I shadowed a physical therapist for a day once as backup for nursing (did not think I was going to get into the nursing program, but I did!) I enjoyed it but the physical therapist was never seen.. they set up the care plans and sit in an office and come to see how the PTA (physical therapist assistant) is doing every now and then. If you want to work with patients than assistant is the way to go but of course there is less money. I was in the same room as the occupational therapy and they were sitting down with the patient (mostly stroke patients) and helping them with daily tasks such as brushing there hair and moving objects. I respect what they do but I could not see myself doing that. It seemed very boring. But again.. I observed a physical therapist assistant.. so I could be very wrong.
Oh, and if you want to talk about back problems.. PTA is for you!! They lift people all day.. stop people from falling over.. it was really tasking on the body. Occupational therapy is not.
In the end, the thing I enjoyed most about my day were talking to the patients and hearing them say thank you. I think its why a lot of us are in the healthcare field.