This site is helpful for both Physiotherapy students and Patients. This site contains physiotherapy diseases, management, treatment, details of physiotherapy equipments, rehabilitation, exercise technique, self exercise technique, manipulation, news, physiotherapy education etc.

29 March 2009

Introduction to Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is as old a medicine itself, dating back to Ancient Greece in the era of Hippocrates. Since then, physiotherapy has evolved from simple massage to a complex portfolio of therapies with many specialized applications.

In Ancient Greece circa 460 BC, Hector practiced a physiotherapy technique called "hydrotherapy" - which is Greek for water treatment. Physiotherapists today still employ hydrotherapy, now evolved and adapted specifically to various patient conditions.

In 1894, the UK recognized physiotherapy as a specialized branch of nursing regulated by a Chartered Society. In the succeeding two decades, formal physiotherapy programs were established in other countries including New Zealand (1913) and the USA (1914).

The first record of American physiotherapy was at Walter Reed College and Hospital of Portland, Oregon where nurses with physical education experience worked as "reconstruction aides". These "reconstruction aides" contributed vitally to the recovery and rehabilitation of many WWI vets.

In 1921, Mary McMillan formed the Physical Therapy Association in the USA. Subsequently renamed the APTA, this organization profoundly influenced development of physiotherapy in America.

The polio epidemic of the 1920's was a landmark turning point for the physiotherapy profession. Sister Kinney, of the Mayo Clinic achieved national reknown for work with polio victims. The Georgia Warm Springs Foundation was established in 1924 in response to the polio epidemic and provided physiotherapy for these polio patients.

After the polio epidemic subsided, physiotherapy treatments comprised mainly exercise, massage and traction. From 1950, chiropractic manipulations were also introduced, most commonly in Great Britain initially. The Orthopedics specialty within physiotherapy also emerged at about the same time.From that date, physiotherapy expanded from hospitals out to other areas of medical care. Physiotherapists now work also in clinics, nursing homes, private practice and schools.

Research has long been a feature of modern physiotherapy, dating from the first USA research study publication in 1921. Research continues actively today in a wide range of specialties.

A significant force in the recent evolution of physiotherapy has been the International Federation of Orthopedic Manipulative Therapy. Notable individuals driving change in technique and training have included Mariano Rocabado (Chile); Freddy Kaltenborn (Norway/USA); and Geoffrey Maitland (Australia).

During the 1980's, technology became the focus of change in physiotherapy. Novel procedures featured computers, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other new equipment. However, led by Freddy Kaltenborn, interest reverted to manual therapy in the following decade.

Throughout development of the Physiotherapy profession, training and technique have continued to change and improve. Gifted pioneers have contributed richly to the profession's literature and field organizations. In consequence, Physiotherapy now commands wide recognition and well-earned respect, with many young people expressing interest in making their career in the profession.

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