Physical Therapy Books: Five Must-Reads Worth the Investment

By Luna
Physical Therapy Books: Five Must-Reads Worth the Investment

When you work in a continuously evolving field, such as physical therapy, you know that continuing education is critical to success. Excellent PTs understand that first-rate knowledge is a superpower -- one that helps provide better care for patients. Better care results in better outcomes, which improves a PT's image and brand, which grows their business. This domino effect usually starts with seminars and classes, but books are also an excellent way to gain knowledge. Even better, business-related books can be a legitimate educational expense. If you're a physical therapist ready to invest in yourself and your practice while saving on income taxes, consider these top-rated reads:

Explain Pain 

by Pain by David S. Butler and G. Lorimer Moseley

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Considered mandatory reading by many healthcare professionals, Explain Pain is a remarkable book on neuroplasticity and pain science. Readers gain knowledge on the biology of pain, and therefore, gain the ability to treat it better. It offers an extensive, evidence-based understanding of how pain functions in the human body—from how it begins to how it should end and sometimes its stubborn persistence even when the body has healed. The well-rounded information comes from advances in neurophysiology, brain imaging, immunology, psychology, and cellular biology. Still, it's written simply and clearly for better comprehension. (Note: Avoid purchasing the Kindle version of this book, as the text isn't formatted correctly.)

Trail Guide to the Body: How to Locate Muscles, Bones and More - 5th Edition

by Andrew Biel


This book delivers clear, easy-to-understand, illustrated information for interpreting palpation and the musculoskeletal system. Amazingly, this book is written and laid out in a way that makes the daunting task of mastering essential manual therapy skills both interesting and memorable. In its 504 pages, you'll find 1,400 illustrations covering more than 162 muscles, 206 bones, 33 ligaments, and 110 bony landmarks. As a top-notch reference, it offers an invaluable map (a literal trail guide) of the body, perfect for any physical therapist's library. 

Muscles: Testing and Function, with Posture and Pain 

by Florence Peterson Kendall, Patricia Geise Provance, Mary Rodgers, William Romani


This renowned classic is an essential for PTs. It offers excellent coverage of manual muscle testing, plus evaluation and treatment of faulty and painful postural conditions. The latest edition is updated and reorganized with new, expanded treatment and exercise sections in each chapter. What's more, the language of this book is simple and straightforward. There are tons of illustrations and photographs which help you "see" the muscles both superficially and internally. As a comprehensive reference for muscle testing and functional assessment, it's well worth the investment. 

Run, Don't Walk: The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center 

by Adele Levine


Run, Don't Walk is a memoir by Adele Levine, a physical therapist who works at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She works with soldiers wounded in combat who had to re-learn how to use their bodies again. You'll discover she does a fantastic job of storytelling. Don't be surprised if you find yourself laughing and crying as she recounts her experiences working in one of the world's leading amputee rehabilitation facilities. This book provides a sneak peek into the authentic life of a PT and her patients. It's inspirational and motivating, as it helps readers appreciate and celebrate all wins, big and small, during highly challenging situations.

Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Physical Rehabilitation

by Donald A. Neumann


This book is an essential for any PTs passionate about detailed musculoskeletal anatomy and mechanics. It presents kinesiology as it relates to physical rehabilitation in a clinically relevant manner. Each chapter begins with an overview of anatomy and then describes it in terms of function. Written with depth and clarity, it also includes excellent illustrations that make the information easy to digest and recall.

We love helping our team of PTs be the best they can be. Offering helpful, insightful information like this list of top-notch physical therapy books and more is one of the many reasons physical therapists love Luna. Learn more about the benefits of joining our growing network of therapists and contact us today with any questions. Whether you're looking for a full schedule or want to supplement your clinic hours, Luna has an option that works perfectly for you.