History of Physical Therapy in the U.S. (01:27)
Physical therapy (PT) addresses every system in the body and is a holistic approach to the individual. Many issues that impede the practice of physical therapy involve money.
Foundations of Physical Therapy (03:08)
The roots of PT trace back to ancient Greek and Roman societies. Physical therapy addresses social and individual health care needs; the goal is to reduce pain and increase function. Physical education was an important influence in the evolution of early PT.
Early Physical Therapy Contributors (03:29)
Contributors include: Pehr Henrik Ling, Dudley Allen Sargent, John Harvey Kellogg, Andrew Taylor Still, and Daniel David Palmer. Technological advances and adaptive equipment played important roles in physical therapy's evolution. Wilhelmina Wright and Dr. Lovett recognized the need to understand muscular strength for effective treatment.
Growth and Development of Physical Therapy in the United States (03:01)
Polio epidemics, WWI, and WWII are major events that contributed to growth and development. Physical therapy became more of a profession, but were still considered technicians by the medical community. Early PT programs focused on clinical competence.
Physical Therapy Early Pioneers (04:09)
Marguerite Sanderson, Dr. Frank Granger and Dr. Joel Goldthwaite went to Europe to observe soldier treatment practices. Mary McMillan and Sanderson developed the first program for reconstruction aides; McMillan became the president of the American Women's Physiotherapeutic Association in 1921.
Physical Therapy Societies and Associations (01:40)
Physical therapy was a predominantly female profession in its early stages. A group of women organized therapists in the U.S. into the American Women's Physiotherapeutic Association which eventually evolved into the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Physical therapy chapters address local legislative issues.
Physical Therapy Expansion (03:08)
In the 1940s and 1950s, polio presented new challenges for PT. The military, and WWII, contributed to the expansion of PT; PT began focusing on biomechanics.
Physical Therapy Education (03:03)
The establishment and expansion of schools helped PT develop and grow. The earliest programs began at Reed College and Walter Reed Army Medical Center and slowly moved into universities. The self-regulated accreditation process helped legitimize PT.
Physical Therapy Assistant Programs and Specialized Therapy (03:30)
After WWII, PT growth and development directly related to the need for support personnel; the APTA attempted to establish universal standards in 1967. In the 1970s, the APTA started specialization. Pioneers include: Hazel Furscott, Margaret Knott, Catherine Worthingham, Lucy Blair, and Mildred Elson.
Applications of Physical Therapy (02:38)
The PT profession extends beyond orthopedic or musculoskeletal injuries and can be found outside of hospital settings. Physical therapists are involved in health promotion and educating the public. Technological advances provide new opportunities and new challenges.
Physical Therapy Challenges (02:14)
The APTA recognizes the need for cultural competency. Insurance reimbursement significantly impacts the physical therapy services offered to patients.
Physical Therapy in the 21st Century (01:44)
Experts reflect on the future of physical therapy as a profession. PT has been adaptable and flexible; there is a role for PT in every age group.
Credits: History of Physical Therapy (02:04)
Credits: History of Physical Therapy
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