As we celebrate PT month, we would like to honor each and every one of our dedicated, highly trained Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants.
The evolution of physical therapy in the United States developed primarily during World War I between 1914 and 1917. This was in response to the overwhelming need for treatment of war injuries. Reed College and Walter Reed Hospital proudly graduated the first therapists into the profession. During the years between 1920 and 1930 as poliomyelitis ravaged the United States, again, the profession grew. In 1921 with Mary McMillan leading as the first president, the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association was formed. In 1922, our organization was changed to American Physiotherapy Association in 1922 to reflect the inclusion of qualified men. World War II, along with advances in medicine, spiked continued growth in the field of physical therapy. By 1947, our professional organization changed its name to what we know it to be today – The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Since then physical therapy has continued to grow. In 1967, for the first time, we were recognized by the Social Security organization as a healthcare provider for reimbursement. Over the years medical advances have increased survival rates of disease and injury resulting in an increased need for skilled physical therapy interventions as well as significant changes in regulations, reimbursement, and care settings. We as therapists have a responsibility to expand our therapeutic approaches to meet each patient’s individual needs.
Most recently, health experts are looking to physical therapy as an important alternative to opioids for pain management. APTA created a powerful campaign to educate patients about all of their options for managing pain to reduce reliance on opioid medication in the midst of the national addiction epidemic that’s currently gripping the country. According to APTA, “Current policies create barriers for patients seeking physical therapist treatment. In most cases, it's easier and less expensive for physicians to prescribe opioids and for patients to receive opioids.”
APTA has long advocated for physical therapy in the place of medication for pain management, and their message has never been so important. To highlight the possible advantages of pursuing PT over pain meds, APTA published this public service announcement
We’re excited to follow the ways that physical therapy will continue to develop to meet critical care needs. Research over the years has given us a vast library of evidence-based testing and treatment approaches to choose from to more effectively address our patients’ needs. Evidence-based identification of needs, determination of frequency and duration, and selection of treatment approaches all result in the best outcomes for our patients. Our company is proud of our physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Their care delivery, compassionate patient approach, and adherence to professional and regulatory standards ensure that we maximize impact to our many deserving patients.
So thank you! To all of our highly trained PTs and PTAs, leading our first-rate clinical programs, we say thank you. Happy PT Month!