Is It Covered?

Search the A-Z list for a list of covered services. Your coverage and out-of-pocket costs may vary based on who you are and your health plan option.

Physical Therapy

TRICARE covers physical therapy when:

  • Prescribed by a physician, certified Physician Assistant, or certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Professionally administered to aid in the recovery from disease or injury

Physical therapy helps you gain greater self-sufficiency, mobility, and productivity through exercises and other modalities intended to improve muscle strength, joint motion, coordination, and endurance.

TRICARE doesn't cover the following physical therapy services (this list isn't all inclusive):

  • Diathermy, ultrasound and heat treatments for pulmonary conditions
  • General exercise programs
  • Electrical nerve stimulation to treat upper motor neuron disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
  • Separate charges for instruction of the patient and family in therapy procedures
  • Repetitive exercise to improve gait, maintain strength and endurance, and assistive walking
  • Range of motion and passive exercises not related to restoring a specific loss of function
  • Maintenance therapy
  • Services provided by a chiropractor or naturopath
  • Acupuncture
  • Athletic training evaluation
  • Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy
  • Use of powered traction devices

Contact your regional contractor for specific limitations to the physical therapy benefit.


This A-Z list of topics is not all inclusive. TRICARE covers most inpatient and outpatient care that is medically necessary and considered proven. However, there are special rules or limits on certain types of care, while other types of care are not covered at all.

Last Updated 9/8/2014