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 favorite exercises. Here are their responses!

The information below is for educational purposes only. They are not a substitute for physical therapy or medical care. Before you try these or any other exercise, please consult your physical therapist or physician.

What's your PT's favorite exercise?

Captain Morgan

My favorite is called Captain Morgan’s, because it works on balance, the core and the outer hip muscles all at the same time.  I like that it is done in standing, as most of the time we are standing and walking.  Strengthening the outer hips and core along with achieving better balance in this functional position help us to walk correctly avoiding the trunk leaning and helps us propel ourselves forward.   We are all tracking our steps, so walking more effectively gives us more steps/day.

— Kathy


My favorite is the plank. Done correctly, they’re fun and a healthy mainstay because they essentially work every muscle group. Increasing strength and endurance of muscles that support your spine, pelvis and posture. I prescribe to an athletic form of Yoga that incorporates multiple planks as a foundational movement. I am grateful to bring CoYo (Core Yoga) to BEST PT.

— Chaula

Lateral Step Down

My favorite is called the lateral step down. A great exercise that targets almost everything. Works on your glutes, quads, arch strength, posture, and balance.

— Adan

Scapula Rows & Retractions with a Squat

My favorite are scapula rows and retractions in a squat. It works multiple muscles groups at the same time helping me with shoulder blades, core, gluts and many other muscles groups strengthening simultaneously allowing for better posture!

— Kinjal

Single Leg Stance (SLS)

A favorite of mine is the single leg stance (SLS). Crucial for balance and versatile in what it does, the SLS can be modified in many different ways to match the balance needs of the person and to strengthen the legs. The SLS is a key ingredient to gait, balance, and any standing functional movement.

— Jon

Modified Dead-bug

Kim Hoang Truong DPT

My favorite is the modified dead-bug: Air bike with B shoulder flex with a 5 pound dumbbell. Works on abdominal strength, neutral spine and controlling overhead motions.

– Kim


Alexzander Rodriguez

Squats are my favorite because it is an activity that is done daily. Whether getting out of bed, out of a chair, or out of your car – you are squatting. There are many variations to choose from. Whether it’s a back squat, front squat, box squat, goblet squats, or squat jumps (to name a few) I am able to modify this exercise and find what is most appropriate for my patients.

– Alex


My favorite is the lunge. Lunges are a popular exercise because they can improve strength, flexibility, core, and balance all which are important for daily activities such as getting up and down from the floor and with walking and running.  To achieve health benefits and reduce the risk of injury, it’s important to do all lunge variations with proper form. According to Harvard Health, the lunge, squat and plank in your daily workout can help improve posture.

— Kathryn



Out of the many exercises I utilize for both myself and my patients, the bridge is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a great strength exercise for your gluteus maximus which helps with walking as well as more intense exercises like climbing stairs and hills. This exercise also helps all the core muscles and is especially good for anyone who sits for prolonged periods. It can be modified in different ways to match the strength of the person. The bridge is an exercise you can incorporate to build functional strength.


Scapular Retractions with a Resistance Band


A favorite is scapular retractions involving a resistance band. They are highly effective as warm-ups that can help focus you before beginning more rigorous exercises. They help to strengthen your middle and upper back muscles.

– Patty

Pallof Press

Stacy Alvarez, PT, DPT.

My favorite is the pallof press which targets your internal and external obliques, rectus abdominals, glutes, and lower back as one unit. It also trains your hips to stay in place and resist rotation. It is a great core stabilization exercise.

– Stacy

Disclaimer: The information in these videos or photos is intended for informational and educational purposes only and in no way should be taken as the provision or practice of physical therapy, medical or professional healthcare advice or services. The information should not be considered complete or exhaustive and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes without consulting your physical therapist physician or other healthcare provider. The owners of this website accept no responsibility for the misuse of information contained within this website.

To read more about our therapists, check out 2021’s posting:
“Getting to know your physical therapist”

To read more about our therapists, check out 2020’s posting:
“Why I Became a Physical Therapist”

What our Patients are Saying…

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”


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 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”


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!”


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”


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”


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”


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.

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.

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!”


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


Two Locations

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

Bill C.

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.

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”


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.

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”


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.

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.

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.