10 Interesting Facts About Physical Therapy
Updated: Sep 21
Physical therapy is required as part of recovery for many people who have undergone surgery and who have an injury. Patients who have knees and hips replaced or have mobility problems need this type of treatment.
Some interesting statistics about physical therapy trace the treatment back to the ancient days. Whether it’s gymnastics or hydrotherapy, physical therapy has been encompassing various joint- or muscle-specific exercises, massages, and medical procedures.
Physical therapy can help with several problems, as it can be very useful in helping alleviate chronic pain due to injury or illness. Many patients can benefit from physical therapy - in fact, millions of people need it every year.
Certain historical physical therapy facts can give you a deeper insight into the practice as a broader field of treatment, which has been serving patients for thousands of years.
Here’s a list of interesting facts about physical therapy:
1. Many of today’s physical-therapy techniques have been used since ancient times
Some interesting facts about physical therapy state that the profession began a long time ago. However, the concept of physical therapy began in the 19th century in Sweden when Per Henrik Ling came up with a series of massages and exercises for gymnasts.
In Sweden, the term for a physical therapist is "sjukgymnast". Physical therapy began in earnest during the first world war to help the many soldiers who were injured.
2. Physical therapy started as a female-only profession
In the past, physical therapy was widely considered a field that only women should go into.
This could be because the pioneer of the technique in the United States was a woman named Mary McMillan and the first association was named The American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association.
However, by 1922, men started to consider physical therapy as a viable profession, and the organization was then called the American Physiotherapy Association.
3. There are different types of physical therapy
· Orthopedic physical therapy is focused specifically on the health of joints, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
· Neurological physical therapy concentrates on helping people with stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Guillain Barré syndrome.
· Pediatric physical therapy helps children with spinal cord trauma, brain injuries, and autism.
· Geriatric physical therapy benefits older patients and strengthens muscles and improves physical mobility.
· Cardiopulmonary physical therapy helps recovery from heart surgery and treats conditions, such as COPD and lung disease.
4. Physical therapy can reduce treatment expenses for patients
You can save a lot of money by choosing physical therapy over some other methods. For example, surgical intervention for chronic back problems is not always effective or even recommended and it is expensive. Physical therapy can be helpful in some cases and can help alleviate back pain.
This is an advantage because a patient will need less analgesic medication and may not require surgery depending on the type of problem.
5. Physical therapists have advanced degrees
Today, the physical therapist needs to have an advanced degree if they are to practice. This means that the person needs more than a graduate degree. Today, an individual must hold a doctor of physical therapy degree from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
An individual must also pass the state licensure exam if they expect to legally practice as a physical therapist.
6. Physical therapists are trained in massage therapy (physical therapy incorporates massage, but not how you may think)
Massage helps people to relax. Luckily, all physical therapists are taught how to perform deep massage, which not only relaxes the muscles but also delivers immense health benefits.
Deep massage is more than a basic massage and focuses attention on helping injured muscles. If you visit a spa for a massage it is different because the focus is on a general massage. In physical therapy, the aim is to soften and help specific muscles in the area of your body that has been injured.
7. Physical therapy treatment is safe, non-invasive, and natural
Physical therapy is safe, it is also natural and is not an invasive technique. Unlike surgery or medication, there are no unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Another unexpected advantage of physical therapy is decreasing a person’s dependence on medication.
Medications such as opioids are highly addictive resulting in worse consequences for the patient in the future. By undergoing physical therapy patients may be able to avoid surgery and medication.
8. Physical therapy can improve sports performance
Physical therapy is helpful for athletes; for instance, someone who has a shoulder injury. It increases flexibility, builds endurance, and strengthens muscles and joints. It also helps with balance and gait.
The increased flexibility from such therapy increases the range of motion. In short, physical therapy greatly improves performance for those people who play sports.
9. Physical therapy can help before and after surgeries
Most of us realize that physical therapy is an important part of recovery from surgery, but it also often helps to have this therapy before surgery. Physical therapy on the musculoskeletal system done before going into surgery is beneficial.
It helps relax muscles and ease tension, which is helpful when muscles and joints are to be operated on. Post-surgical physical therapy helps the body recover and heal.
10. Physical therapy can help with chronic pain
Chronic pain is debilitating and lasts for weeks and months. Chronic pain is common with conditions such as arthritis and herniated disks. Treating chronic pain is challenging.
Credits: VeryWell/Brianna Gilmartin
Physical therapy helps to decrease pain by focusing exercises on specific muscles and joints.
A combination of massage, heat, and ice, and specific movements can benefit patients who have chronic pain.
Conclusion (Is physical therapy really effective?)
We hope you enjoyed reading these fun facts about physical therapy. Physical therapy is very effective and useful. In fact, these professionals are not only found in medical settings like hospitals and doctor’s offices. You can also find physical therapists on staff at universities and in gyms.
Physical therapy is a rapidly growing field and there is an increasing demand for such professionals. Remember that physical therapy offers many benefits for you besides helping you recover from a musculoskeletal injury.
Physical therapy can also help with other illnesses you may have such as diabetes and lung disease. Physical therapy is a safe, natural, and very effective treatment method that offers many advantages for patients. Contact Miracle Rehab and find the best solution for your situation.