National Physical Therapy Timeline

460 BC

The father of medicine documented physical therapy

Hippocrates introduced the idea of manual manipulation for pain relief.


Physical therapy was officially recognized

Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare officially registered physical therapists.


Therapists got organized

Mary MacMillan, the first physical therapy aide, established the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association, which would later become today’s American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The 70s

Specialized therapies emerged

After orthopedic manipulative therapy gained recognition, more and more highly specialized fields appeared, including cardiopulmonary physical therapy, skin therapy, and sports therapy.


A week became a month

National Physical Therapy Week, which was first observed in June of 1981, became National Physical Therapy Month.

Recommended Reading: Mary McMillan – The Mother of Physical Therapy (written by Mary Farrell and Marta M. Mobley

Physical Therapy provides you the opportunity to practice self-awareness. Physical Therapy assists in correcting your posture, reducing your aches and pains, and can help you recover more quickly from injury or surgery.

We asked our PTs to share their thoughts and experiences on why they became and love being a PT. Their heartfelt responses show that this really is a profession worth celebrating!

Why I Became a Therapist

“I love being a PT because as the patient undergoes the rehabilitation and recovery process, I get to witness a level of perseverance and will power rarely seen in everyday life. There is great personal reward and joy in knowing that I had a role in seeing the patient’s quality of life and function restored.

— Kathy

I’m a PTA, and I love what I do. This job gives me the ability to educate and empower people about how to be physically aware of their bodies and health, and in turn improve their overall quality of life.

— Kathryn

I love working in PT because I get to help people get back to the things they love to do. You feel good about what you do and why you do it.

— Adan

The most rewarding aspect of being a PT is getting to build personal relationships with people, and then guiding them on the way to recovery to allow them to achieve their goals in returning to their hobbies or jobs. I view discharging people from therapy as bitter-sweet: Bitter because we must say goodbye to them at that point, but so sweet as they have accomplished their goals.

— Chaula

Since I was a kid, I wanted to be a part of a healthcare team. I enjoy helping people improve their quality of life and function. Most rewarding, is the smile on people’s faces.

— Reshma

Since graduating I have worked solely in outpatient orthopedics and love being a PT because I can work with the diverse population that makes up the Bay Area. I enjoy the flexibility and background to treat a vast array of injuries and conditions.

— Jon

Being able to use knowledge to problem solve and help people improve their function is fun and rewarding.

— Kinjal

I love the pure joy on an athlete’s face when they return to their sport for the first time after an injury. Also, the collaboration between different disciplines in an effort to provide the best care for our patients makes teamwork a common goal. You feel good about what you do and why you do it.

— Vinita

It’s very fulfilling when someone says, “I’m feeling so much better” and they say it’s because of what I did for them.  I always tell them, “we are here to guide you to do the right things, but it’s you, the patient, who does the work.” It feels good to have a positive impact on someone’s life who at one point was a total stranger. Having fun during this process also makes you feel you don’t work a single day. I am happy I can contribute to making someone’s life a little better.

— Karlo

What our Patients are Saying…

Worked With BEST

Worked With BEST to Properly Recover. I then worked with BEST to properly recover, exercise and eliminate this from happening Read more “Worked With BEST”

Brian L.

Still Feeling Great

So a year later I’m feeling great and still doing all the exercises I was taught to stay in shape! Read more “Still Feeling Great”

Andrew H.

The Folks at BEST Physical Therapy Can Help!

Don’t Live with Physical Ailments! Don’t resort to steroid injections, pain pills, or simply living with physical ailments! The folks Read more “The Folks at BEST Physical Therapy Can Help!”

Bobby M.

I Always Look Forward to My Sessions

Although getting released from physical therapy is a great thing, it can be bittersweet. I always looked forward to my Read more “I Always Look Forward to My Sessions”


The Premier Physical Therapy Center

The Premier Physical Therapy Center. BEST Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapy treatment center in the South Bay. I Read more “The Premier Physical Therapy Center”

Gail B.

Incredible Overall Experience!

Incredible Overall Experience! I have been to at least seven other physical therapists in my life, but I’ve never had Read more “Incredible Overall Experience!”

Stacie B.

Two Locations

I like that BEST has two locations and has always been able to accommodate my Read more “Two Locations”

Bill C.

Significant Progress

I’ve noticed significant progress in my rehabilitation. I would without a doubt recommend BEST PT to family, friends and a Read more “Significant Progress”


My Physical Therapist was Amazing

My Physical Therapist was Amazing. She got right to the root of the problem and addressed each muscle individually. She Read more “My Physical Therapist was Amazing”


Super Professional!

Super Professional! I enjoyed how much they got to know me, what I will be doing, and what I am Read more “Super Professional!”


Help Your Quality of Life

Help Your Quality of Life. BEST makes sure you are cared for explaining and teaching you what you need to Read more “Help Your Quality of Life”


This Place is Amazing!

This Place is Amazing! This place is amazing. The staff is very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The environment is very Read more “This Place is Amazing!”

Alex Y.

I Love the BEST Approach

This is my 3rd experience with physical therapy. I never completed my treatment with the first two because I was Read more “I Love the BEST Approach”



I love my physical therapist.  She makes me feel so good after I’ve just beat myself up at the gym.  Read more “AWESOME!”


The Fine Line

Excel at Finding the Fine Line. Both Kathy and Kathryn excel at finding the fine line between discomfort and pain Read more “The Fine Line”

Sally P.

A God Send!

A God Send! Best Physical Therapy, Cupertino, has been a God send for our son! They have given him the Read more “A God Send!”

Brigid G.

I Have Made Tremendous Improvement

Kinjal is an excellent physical therapist. I made tremendous improvement under her care and guidance. Always educating her patient, smiling Read more “I Have Made Tremendous Improvement”


I Have Recommended BEST Physical Therapy

I first started PT at BEST Physical Therapy in 2008. Over the years I have been back after other surgeries Read more “I Have Recommended BEST Physical Therapy”


Staff are Skilled, Knowledgeable and Friendly

Every single staff person is on point. From day one when I called to schedule my first appointment and throughout Read more “Staff are Skilled, Knowledgeable and Friendly”



Phenomenal! About a year ago I had a work related injury and was referred to Best Physical Therapy by my Read more “Phenomenal!”