The history of physical therapy is a fascinating one, as this field has journeyed from the ancient civilizations of the Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Persian and Roman empires to our modern world of today. It is described as a set of practices that are intended to help patients feel more comfortable and live better lives, to reduce periods of convalescence and to diminish residual physical disabilities. Many of the methods and tools used in modern this therapy are the same as or similar to the instruments of those great ancient civilizations, and many others are at least based on the same concepts. It is interesting to see how these ancient practices led to the modern medical field of this therapy.Have a look at PTP Mesa AZ for more info on this.
Sunshine and Water
Some of the early practices of Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and Persian physical therapy include exercise and massage, which are two main components of modern physical therapy practices. Greek and Roman texts also describe how sun and water were used to aid in the physical therapy of patients suffering from various conditions and diseases or recovering from accidents and illnesses. As mankind moved into the 19th century, more modern methods were introduced as well-some of which are still used today, and some of which have been abandoned.
An Extension of Nursing
The modern form of this therapy most closely resembling what we see in the United States today can be traced to the late 1800s in Great Britain. Soon after the established physical therapy practices were set up in Britain, these practices were transferred across the Atlantic to the United States. Originally, it was looked at more as a branch of nursing than a branch of medicine. Young women were trained, usually by orthopedic surgeons, to care for patients who needed help recovering from various accidents, conditions, diseases, dysfunctions and traumas.
A Necessity of War
The large number of wounded soldiers returning home from World War I necessitated the first school of this therapy in the United States, which was developed at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., to train hundreds of young women to care for the wounded. There were 14 more physical therapy schools founded during the First World War, producing 800 trained professionals-then referred to as “reconstruction aides.” Not surprisingly, World War II spurred another surge in the number of physical therapists, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars both necessitated massive further developments in the field, which have stayed with us to this day.