As we put the tumultuous year of 2020 behind us, we embrace the year 2021, and with it 100 years of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Founded as the “American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association,” this group tirelessly supported those returning from World War I. “Reconstruction Aides” as they were then referred to, focused on restoring the physical abilities of those returning from the war. Over the last century, Physical Therapists could be found supporting the troops of every armed conflict including WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam.
To drive APTA membership and participation in the profession, in 1922 the group was rebranded to the “American Physiotherapy Association” and held its first annual conference in Boston, MA. Over the following decades, the APTA developed accreditation programs, academic journals, transitioned from hospital to university-based training programs and made huge strides of progress and recognition for the work they performed. Finally, in 1969, the qualification ‘Physical Therapist Assistant’ was introduced to the rehabilitation spectrum, fulfilling the scope of therapists we have today.
The physical therapy profession has seen transitions from certificate, to Bachelor’s, to Master’s, to Doctoral level training. With the academic growth has come recognition of the important role PT performs in our healthcare system. Specific to orthopedics, PT is a highly effective first line of treatment and is recognized as a cost conscious and effective alternative to surgical interventions. Through exercise, manual therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, and functional activities training, PT is aimed at restoring your daily and recreational function from the most basic, to the most complex movements.
Wondering if PT can help you? The Ortho RI PT Team has over 400 years of collective clinical experience and we are happy to share our history with you!