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What is an Exercise Therapist?

Exercise Therapists provide hands-on therapy that encourage the restoration of function, improve mobility, and increase independence of clients with injuries or disease resulting in paralysis. They restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health through highly repetitive, physical activity. Their clients include individuals with injuries or disabling conditions such as SCI, TBI, Stroke, MS, and other neurological conditions.  It is an extremely physical occupation, as clientele require a lot of hands-on assistance to carry out programs.

Exercise Therapists are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or another exercise based degree.  They are also required to be nationally certified with a top accredited exercise science based organization.  Preferred organizations are the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).  We also require additional certifications specifically related to working with people with disabilities.

Exercise Therapist education programs start with basic science courses such as biology, chemistry, and physics and then introduce specialized courses, including biomechanics, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, sports medicine, neuro-anatomy, human growth and development, exercise prescription, motor control and learning, and sport psychology. Besides getting classroom and laboratory instruction, Exercise Science students receive supervised clinical experience.