The festivities are soon to begin for National Physical Therapy Month in Oct. This year, there is a focus on the value of the physical therapy profession. Yes, physical therapists are valued for reduced pain, improved function, increased range of motion, and proper alignment. But celebrating the importance of physical therapists also means acknowledging the transformative work, evolving practices, and their impact on restoring mobility and improving lives.
A History of Transformation
Physical therapy dates back to antiquity when Hippocrates began advocating massage, hydrotherapy, and manual therapy techniques for his patients. During the polio outbreak of 1916, physical therapy techniques advanced rapidly, and soldiers wounded in World War 1 and children with disabilities benefited from physical therapy treatments.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) took root in 1924. In the 1940s, it was massage, traction and exercises. Manipulative therapy for the joints and spine first appeared in the 1950s, which also saw PT move away from the hospital into outpatient clinics, public schools, rehabilitation centers and senior care facilities. Today, physical therapy technology continues to advance rapidly.
An Evolving Profession
The physical therapist’s job is evolving, and its importance throughout the health care system is increasing. As the value of physical therapy increases, so does technology. New and groundbreaking technologies like AI and augmented reality are enhancing rehabilitation. Apps improve therapists’ ability to measure movement and mobility during rehabilitation exercises. Telehealth allows patients to receive quality physical therapy with a microphone, camera, and Wi-Fi.
Physical therapy is now a rehabilitative and preventative measure. Adding exercises into a daily routine can be preventative while decreasing the chances of sports and age-related injuries. It is still hands-on, too, as manual therapy techniques become more commonly used to treat structural and soft tissue imbalances.
Physical therapy is helping people regain strength and mobility better every day. For Physical Therapy Month, here are some numbers to make you proud to be a physical therapist:
- Employment of physical therapists will grow 18% by 2029.
- 41% of patients seeking a drug-free pain option cited physical therapy as the most effective.
- Physical therapy can lower patient treatment costs by 72%.
- 68% describe physical therapy as much safer than pain meds.
- The U.S. physical therapy industry will grow 1.9% annually from 2021 to 2026.
- And many other achievements!
During physical therapy month, consider the value of your evolving profession, and never forget the impact you make on lives. The team at myPTsolutions understands your importance and impact and can help you advance your therapy career.