Posted on October 1, 2014
Last year we saw and celebrated the profession of physical therapy in its’ 200th year and another year has almost gone by. Being that October is when we celebrate this profession we would like to give you a brief history of physical therapy.
Physical therapy began in 1914, in the United States, at Walter Reed Hospital. Walter Reed Hospital is located in Washington D.C. It was from this very hospital the first graduates of this profession came and were known as “Reconstruction Aides.” A background in physical education, these Aides assisted with the devastation of WWI.
Ongoing research and development is the basis of physical therapy. The first published research occurred in 1921, The PT Review. This would also be the very same year that Mary McMillan, PT, organized the Physical Therapy Association. This organization later became American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
By the 1950’s physical therapists started treating beyond hospital based practice. While a majority still treated in the hospitals through the ‘60’s. It would be in 1974 that the specialization for physical therapy would occur. An orthopedic section of the APTA formed for those specializing in orthopedics. Through the ‘80’s and ‘90’s physical therapy advanced in two areas, technology and manual therapy. Technological advancements were made with ultrasounds, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis. Manual therapy refers to manipulative measures.
As medical science continues to expand so will the field of physical therapy and its’ techniques. A physical therapist can assist you with many different issues, strength, endurance, balance, coordination, posture, pain, and many more. By seeking the assistance of a physical therapist is a great first step in the care for yourself or a loved one. Take advantage of their skill and knowledge.