History of Physiotherapy

 

  • Physiotherapy/Physical Therapy is a dynamic Profession that dates back to Ancient Greece in the time of Hippocrates in 460 B.C... 

 

  • The main forms of treatment then were massage and hydrotherapy and the service was originally delivered by nurses.  

 

  • In 1894, the UK recognized physiotherapy as a specialized branch of nursing and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy was formed. 

  • Formal educational programs were established in 1913 in New Zealand and in 1914 in the USA.

 

  • The outbreak of polio in the 1920’s helped to bring worldwide recognition to this profession as the rehabilitation services offered were crucial to patients’ recovery. Physiotherapists through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) joined the medical research team which was eventually responsible for the Polio vaccine in 1956.

 

  • The first physiotherapy related research being published in United States in March 1921 in the first edition of the PT Review.

  • In the thirty years that followed, the scope of Physiotherapy practice was broadened to include manipulations, traction and the treatment of orthopaedic conditions. Physiotherapists internationally are still actively involved in research as the profession seeks to become more evidence based in its practice. 

 

  • The development of the profession in Trinidad and Tobago has followed a similar pattern.  An article written by I.D. Waterman entitled” A Century of Services 1858 – 1958” stated that in 1935 an English trained nurse Miss Wolfe was appointed as superintendent Sister of The Physiotherapy Department in Port of Spain General Hospital.

 

  • In 1952 Mrs. Marjorie Lassalle (nee Callender) was the recipient of the first Physiotherapy Scholarship offered by the government of Trinidad and Tobago

 

  • In 1953 the first British trained local Physiotherapist Mrs. Ambah Wooding –Thomas returned.

 

  • The outbreak of Polio in Trinidad and Tobago in 1954 brought recognition to the Profession as the public began to appreciate its value as part of the medical team