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Fun Facts About Physical Therapy

Young african american woman working at PT clinic celebrating surprised and amazed for success with arms raised and open eyes. winner concept.

An estimated 300 million physical therapy (PT) sessions happen each year. Patient ages range from babies to seniors. Some of the top reasons for receiving PT are pain management, mobility improvement, and to avoid surgery.

October is National Physical Therapy Month. Obviously, we love sharing our knowledge and helping individuals achieve optimal clinical outcomes. To celebrate this year’s event, we thought we provide some of the lesser known, fun facts about PT.

PT can be traced back to 435 BC. Hippocrates, a Greek physician considered the father of modern medicine, advocated the use of massage, hydrotherapy, and manual therapy to treat patients. This is likely the origin of the field.

PT advanced during World War I. In the late 1800s, modern physical therapy began to take shape. By 1916, PT techniques advanced to help soldiers who were returning from battle. The same therapies were also used to help children who fell victim to the polio outbreak.

Founders of the profession were women. The establishing members met at Keens Chophouse in New York City in 1921 to create the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association. They changed the name in 1922 to the American Physiotherapy Association to be more inclusive for men. Now it’s called the American Physical Therapy Association.

The Social Security Act of 1967 allowed for outpatient PT. Individual states were already allowing for PT to be provided outside of the hospital during the 1950s and 1960s. The amendment to the Social Security Act also made non-homebound patients eligible for physical therapy.

PT lowers healthcare costs. Research has shown that PT can cut short- and long-term costs for the patient and insurance. Timely intervention can reduce treatment for lower back pain by up to 19%, and costs 75% less than surgery as an intervention.

That’s Doctor Physical Therapist. To practice physical therapy today, professionals must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited program and pass a state licensure exam. Studies include everything from anatomy and behavioral sciences to pharmacology and clinical reasoning.

Physical therapy can improve lives in a variety of ways. They are a valued and valuable part of the healthcare team. By being a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Illinois Physical Therapy Association, and the National Association for Home Care, CPT keeps current with best practices in rehabilitation so we can provide the best care for you.

Sources: APTA; Supplemental Health Care; AJMC; The Good Body; Journal of Physical Therapy Education; SSA

Categories: Physical Therapy