History of Physical Therapy

By migzey
  • 460 BCE

    Hippocrates and Galenus

    They are believed to be the first practitioners of physical therapy, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques and hydrotherapy to treat people in 460 B.C
  • "Father of Swedish Gymnastics"

    Per Henrik Ling, founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics in 1813 for massage, manipulation, and exercise
  • PT's Official Registration

    PTs were given official registration by Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare. Other countries soon followed
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

    Four nurses in Great Britain formed the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • Women Recruited to Rehabilitee Injured Soldiers

    During World War I in 1917, women were recruited to rehabilitate injured soldiers and the field of physical therapy was institutionalized.
  • Reconstruction Aide

    In 1918 the term “Reconstruction Aide” was used to refer to individuals practicing physical therapy.
  • Mary McMillan

    Mary McMillan is elected the first president of the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association
  • AWPTA --> APTA

    The American Women's Physical Therapy Association becomes the American Physiotherapy Association
  • First Annual Conference - Boston

    The associations first annual conference was held in Boston on September 13th through the 16th at the Boston School of Physical Education
  • NYU creates Bachelor of Science Program for Physical Therapists

  • APA adopts a "Code of Ethics and Disciple"

    APA’s first Code of Ethics and Discipline, adopted at its annual conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • The American Registry for Physical Therapy Technicians was created

  • Shift in Educational Programs

    Majority of physical therapy education programs shifted from the hospital to a university setting. Set the trend for PT education
  • Catherine Worthingham - President of APA

    Catherine became the associations president for two terms (1940 -1944) during WWII.
  • Contribution during World War II

    In the summer of 1941, six months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Emma Vogel — who began her Army career as a reconstruction aide, was trained by Mary McMillan at Reed College in Oregon, and was a founding figure in the physical therapy profession — initiated the first War Emergency Training Course of World War II at Walter Reed General Hospital.
  • First Official Headquarters Founded (Executive Director)

    The APA moved to its first headquarters in New York City, and Mildred Elson became the first executive director
  • The Physical Therapy Fund

  • First Two-Year Graduate Program

    Western Reserve University was the first to launch a two-year graduate program for the basic education of physical therapist
  • The First Physical Therapists Go to Vietnam

  • First Two Classes of PTA's Graduate

    The first PTA education program's graduated from Miami-Dade Community College in Florida and St. Mary's Junior College in Minnesota (St. Catherine's University currently)
  • Headquarters Migrated to Washington, D.C

  • NYU launches first PhD program in Physical Therapy

  • Physical Therapy Department @ a Historical Black College

    The first PT department was established at Howard University
  • PT Fund Evolves into the Foundation for Physical Therapy

  • World War I Reconstruction Aides made Veterans

  • Awards for Outstanding Achievements Presented

    Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Practice originally was developed by APTA's Maryland Chapter to recognize outstanding clinicians for excellence in clinical practice
  • Catherine Worthingham - First Recipent

    Catherine was the first recipient of the fellow program that bears her name. The FAPTA is the highest honor among APTA's membership categories
  • Headquarters Moves to Alexandria, Virginia

  • First Specialist Certification Exams Held

  • Marquette Challenge launched

    The Marquette Challenge was created by PT students at Marquette University as an annual student-led fundraiser to support PT research through the foundation for Physical Therapy
  • First National Physical Therapy Month

  • First Physical Therapy Magazine Launched

  • Creighton University Inaugurates Pioneer "Professional" Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession Est.

  • First Clinical Residency and Fellowship Program are Approved for Credentialing

  • APTA Hosts PT Day on Capitol Hill - A Physical Therapy March On Washington

  • Licensing for Physical Therapists is Achieved in All 50 States

    After World War I, the ACPM created the American Registry to confer the title "registered physical therapist" on physical therapists who passed an exam.
  • First PTA's Graduate from the Advanced Proficiency for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program

    The Advanced Proficiency for the Physical Therapist Assistant program was launched in 2004 to recognize PTAs who achieved advanced proficiency in the areas of cardiovascular and pulmonary, education, oncology, acute care, wound management, geriatric, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and pediatric physical therapy.
  • Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service is Launched

  • Magazine of Physical Therapy is renamed PT in motion

  • All 50 States Achieve Some Form of Direct Access

  • Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry Launched

  • Association Membership Surpasses 100K members Mark

  • APTA Board of Directors Adopts a New Mission Statement

  • APTA Opens New Headquarters Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia

  • APTA Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

    January 15th, 2021 marks 100 years since the first meeting of APTA's founders in NYC.