On Saturday, September 8, physical therapists all over the globe celebrated World Physical Therapy Day. This annual event takes time to celebrate all those in the profession who dedicate their lives to helping those recover from injuries, gain a better range of motion, prevent injuries from occurring, become stronger, treat depression and anxiety, and much more. Learn more about this special day and basics of this career celebrated by your local Cherry Creek Wellness Center.
What is World Physical Therapy Day?
World Physical Therapy Day has been an annual celebration since 1996. It was originally started by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), an international association that represents over 450,000 physical therapists across the world. Knowing the hard work and dedication of physical therapists, the WCPT wanted to create a day that shined a spotlight on the industry. Thus, World Physical Therapy Day was born. Each year, they cover the highlights and encourage physical therapists to continue their education to enhance their knowledge to serve their patients. So why September 8? This was the day the WCPT was founded almost 60 years ago.
Physical Therapy Stats and History
The origins of physical therapy date back to 460 BC, when Greek physician Hippocrates experimented with the idea to use exercises and movements to reduce or eliminate pain. However, the skill really took off in the 1800s. More than a century later, during the peak of the polio crisis and World War I, there was a great need for physical therapists to assist with rehabilitation. Those practicing at the time could only work in hospitals, mainly helping those with disease or those injured in the war. As time went on, they began to realize all the additional ways they could serve others in need. From treating diseases and chronic pain issues, to burns and sports medicine, physical therapists provide such a wide range of services that make a difference in the lives of their patients.
Today, physical therapy is a growing profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ review of physical therapists, this field has grown faster than the national average nearing 30 percent. Plus, with many existing therapists nearing retirement, this will contribute to the demand for more to enter this line of work. To become a physical therapist, a person must have a degree and license to practice. Education levels can range all the way as advanced as a doctoral degree.
Most Common Reasons for Therapy
While physical therapy can be used for such a wide variety of ailments, there are a few top ones. Some of the most common reasons for a person to see a physical therapist include:
- Sports injuries: A physical therapist will help an athlete recover using a specialized set of exercises. After recovery, they will help a person learn proper form to reduce the chances of the injury happening again.
- Back pain: Whether it’s chronic pain or post-surgery recovery, physical therapy is one of the top ways to alleviate back pain. Time is also dedicated to helping a person enhance their posture, a crucial element in spine health.
- Car accidents: Days or even weeks after a car crash, a person may begin to feel the impact of the accident. To maximize recovery, a person should ideally visit a physical therapist even if they aren’t experiencing pain.
- Arthritis: Movement and exercises from physical therapy can help the stiffness and pain caused by arthritis. It also benefits the joints without putting a strain on them.
- Fibromyalgia: Seeing a physical therapist can be extremely helpful for those suffering from fibromyalgia. It helps to keep a person active throughout pain and in some cases, reducing flare-ups. In addition, massage techniques can also help to reduce pain.
- Prevent surgery: For those nearing a point with a condition where surgery may be required, physical therapy can change things. Through the techniques to rehabilitate an injury, many are able to forgo surgery after working regularly with a therapist.
- Massage therapy: With an education and background in physical therapy, there are a variety of massage services offered. These massages can alleviate pain from diseases, conditions, or injuries. They can also help to reduce stress and help a person become healthier.
- TMJ disorder: Those suffering from TMJ disorder can benefit from the techniques used by a physical therapist. Treatments will help calm the muscles in the area and preventative education will help a person understand their triggers.
Additional Ways Physical Therapists Help
Did you know a person does not need to be recovering from an injury or suffering from a disease to benefit from physical therapy? Physical therapists help in a variety of proactive measures. For instance, those working in an office. Over time, being sedentary and going through repetitive motions can cause injuries—especially when a person has poor posture and other bad habits. A physical therapist will help you understand best practices that may have otherwise led to neck or back issues down the road.
For athletes, seeing a physical therapist
regularly is important. They will help you learn proper form and teach you exercises to help you avoid sustaining a sports injury. For many athletes, they may be using improper motions that can lead to long-term injuries. These exercises will also help an athlete become stronger as well.
In general, seeing a physical therapist is a great way to become stronger. Through various exercises and strength training, the tips and techniques you will learn will help you with all of your day to day tasks, exercises, and more.
Even though World Physical Therapy Day is over, you can still celebrate the physical therapists in your life! With a mission to help people become more active, healthier, and reduce injuries, there is much to be celebrated. If you have not seen a physical therapist before, Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver would love you to join us at a location near you. We have a wide variety of services to take advantage of to become healthier and stronger. Contact us
today to schedule your appointment.