Although the use of certain physical therapy techniques goes back to ancient times, the modern profession developed in the wake of World War I. Several groups of "reconstruction aides," as PTs were called then, were sent to military hospitals in France to institute early rehabilitation of wounded veterans.

PTs now practice in a wide variety of settings - from hospitals to the home, from schools to the workplace - and serve patients and clients from all age groups. In today's health care system, PTs are the experts in the examination and treatment of problems related to muscles, nerves, and joints - conditions that limit peoples' ability to move and live as they wish. Whether patients are recovering from knee surgery; experiencing neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis; or learning to walk again after a stroke, PTs help them retain function by improving the ability of muscles, nerves, and joints to move efficiently and effectively.
The following are some things you might not have known about physical therapists:
  • More than 90,000 PTs practice in the US today.
  • PTs treat nearly 1 million Americans every day.
  • Although many PTs practice in acute care or sub-acute care hospitals more than 65% practice in private physical therapy offices, community health centers, industrial health centers, sports facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, schools or pediatric centers; work in research institutions; or teach in colleges and universities.
  • PTs have practical help to offer people of all ages - from students who risk injury from improperly using and wearing backpacks to senior citizens seeking safe and healthy ways to exercise.
PT Facts / News



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