Google image ‘physical therapy’.  What do you find?


Well, unfortunately, you still find this disappointing picture.


I’m fed up with it.  I’m dissatisfied.  It is unsuited for our profession.  Anyone who reads this blog, or does social media for that point should too.

So why am I upset?  I have been blogging for several years now and I can be my bottom dollar that this picture has been #1 on google search for at least that long!  This is not physical therapy.  Nor is 3 of the top 10 pictures showing patients on a physio ball!

We are more than this.  If someone is in pain and thinking of getting relief and searches through google image (which is searched ~100 million times a day), they will not choose physical therapy.  It is not appealing.  We all know the saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.  These pictures don’t smell of relief, it reeks of core work and stretching.

Go ahead and google image, massage therapy (or just click here as I did it for you) or even chiropractic (you can just click here too).  What do you see?  Pictures of pain, pain relief, spines, manual therapy (through pictures of hands).  These images can translate into not just a thousand words, but an even simpler phrase, ‘this is who I need to go to when I’m in pain’.

Nothing against the individual or group who has the picture above, I applaud them for staying at #1!  However, I challenge all of physical therapy social media to label their images as physical therapy.  This is especially of those who treat pain and know that we should be the musculoskeletal specialist to go to when pain arises.


Here is a start.  Stay dedicated my friends.

Physical Therapy



  1. From a UK point of view, if you google image ‘physiotherapy’ you get a bit of everything. Massage, core, mobility aids, hands on and unfortunately ultrasound

    1. Hey Jonathan,
      Thanks for the global perspective. I know y’all are light years ahead of us. In the next few months, Maybe it will be a picture of your script pad prescribing medication 🙂

  2. I fully agree! i posted this same topic on facebook once after a husband of a local PT said ” isn’t physical therapy and personal training the same thing?” amazing! i went on to promote that PT needs to be more associated with medicine and less with fitness. we need to be viewed as a medical professional and not a personal trainer. also with the medicare cuts and other healthcare changes coming, its going to very hard for PT to survive! to make things worse many PTs were against me and did not agree with my post! anyway, i fully agree with you harrison! we need change and to continue to educate others what physical therapy really is!

    1. Ron,
      I am sure you are not alone when it comes to stories like you provided! My perspective and treatment is much more like medicine and not fitness so I agree with you. We should be the ones educating about health to our patients and refer on to personal trainers.

  3. Fully agree with you. As a profession we have dropped the ball in several areas, perhaps the biggest being explaining to the public what we can do. Good post.

    1. Zachary,
      Thanks for responding! I agree that we need to provide a better image. Hopefully this project will work.

      I appreciate you reading.

  4. Honestly, I think this is one of the most aggravating things about our profession… There is such a disconnect between what the public perceives of our profession and what we actual do. I think a lot of this stems from a lack of education given to our patients and the continued use of dated, ineffective interventions. As our profession continues to grow and evidence-informed practice becomes the norm and not the exception, the public perception will begin to change as well. Hopefully sooner rather than later… for my own sanity.

    1. @ John,
      I agree man. I do feel we are on the uphill though. It will take time. I am excited to be a therapist in this period and I know you as a student have a lot to look forward to!

  5. whoah this weblog is fantastic i love reading your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You know, many individuals are
    searching round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

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