Industry OverviewMany individuals who have limitations in movement and/or functionality due to age, physical injury, or disease seek professional treatment with physical therapy. In several English speaking countries it is often referred to as physiotherapy. Physical therapy is usually performed by a Physical Therapist (PT) or by one of their assistants under direct instruction. When developing a treatment or rehabilitation plan, a physical therapist will use the patient's history and a physical examination. Physical Therapy can take place in a variety of locations and environments, depending on the type of therapy needed and the patient. The history of physical therapy can date back to as far back as Hippocrates around 460 B.C. He is said to be one of the first to use massages and manual therapy techniques. In 1914, physical therapy in Portland became an official graduating program at Reed College.Industry TrendsIn the industry of Physical Therapy today, the World Confederation of Physical Therapy recommends that the entry level therapist education level should begin at a four year Bachelor's degree. Through higher education, physical therapy degree graduates are prepared to become autonomous practitioners. Now that the overall body of knowledge in the area of physical therapy has become so large, many therapists have taken a more specific path and become specialists. Some of the more popular specialties include Sports Physical Therapy and Clinical Electrophysiology. There are seven specialties in total that are recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy, which is a part of the APTA that represents physical therapist in Alexandria, the headquarters, and across the country.Business in the IndustryThere are many specialty areas that fall under the physical therapy name, but only some are nationally recognized. One of the therapy specialties is Cardiopulmonary, which is cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. With this specialty they treat disorders or patients who have recently had cardiac or pulmonary surgery.
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