World Physical Therapy Day is observed every year on September 8. It is celebrated to raise awareness about the critical role of physical therapists and chronic pain therapies in keeping people healthy and fit. Physical therapists attempt to treat an injury or deformity, educate patients about healthy behaviors, and restore lost or damaged functionality. Chronic pain is linked to a variety of medical diseases, including low back pain, cervical and thoracic pain, shoulder pain, headache problems, cancer, fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy, and osteoarthritis.
History of World Physical Therapy Day
The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) established World Physical Therapy Day on September 8 of each year, in 1996. The WCPT was created on this date 70 years ago. The day celebrates the global physical therapy community’s togetherness and solidarity. It is a chance to recognize the contributions that physical therapists provide to their patients and the community.
Going back in time, the first documented account of physical therapy comes from Hippocrates, the old master of medicine. Hippocrates originated the concept of manual manipulation for pain treatment in 460 B.C. Since then, physiotherapy has progressed from a simple massage to a complex portfolio of therapies with a wide range of specialized applications.
For centuries, the area of physical therapy experienced minimal progress. A unified group of physical therapy practitioners did not emerge until the 18th century. Per Henrik Ling, known as the ‘Father of Swedish Gymnastics,’ created the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for massage, manipulation, and exercise. In 1887, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare granted physical therapists official registration.
Until World War II, the majority of physical therapy was performed in hospitals on patients suffering from surgery, injuries, or other ailments. During the war, specialty physical therapy clinics were established to treat the thousands of wounded soldiers who required rehabilitation following hospital stays. This shift to outpatient care reflected physical therapy’s expanding popularity.
Physiotherapy is now utilized to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. Back pain, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, bursitis, muscular strains, Guillain-Barre syndrome, balance disorders, asthma, fibromyalgia, wounds, burns, rheumatoid arthritis, and a variety of other illnesses may be treated. The goals of physiotherapy vary depending on the patient’s specific needs, but common intended outcomes include pain relief, increased range of motion, endurance and strength, independence, stress reduction, and a higher quality of life for the patient.
The field of physiotherapy evolved even more as computers became more widespread in the medical realm. With the advent of the electronics age, made possible by ever-smaller components, new technologies for use in therapy were introduced. Electrical stimulators and ultrasounds are two examples of gadgets that have improved therapeutic effectiveness.
World Physical Therapy Day timeline
Water treatment and massage therapy are first utilized and investigated by Hippocrates and Hector on their patients.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is founded by four British nurses and is quickly emulated by other countries.
Mary McMillan, a physical therapy assistant and the mother of physical therapy, establishes the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association (later changed to American Physical Therapy Association — APTA).
The HandTutor is designed to aid in the rehabilitation of hand, wrist, and upper limb injuries.
World Physical Therapy Day FAQs
How many years does it take to be a physical therapist?
To practice as a professional physical therapist in the United States, you must first obtain a doctorate in physical therapy from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education institution and then pass a state licensing examination. Professional DPT programs are typically three years long.
Is a physical therapist really a certified doctor?
Physical therapists have become doctors since 2015, although they are not physicians. They, like any dentist, nurse, doctor, surgeon, optometrist, orthodontist, or therapist, receive further training as required for their unique professional practice.
What is the difference between an occupational therapist and a physical therapist?
The most fundamental distinction between physical therapy and occupational therapy is that physical therapy focuses on increasing the patient’s ability to move their body, whereas occupational therapy focuses on improving the patient’s ability to do activities of daily life.
How to Observe World Physical Therapy Day
Join physical therapy events in your country
You can easily join any organized events around you that have already been set up by experts. On World Physical Therapy Day, many countries throughout the world host a variety of events. Brazil, Ghana, Iceland, Malta, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, in addition to the United States and Canada, hold events. Walk-a-thons, educational lectures, and exercise clinics are among the events. Ghana's physiotherapy association provides free screening and consulting sessions.
Show some love to physical therapists you know
Have you ever benefited greatly from physical therapy? Perhaps a physical therapist assisted you in recovering from an injury. Perhaps physical therapy has assisted you in managing your pain. In any event, if you've ever seen a physical therapist, praise them for their efforts. You can also express gratitude to a physical therapist if your child, other family members, or a loved one has ever benefited from their services.
Do some research and share moments online
Participate in some physical therapy studies to broaden your understanding, as well as participate in various exercises. Simply getting up and moving is a terrific way to commemorate this day. Encourage others to do the same by posting your discoveries and images of activities on your social media pages!
5 Facts About Physical Therapy That Will Amaze You
Established in Canada
Thousands of soldiers were treated with physiotherapy in Canada during World War I — in fact, physiotherapy was frequently used as the first line of treatment.
It can eliminate the need for surgery
Physical therapy can keep a person from needing invasive surgery — according to research published in the ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ in April 2015, it can help persons with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS, a lower back discomfort caused by a narrowing of the spine) avoid surgery.
Physiotherapy and physical therapy are the same
Many individuals consider physiotherapy and physical therapy to be two distinct concepts but, while some countries may distinguish between these two practices, in Canada, they are both used to refer to the same thing.
It dates back thousands of years
Physiotherapy has been traced back to thousands of years ago, with Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, credited with inventing the profession — surprisingly, he treated his patients with water therapy, which is still in use today!
A non-pharmacological treatment alternative
While a patient may participate in physiotherapy while taking medicines, physiotherapists cure a person's diseases with drug-free, exercise-based therapies.
Why World Physical Therapy Day is Important
To honor physical therapists
It is celebrated to raise awareness about the critical role of physical therapists and chronic pain therapies in keeping people healthy and fit.
Physical therapy helps to overcome setbacks
Regardless of physical limitations, physical therapy can act as a tool to increase one's involvement in normal life events. A fantastic method to get in good condition for life.
It helps to manage age-related issues
Individuals may acquire arthritis or osteoporosis as they age, or they may require a joint replacement. Physical therapists are professionals at assisting patients in recovering from joint replacement surgery and managing arthritic or osteoporotic disorders conservatively.
World Physical Therapy Day dates