National Physical Therapy Month

October is observed as National Physical Therapy Month, and it serves a very important purpose. It’s designed to raise the public’s awareness about the importance of physical therapy in maintaining a person’s health—especially after an injury.

Physical therapy strengthens muscles and can help improve post-surgical outcomes, improve range of motion, and address pain and scar tissue. Physical therapy can also be used as an alternative to surgery in some instances.

Of course, those are only a few things that physical therapy can do for a person. There’s a lot more it can do, and that’s why this month has become such an important date on the calendar for many people.

The History of National Physical Therapy Month

The American Physical Therapy Association created this observance in 1981 as a way to celebrate the profession of physical therapy and to raise the public’s awareness about it. At first, it was merely a week-long celebration, but that changed in 1992. This is when it was turned into National Physical Therapy Month. It has been observed for the entire month of October ever since.

Some Important Facts About Physical Therapy

Let’s take a look at some of the facts that we dug up while we were researching this month. Before we started this article, we knew that physical therapists were important, but we didn’t realize how important they were. Fortunately, we got the scoop on this profession and all it can do for a person’s health, and some of that we’re going to share below.

  • Some physical therapy techniques can be traced back to Hippocrates in the 5th century B.C.
  • During World War I, women civilian employees of the United States Army were tasked with rehabilitating soldiers.
  • Until the 1950s, physical therapy was only provided in hospitals. Today, it can be done through telehealth or a home visit.
  • Children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and spinal cord injuries can benefit from the use of physical therapy.
  • In the United States, there are over 250,000 physical therapists working.
  • Becoming a physical therapist requires a doctoral degree in the United States.
  • Physical therapy can be used to reduce “phantom pain” associated with an amputated limb.

Observing National Physical Therapy Month

Everyone is encouraged to learn more about physical therapy during this month. This includes the roles that physical therapists play in the medical community and the benefits of receiving physical therapy.

It’s also a month for people to consider a career in physical therapy. People can also spread the word about this month using the hashtag #PhysicalTherapyMonth on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 1 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
October 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 1 Sunday
Health & Body, Work & Occupation