Physical Therapy

TRICARE covers physical therapy when:

  • Provided by:
    • A Licensed Physical Therapist (PT).
    • A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) performing under the supervision of a TRICARE-authorized PT.
    • An Occupational Therapist (OT).
    • An Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA) performing under the supervision of a TRICARE-authorized OT.
    • A certified Nurse Practitioner.
    • A podiatrist.
  • Professionally administered to aid in the recovery from disease or injury

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

TRICARE doesn't cover the physical therapy services below. 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 list of covered services is not all inclusive. TRICARE covers services that are medically necessaryTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. and considered proven. There are special rules or limits on certain services, and some services are excluded.

Last Updated 6/24/2024