The History of Physical Therapy

A lot of people seek out physical therapy in Vero Beach, FL if they are recovering from an injury, are experiencing physical pain, or want to improve their range of motion. That’s not much of a surprise, considering the fact that physical therapy is widely respected as a legitimate treatment in the medical community. However, it wasn’t always that way. For years, medical professionals looked down on physical therapy, even though it’s been around since the time of Hippocrates, who lived during the fourth century BC.

The Beginning of Physical Therapy

The use of common physical therapy techniques, such as massage and hydrotherapy, date back over two thousand years. It became a true specialized medical profession in the U.S. when the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) was formed in 1921 — although the first American physical therapists graduated in Portland, OR, in 1914, when they were known as “reconstruction aides.”

During the first half of the 20th century, physical therapists focused mainly on war veterans and polio patients. Techniques were mostly limited to massage, exercise, and traction. It wasn’t until the 1950s in Britain that the manipulative treatment of the spine joints began.

Physical therapy became more specialized in 1974 when the orthopedic section was established in the U.S. This resulted in the formation of the International Federation of Orthopedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT) that same year.

Recent History of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy experienced incredible advances in the 1990s as a result of computer technology. Innovations in technology allowed for the improvement of training and patient care. This, in turn, led to the practice of physical therapy expanding from hospital and outpatient practices to other niche practices, including sports training, women’s health, work conditioning, aquatic therapy, and much more.

Physical therapists are now commonly used and considered an important part of the medical community. In many cases, you can even use major health insurance plans to cover your physical therapy treatments. In this day and age, there are even more areas in which physical therapists practice, including geriatrics, neurology, pediatrics, sports medicine and cardiac rehabilitation, just to name a few examples. They are now considered the medical professionals of choice when it comes to patients with conditions that affect their movement and function.

If you need physical therapy in Vero Beach, FL, then be sure to contact us at Florida Spine to request an appointment today.