Physical Therapy Helping People Recover
Physical Therapy Helps People Get On The Path of Recovery
A history in recovery
Physical therapy has its origins in ancient history with the advent of joint manipulation and massage in China circa 3000 BC. Hippocrates described massage and hydrotherapy in 460 BC.
In any other country the profession of "Physical Therapy" is called "Physiotherapy." The earliest documented origins of actual physical therapy as a professional group date back to 1894 when nurses in England formed the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Other countries soon followed and started formal training programs, such as the School of Physiotherapy at the University of Otago in New Zealand in 1913. In the United States, Physical Therapy began in 1914 in Portland, Oregon, with Reed College and Walter Reed Hospital graduating the first physical therapists, then called "reconstruction aides."
Phsical Therapists formed their first professional association in 1921, called the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association. Led
by President Mar Mc Millan, an executive committee of elected officers governed the Association, which included 274 chapter members.
By the end of the 1930s, the Association changed its name to the American Physiotherapy Association. Men were admitted, and membership grew
to just under 1,000. However, the real worth of physical therapy was not recognized until World War II when medical teams in the armed forces were able to rehabilitate seriously injured patients. Their success caused more people in the medical field to appreciate the good that physical therapy could do.
So what is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy treatment is typically geared to provide pain relief, and to help a child resume normal activities. Physical therapy (PT) can teach patients specific exercises, stretches, and techniques, and use specialized equipment to address problems that cannot be managed without physical therapy training.
A Physical Therapist evaluates components of movement through:
- Range of motion
- Body mechanics
- General mobility (walking, stair climbing, getting in and out of bed or chairs)
After evaluation, the Physical Therapist will develop a treatment program unique to each individual to help decrease deficits and restore function. Important components of every treatment program include:
- Education about the cause of the problem
- Instruction in exercises to improve function
- Patient participation.