Physical therapy has changed greatly over the past few decades. Also known as physiotherapy, physical therapy is a medical science that is concerned mainly with the treatment of injury or disorder through the medium of physical methods. Normally, this kind of therapy is performed under the auspices of a physical therapist, or an assistant physical therapist. Heat, exercise, cold, or even exercise might be used during the course of a physiotherapy session. As indicated earlier, the practice of physical therapy has evolved massively over time, so lets examine as to how this process unfolded.
A concise history of physical therapy
It is possible to date the existence of physical therapy as far back as the fifth century BC. The invention of the science is often credited to Hector and Hippocrates, two prominent physicians of their time. These two men were believed to have used water therapy and massage therapy in order to treat their patients. Massage therapy is a significant part of the physical therapy process.
The first documented evidence of a professional group of physical therapists was the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. This society was founded in England in 1894, by a group of trained nurses. During World War I, physical therapy became more commonly used. It was employed as a rehabilitation process for war casualties. People who were employed for this purpose were known as reconstruction aides, and were normally trained nurses.
In the year 1921, the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association was founded. It was set up by a woman called Mary McMillan. The name of the association was subsequently altered to become the American Physical Therapy Association. In 1921, the first research paper that focused on physical therapy was published in the United States of America. National accreditation for programs involving physiotherapy was also introduced in this year.
Following on to this, more studies and papers were commissioned with regard to physical therapy. Up until the forties, physiotherapy was mainly focused around massage, exercise, and traction. During the fifties, therapy for joint and spine pain was introduced in the Commonwealth countries. In the fifties, research into physical therapy resulted in the development of the polio vaccine. As the years passed, physical therapy developed further, and major advancements were made particularly in the eighties. During this period of time, inventions such as electrical stimulators and iontophoresis devices were invented. As of this day, the science continues to develop further.