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Physical therapy is a wonderfully beneficial form of treatment that has helped millions across the globe regain mobility and, in turn, a higher quality of life. In a nutshell, physical therapy is a type of treatment that is used to address many different ailments, including disease, injury, or deformity.

Physical therapy is a wonderfully beneficial form of treatment that has helped millions across the globe regain mobility and, in turn, a higher quality of life. In a nutshell, physical therapy is a type of treatment that is used to address many different ailments, including disease, injury, or deformity.


Physical therapy is a wonderfully beneficial form of treatment that has helped millions across the globe regain mobility and, in turn, a higher quality of life. In a nutshell, physical therapy is a type of treatment that is used to address many different ailments, including disease, injury, or deformity. Physical therapy utilizes massage, heat treatment, and exercise in order to help patients get back on their feet without needing to take drugs or undergo surgery. As Arlington’s go-to physical therapy clinic, we have worked hard to educate those in the community about the many wonderful benefits of this type of therapy. We often get questions about what physical therapy really is, and how it differs from other forms of treatment and healthcare specialties. Because of this, we thought it would be fun to go over some of the most interesting – and little known – facts about physical therapy. Heck, you may just learn something you didn’t know!

Without further ado, here are a few interesting facts about physical therapy:

  • Physical therapy as a profession originated during World War I. Many people do not realize this, but physical therapy was actually created to treat American soldiers who were injured in war.
  • Physical therapists were originally known as “reconstruction aides”. When physical therapy as a profession first came about during World War I, those working in the field did so under a different title than they have today.
  • Physical therapists can work in many different settings. One of the benefits of working as a physical therapist is that you can choose to work in a variety of settings, such as outpatient clinics, private clinics, hospitals, schools, and the emergency room.
  • There are many different types of therapy that a physical therapist can do. Physical therapy is a very broad field and includes a wide range of therapies, such as orthopedic, postoperative care, cardiovascular, neurologic rehabilitation, and pulmonary rehab.
  • Physical therapists can treat vertigo. Many people suffer from positional vertigo, which can wreak havoc on overall quality of life. Because this ailment is a dysfunction of the vestibular system in the inner ear, it can actually be successfully treated in as little as one setting with a physical therapist.
  • The field of physical therapy was a female dominant profession initially. Unlike many other professions, the majority of physical therapists were women in the beginning. In fact, the first president of the American Women’s Physical Therapy Association was Mary McMillan.
  • The demand for physical therapy increased in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Schools actually had trouble graduating physical therapists fast enough during this time period, which is when the physical therapy assistant position was created.
  • Initially, you only needed a bachelor’s degree to work as a physical therapist. In the 1990s this changed, requiring anyone interested in working as a physical therapist to enroll in a Master of Science program. In the 21st century, the profession once again advanced and is now at a doctoral level.

We hope you have learned something new about physical therapy and how the profession came about in the United States. If you have any fun tidbits to add or would like to learn more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.