapy!

Written by:  Colten Yeigh, PTA

Sandy Zimmerman-American Ninja Warrior

We would like to introduce you to Sandy Zimmerman, one of Physical Therapy Associates’ famous clients!  Sandy is an American Ninja Warrior!  She competed in Seasons 8 and 9 of American Ninja Warrior.  Sandy’s entire family has caught the ninja bug.  In Arizona a few weeks ago, Sandy won the women’s pro division and masters division, her 11 year old son took 2nd in his division and her 9 year old daughter took 1st in her division.  Sandy’s 6 year old son was allowed to compete in the 7-9 division and took 3rd and Sandy’s husband, Charlie took 4th in the amateur men’s and 2nd in the masters.  The ENTIRE family qualified for REGIONALS!

Sandy teaches ninja warrior classes and holds events in her backyard which is affectionately called the Ninja Fortress.  April 28th, there will be a UNAA sectioned competition being held at the Ninja Fortress.

Sandy has been through many highs and lows through her career and Physical Therapy Associates has been involved in helping through some major injuries and also back into training.

Good Luck to the whole family competing at Regionals this year!

Golf for Health – Blue Tees and White Tees

White Tees: **All levels welcome**  This golf readiness program is 10 weeks in length focusing on rotational mobility, strength, flexibility and cardio endurance. Moving from station to station in circuit, you’ll sweat, laugh and feel better about stepping onto that first tee of the season!

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Blue Tees:  **Please note this is the more advanced class of the 2 Golf for Health classes. ** This is due to more cardio and strength moves, quick transitions from station to station and the ability to get up from the floor in a speedy manner.

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Triple Threat Conditioning (moderate to advanced)

Because life doesn’t end when Ski Conditioning does! Join us for a similar class format that includes all muscle group resistance training, cardio and core conditioning. Bring a friend and have some fun while getting stronger and ready for every sport!

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TRX Power Stretch & Roll (moderate level)

Sometimes you just need a little more intensity in your stretching. Utilizing the TRX straps in your routine will challenge your body in a whole new way. Follow that with a foam rolling session and your muscles, joints and fascia will recover faster helping you feel better and ready for your next workout!

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StiffMan (All levels – men only)

We have a feeling that stretching is not necessarily in your daily plan, gentlemen, so we’ve created a class just for you! For 30 minutes we utilize the infamous foam roller to iron out the wrinkles in your musculature, break down adhesions and scar tissue AND increase blood flow. We’ll follow it with 30 minutes of basic yoga flow and floor stretches leaving you feeling relaxed and fantastic!

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BarreBlast (All levels)

The latest in sculpting and toning at the Ballet Barre. These routines have been fine tuned to deliver the best results based on the best the Barre has to offer without the knee or low back issues. It’ll blast your muscles making them burn,, but it’s AMAZING! 

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Hello, Yoga (All levels)

With roots in hatha yoga, this gentle, deep yoga will strengthen and stretch your muscles. These simple movements will challenge you. Pausing in poses will help you understand your body in new ways. Always with a little humor and fun!

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Advanced TRX (Advanced)

(Advanced – must be able to demonstrate advanced skills before attending. Please contact Natalie at classes@ptassociates.net with questions.) Advanced TRX offers 45 minutes of TRX followed by 15 minutes of foam rolling and/or stretching.Always fun! Always challenging!

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