The Top 10 Books & Apps for PTs, OTs, ATs, MTs, & DCs $0.00

The Top 10 Books & Apps for PTs, OTs, ATs, MTs, & DCs

By: Morgan Callard |
The Top 10 Books & Apps for PTs, OTs, ATs, MTs, & DCs

Are you suffering from content overload? With all of the books being published and apps being created, it can be hard to decide what to spend your time on. We want to help! These are our top ten picks of books and apps for physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, and chiropractors.

With topics ranging from sports rehabilitation to trigger point locations and featuring everything from resistance band exercises to fine motor exercises, you’re sure to find your next book to read and next app to download. Check out our top choices!

Our Top Books

Our Top Apps

Our Bonus Pick

Our Top Books

(all available on Amazon)

Our Top Books

1. Bridging the Gap from Rehab to Performance

Bridging the Gap from Rehab to Performance

Summary: Guiding an injured athlete through rehabilitation and return-to-play is best achieved through a holistic approach. The author, Sue Falsone, describes the path athletes move through as they heal and return to advanced performance while teaching you about pain science, motor control, and how to create a successful timeline for your athlete.

This book recognizes that athletic trainers, medical doctors, physical and occupational therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, and other medical professionals all play an important role in getting athletes back into the game. Learn how your role fits into this process and how you can work together with other professionals to ensure the best outcome for your patient!


  Should you pull the trigger on buying this book? “...I’m a strength and conditioning coach and also an active baseball, softball umpire and football referee...

Bridging the Gap from Rehab to Performance is about the athletic rehabilitation process. There’s not a lot of books that I am aware of that holistically focus on having an injury and cover the full process of getting back to performance in a sports activity. That’s the magic of this book; sports rehab traditionally has been a specialized area. This book takes a holistic approach allowing cooperation of many different people including physical therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, yoga instructors, strength & conditioning coaches, and team or individual sports coaches and leverages their unique strengths….

Sue shares from personal and direct experience a set of tools she found very helpful for someone who has an injury to return to activity. The diagrams in the book are both clear and attractive. The descriptions are also easy to grasp for somebody interested in the topic to someone with a more advanced background... if you want a practical book that takes you through the process of suffering an injury and the road back to doing whatever activity is important to you or an athlete that you’re working with I think that this book is a very valuable resource.” -Brian, Amazon Customer

  Incredible Book! Truly "Bridges Gaps" In The Industry. “This is a tremendous book that fills a need in the industry. As a former "physio" and current strength coach, this text covers the spectrum from pain to returning to athletic performance. Sue has done an amazing job in synthesizing different approaches, reviewing scientific evidence, and sharing practical experience. There really isn't another book available that can help to bridge the knowledge from both sides - the rehab professional and the S/C professional. Covers a significant amount of information and the author does a fantastic job in simplifying the concepts for practical application.

Wonderful book and is essential for trainers, coaches, and rehab professionals.” -Scott Lardella, MPT, CSCS, CISSN, Amazon Customer

  Chiro students should read “Sue did an excellent job writing this and explaining how every school of thought fits into an athlete's recovery.” -Cameron Gholampour, Amazon Customer

About the Author: Sue Falsone is a physical therapist (PT, MS), Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS), a certified athletic trainer (ATC), certified orthopedic manual therapist for the spine (COMT), and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).

Falsone worked at Athletes' Performance for 13 years. She also worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 years, last serving as head athletic trainer and physical therapist. She also served as Head of Athletic Training and Sport Performance with US Soccer’s Men’s National Team.

Currently, she is the owner and founder of Structure & Function Education. This company educates healthcare professionals about dry needling and how to clinically Bridge the Gap from Rehab to Performance. Falsone also offers consulting for organizations in the NBA, MLB, and NFL and continues to work one-on-one with athletes.

Buy Bridging the Gap from Rehab to Performance now!

2. Run, Don't Walk: The Curious and Courageous Life Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Run, Don't Walk

Summary: Adele Levine is a physical therapist who worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for six years. This book takes you inside her world as she and her colleagues treated and rehabilitated injured soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq. Advances in body armor and trauma care led to Walter Reed quickly becoming the world leader in amputee rehabilitation. This entertaining and inspiring book lets you learn more about the patients and people who worked there.


  One of the best books I’ve ever read! “What an incredible book! I brought this book with me on vacation, and literally devoured it in 3 days! It was so captivating I could not put it down. I am also a physical therapist, and though I have never had the experience of working in a military rehab capacity, I can certainly appreciate the demands of such a place. Levine brings to life the amazing happenings of the rehab clinic, with wit and humor, and ultimately sheds light on a place most of us can never imagine. Her story invokes a true sense of awe and inspiration, not only towards our brave soldiers, who put their lives on the line to keep us safe, but also to all those medical professionals at Walter Reed, and other military facilities, who dedicate their lives to working with the wounded warriors…” A. Lovell, Amazon Customer

  Funny & inspiring... “Funny & inspiring are the best words to describe this book. As a Physical Therapist in a military hospital I could identify with the subjects & characters of this book. Ms. Levine does a wonderful job creating a realistic view into this world showing the professionalism & dedication of the therapist and the love & respect they have for their patients. Her humorist reflection of her PT clinic rings true for every place I've worked: therapist doing athletic events without proper training, the love-hate of staff "fun" activities, the baked good binges, the person at inservices whose questions make it longer. I passed my book on to the others in my clinic knowing they'll love it too.” -Pattie M, Amazon Customer

About the Author: Adele Levine is a practicing physical therapist (DPT), a Orthopedic Certified Specialist, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).

She worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2005 until its closure in 2011. Levine was then transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in 2011 (renamed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center).

Buy Run, Don’t Walk now!

3. Strength Band Training

Strength Band Training

Summary: Written by two physical therapists, this book includes over 160 strength band exercises and pre-designed workouts for fitness and sport-specific training. Full color photos show the exercises that use resistance bands and tubing.

This updated third edition includes a strength assessment index to measure progress, training tips that connect research to specific exercises, information addressing training for older adults, and injury prevention guidelines. Learn why strength bands are the ultimate tool for rehabilitating and strengthening your patient’s muscles.


  Ideal for use at home, when traveling, and in the gym. Great resource! “Strength Band Training explains how to use a widely-available and portable piece of equipment for a multitude of uses. The third edition is a significant revision with new assessment and application content; exercises organized by upper and lower body strength, joint and muscle isolation, core stability, flexibility, and total body...Anatomy illustrations and full-color photos showcase how bands can be used at home, when traveling, and in the gym.” William Russell, Amazon Customer

About the Authors: Phil Page is a physical therapist, certified athletic trainer, and certified strength & conditioning specialist (PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM, LAT). He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an instructor in Athletic Training at LSU and a Clinical Instructor of Orthopedics for Tulane Medical School. He is on the scientific review committees for the APTA and ACSM. Dr. Page provides lectures and workshops on a variety of topics around the world and has over 50 publications. He was awarded the Lifetime Excellence in Education Award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA. He also has worked with the athletic programs at LSU, Tulane, the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, as well as the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Todd Ellenbecker is a physical therapist, certified clinical specialist, orthopedic clinical specialist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist (DPT, MS, SCS, OCS, CSCS). He works as a PT at Rehab Plus Sports Therapy Scottsdale and serves as the Vice President of Medical Services for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour. He is also working as a sports medicine advisor with the ASU Sun Devil men’s tennis team. Ellenbecker is also a certified USPTA tennis teaching professional and Chairman of the USTA National Sport Science Committee. He is a manuscript reviewer for the American Journal of Sports medicine, has written/edited 15 books, and has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals.

Buy Strength Band Training now!

4. Trail Guide to the Body: How to Locate Muscles, Bones and More

Trail Guide to the Body

Summary: This book makes it easy to learn the body’s musculoskeletal system. It serves as a map of the human body, an essential resource for anyone who assesses and treats muscles including physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, and more. With 504 pages and 1,400 illustrations covering more than 162 muscles, 206 bones, 33 ligaments and 110 bony landmarks it’s the perfect book for anyone in the bodywork modalities.

Trail Guide to the Body is a highly recommended textbook for the state licensing test administered by the the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and board certification test administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). In addition, the Board of Certification program for athletic trainers in the U.S. uses the high-quality Trail Guide to the Body illustrations in their various products, including exams.


  Best anatomy book. “This actually wasn't a required reading for my class, however a peer of mine had a copy and after skimming, I realized that I needed it!

If you're serious about memorizing each of the muscle origins, insertions, actions and innervations as well as bones, ligaments and other body landmarks, this book has amazingly great-quality, detailed sketch photos and extremely easy to follow text descriptions. Most of the book is laid out with photographs and various paragraphs of information, so it doesn't feel or look like you're reading a textbook. "Trail Guide" is a surprisingly accurate name for this, because instead of throwing facts and information at me, it feels like I'm just following simple instructions.

One of the best aspects of this book is the palpating instructions. Everything that can be felt is given a detailed image and paragraph of suggestions...Overall great quality, easy to read textbook that I highly recommend for any PT, PTA or healthcare student who needs to know and understand the aspects of anatomy.” -Megington, Amazon Customer

  Can’t think of a better anatomy guide. “I'm a massage therapist, and this book was a freakin' godsend when it came to studying for my MBLEx. It covers the lion's share of muscles you will need to know, plus it goes over bones, attachments, actions, and provides a fantastic visual aid. If you feel lost when it comes to finding a good anatomy book, look no further. This book is worth every penny.” -dawnmination, Amazon Customer

About the Author: Andrew Biel is a licensed massage practitioner. He has served on the faculty of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy and Seattle Massage School and has taught Cadaver Studies for Bodyworkers at Bastyr Naturopathic University. Biel received the Massage Therapy Foundation's Humanitarian Award in 2011.

Buy Trail Guide to the Body now!

5. The Concussion Repair Manual: A Practical Guide to Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries

The Concussion Repair Manual

Summary: Concussions are a major problem affecting athletes. If you want to learn the history of the forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional football players, check out the book, Concussion. But if you’re interested in treating players with concussions, The Concussion Repair Manual is the book you need.

The Concussion Repair Manual is filled with the leading research on medical technologies for healing the injured brain. It also offers a step-by-step method for making and tracking a personal recovery regimen, great for use with your patients. Learn more about treating sports-related head injuries in this book!


  A practical approach for this now epidemic syndrome “Dan's seminal work in and for a practical approach for this now epidemic syndrome nails the integration piece in a painstakingly thoughtful and thorough presentation. This manual should be in every appropriate health care professional's quiver for every day practice. Thank you, Dr. Dan Engle.” -Dr. Herby Bell, Amazon Customer

  Comprehensive, in depth, and thorough... “The most comprehensive, in depth and thorough manual on all things to do with brain function, care, and healing I have ever read...No stone has been left unturned in this book! It is filled with practical, hands-on tools, recommendations, healing modalities, and guidelines.

The researcher in me was in researcher heaven with more than one hundred pages dedicated to resources and references. The charts provided in the workbook section are a Godsend for anyone who needs simple tools to get and stay on track. Absolutely everything needed is included here to make the road back to the brain - and whole body/whole person - health a sustained friends.” -Dr. Marilyn Joyce, Amazon Customer

About the Author: Dr. Dan Engle, M.D. is the medical director for The Revive Treatment Centers of America, a neurological rehabilitation center that treats traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, PTSD, and other neurodegenerative disorders. He also serves as a medical advisor to Onnit Labs, The True Rest Float Centers, and several other international treatment centers.

Buy the Concussion Repair Manual now!

6. Tape, I-C-E, and Sound Advice: Life Lessons from a Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer

Tape, I-C-E, and Sound Advice: Life Lessons from a Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer

Summary: Written by a Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer, Rod Walters, this book chronicles his experiences in the locker room and on the sidelines at the University of South Carolina. Learn how he dealt with patient care, concussions, and the financial provisions of Division I athletes in this book.


  Five Stars “Good read for Athletic Trainers both young and old” -Barry Simon, Amazon Customer

  Great Read “Dr. Rod hit this one out of the park. Whether you are in the field of Sports Medicine or not, this book is full of first hand sports stories, humor, and just sound advice. Relevant for everyone!!” -J Mc, Amazon Customer

About the Author: Dr. Rod Walters, PhD, AT, has served as a head athletic trainer at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Appalachian State, and the University of South Carolina (where he eventually became the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine). He served on the Board of Directors for NATA from 1997 to 2003 and received NATA's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award in 2003. In 2005, he was inducted into the NATA's Hall of Fame.

Dr. Walters is also a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. He currently offers athletic training seminars across the country. He also provides concussion management services to professional baseball umpires, and began working with the National Football League as a concussion spotter with the Atlanta Falcons.

Buy Tape, I-C-E, and Sound Advice now!

Our Top Apps

(all available on Apple App store and Google Play)

Our Tops Apps

7. CORE (Clinical ORthopedic Exam)

CORE (Clinical ORthopedic Exam)

Summary: CORE is an app designed to help you diagnose musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders. The reference tool includes descriptions, video clips, and statistical references from medical literature for over 400 clinical musculoskeletal diagnostic tests.

The included tests had to meet three criterion: they must be described/referenced in a peer-reviewed medical journal; used for evaluation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal pathology; and be performed by a clinician as part of a physical exam (no diagnostic imaging or laboratory tests included).


  Wonder for Manual Therapists “I've used this app to stay current on orthopedic exams and love how it links to the primary articles in PubMed. Also, I've used this app in an educational setting and the videos add a lot to students' understanding. Love it!” -Dr. Roecker, Apple App Store Customer

  Excellent Clinical Resource “Excellent clinical tool for discerning appropriate tests and measures in the clinic or reviewing outside. There is good structural organization by body region and clinical categories. Comprehensive explanations are provided via text and high quality demonstrative videos are linked. Supportive literature is provided for each test when available and evidence based tutorials and keys are provided for the novice EBP clinician.

The number of tests can be a bit overwhelming, however, with minimal effort at looking at the available properties it is easy to select the most valuable procedures. There is an easy favorite tag feature to short-cup to commonly used tests or ones of special interest. Excellent resource for any clinician working with musculoskeletal complaints at all levels.” -Tom Denninger, PT, DPT, Apple App Store Customer

Download CORE now from the Apple Store!

Download CORE now from Google Play!

8. Muscle Premium

Muscle Premium

Summary: This app offers a comprehensive 3D guide of the musculoskeletal structures and functions. It includes 3D gross anatomy models (600+ muscles, 200+ bones, and 2,200 origin and insertion points), 3D muscle actions (60+ showing adduction, pronation, flexion, etc.), and video presentations by PTs, doctors, and researchers (perfect for reviewing normal anatomy and common conditions with your patients and students).

Plus, the app offers information on details of origin and insertions, muscle actions, blood supply, innervation, audio pronunciations, latin names, and over 400 quiz questions.

Use the comprehensive models as a reference for common musculoskeletal conditions including lateral and medial epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, achilles tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and much more!


  This app is AMAZING “I'm a medical massage therapist student, and this app is AMAZING for learning the origins, insertions and actions of muscles, as well as their locations and bony landmarks. Highly recommended!” -Angel Grant, Google Play Customer

  100% worth the money “100% worth the money. I am currently in school for physical therapy and this app has been such a useful tool to study and learn on the go. The images are clear and it has a ton of useful information and is easy to navigate through. They even have practice quizzes and you can take and you can pinpoint muscles or areas on the body and place a note there for added study help.

The pathologies are also a bonus! You have the entire human body broken down by body part, bone, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles with detailed precise information. Best app I have seen for A&P! Gorgeous graphics.” -JaiLisa, Apple App Store Customer

Download Muscle Premium now from the Apple Store!

Download Muscle Premium now from Google Play!

9. Ready to Print

Ready to Print

Summary: Designed by an occupational therapist with over 25 years of experience, this app is designed to teach handwriting skills to children in a fun way as it moves from large to more refined movements. The app moves through pre-writing skills in a specific order so children can master the skills needed for printing, including visual-motor, visual-perceptual, and fine motor skills.

With 194 levels across 13 activities, it’s perfect for use with various children of different ability levels. You can change the size settings to match the child’s skills and choose which activity and level to begin on. Set up multiple profiles so the app can remember each child’s skill level and track individual progress. Then email progress reports straight from the app. Perfect for therapists, the app can also be used by educators and parents to reinforce the skills at school and at home.


  Wow! “Finally an app that has everything I have been looking for. As a pediatric OT, I love using the iPad with kids, but had to use several different apps to work on various skills. With this app, everything is all together. There are so many things I love about it- it is simple with no distractions, I can change the size of the lines depending on the child's level, there are no negative responses with errors, plus many more! Thank you for such a well thought out app. I am definitely going to recommend this to parents.” -Bgbmom, Apple App Store Customer

  Also great for language “I use Ready to Print in therapy sessions for building language skills. Speech Pathologist” -Whynotu, Apple App Store Customer

Download Ready to Print now from the Apple Store!

Download Ready to Print now from Google Play!

10. Muscle Trigger Points

Muscle Trigger Points

Summary: This app is an excellent resource for massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors. It features 160 trigger points and their referral patterns, as well as 25 videos on how to release specific muscles. Use the app as a reference for 108 muscles. Each muscle includes the visual referral pattern, point location, and a written muscle action, referral, origin, insertion, nerve, and comments.

The app also has an audio pronunciation for each muscle. View the muscle individually or in zones to see all the muscles that refer into a specific area/for a specific condition. This app is a great tool to help manage your patients’ muscular pain.


  I use this app on an almost daily basis... “I’m a chiropractor & I do a LOT of muscle work on my patients. I use this app to show referred pain patterns to my patients & also take a lot of screenshots to send to them for home care. It’s pretty comprehensive & quite usable.” -Trippy chick, Apple App Store Customer

  Best App I’ve bought “Simple and straightforward. If you’re a massage therapist like myself and you treat trigger points, couldn’t recommend this app enough. Not only does it benefit you from the info they give it, it can also help you visually show your clients/patients exactly what is going on and why. If I could give it a 6 out of 5 I would, price point for the info worth every penny” -ChazVI, Apple App Store Customer

Download Muscle Trigger Points now from the Apple Store!

Download Muscle Trigger Points now from Google Play!

Our Bonus Pick

(available on Amazon)

11. Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine

Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine

Summary: Our bonus pick is as heart-warming and entertaining as it is enlightening. Doctor Dogs brings you behind the scenes of cutting-edge science and into the lives of people who depend on medical dogs. You’ll learn about diabetic alert dogs, seizure alert dogs, dogs learning to detect cancer, dog specialists who detect migraines, and crisis response dogs. You’ll discover how remarkable dogs are helping people with conditions including Parkinson’s disease, autism, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and developmental disabilities. Discover how canines are protecting us from antibiotic-resistant bugs and so much more.


  Wonderful Testimony to Our Canine Physicians “Doctor Dogs is a continuation of Goodavage's work lionizing the various roles dogs play in modern society. Her focus here is on the diverse ways canine people are partnering with medical staff to assist in the care and therapy (physical and mental) of human people. As Goodavage notes, the ways in which dogs can help us - often with sensitivities and skills we can't explain, but which work quite well - are countless.

Goodavage summarizes this information with an accessible mixture of anecdotes and research...Anyone looking for a charming, well-researched, lay-accessible summary of the miraculous gifts dogs bring to human health will likely be very pleased with ‘Doctor Dogs.’” -Joshua Villines, Amazon Customer

  Doctor Dogs gives you an inside tour of the dogs that work to improve the health of humans “Maria Goodavage brings the world of canine medical detection to life in Doctor Dogs. This book is well-researched, broad and deep in the world of medical detection, and at the same time appeals to all of us who love dogs. In reading this book, you will find yourself amazed by how dogs can use their nose to detect and deter serious health conditions and diseases. I highly recommend this book.” -Lisa Holt, Amazon Customer

About the Author: Maria Goodavage is a former USA Today journalist. She is considered one of the foremost author experts on working dogs following the publication of the New York Times bestselling books, Soldier Dogs, Top Dog, and Secret Service Dogs.

Buy Doctor Dogs now!

These books and apps can help you grow as a student, learn new techniques to incorporate into your existing practice, teach your patients about their conditions, and more. We hope our top ten picks will educate and entertain you. For more articles, education, and research check out our free resources on Performance Health Academy.

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.