BEST Physical Therapy

Author: Doug Wells

Why is Physical Therapy Important?

Why is Physical Therapy Important?

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

read more
How Physical Therapy Helps Long-Term Pain

How Physical Therapy Helps Long-Term Pain

Physical therapists are experts not only in treating pain, but also its source. Yours will look for areas of weakness or stiffness that may be adding stress to the places that hurt. And they will treat those areas with certain exercises to ease your pain and help you move better, They will help you return to the activities you enjoy. 

Get the story here from WebMD 

read more
Physical Therapy During the Pandemic

Physical Therapy During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed many physician appointments, elective procedures, and medical tests. As restrictions ease, working through this backlog will be challenging. For people who have chronic pain, back pain, a bad knee, pelvic pain, injury from sport & recreational activity or other orthopedic issues, their best option may be to see a physical therapist first.

Physical Therapists are highly trained specialists who are well equipped to be the first point of contact for patients with musculoskeletal issues. California has direct access laws that allow patients to see a PT without seeing a physician first. In addition, research shows people who see a PT first have better outcomes, recover quicker, and spend less money and may not need surgery.


Because back pain is so common, there is a lot of outcome data from people with back pain. A study of 150,000 insurance claims published in Health Services Research found that those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription, a 28 percent lower probability of having advanced imaging services such as an X-Ray or MRI, and a 15 percent lower probability of an emergency department visit.


The Mitchell Study published in Physical Therapy looked at outcomes when patients went to a PT first vs. seeing a physician first. It found that patients who went to their physician before their PT spent 65 percent more time recovering, and had 60percent more office visits than patients who went directly to their PT.


There are many studies showing that the faster you get to your PT, the less money you spend. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy showed that patients who obtained physical therapy via direct access had significantly lower medical costs—an average of $1,543 less per patient than those who chose referral from a physician. The Mitchell study mentioned above found that the total cost for physician referral to physical therapists was 123 percent or 2.2 times higher than the paid claims for people who went straight to PT.

As the healthcare system tries to work through the backlog of delayed visits and procedures, using physical therapists as the first provider for patients with pain or orthopedic issues could take some of the pressure off of primary care physicians and orthopedists. It could also lead to better outcomes, quicker recoveries, and cost savings for patients. That’s a winning solution for everyone involved.

If you are experiencing new aches and pains or finding old aches and pains more irritating or perhaps you have been injured playing sports or games outside with the kids during this pandemic, give BEST PT a call at 408-257-2225 to get scheduled today!

read more
5 Common Reasons to See a Physical Therapist

5 Common Reasons to See a Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is a natural form of pain relief treatment that can be used to manage a variety of different conditions?Many don’t realize physical therapy treatments are a great way to reduce chronic pain and other recurring symptoms until after they’ve tried other traditional treatment methods.

Back Pain
Neck Pain
Joint Pain
Traumatic Injury

If you or a loved one are struggling with recurring pain after an injury or as the result of a degenerative condition, physical therapy can be of help to help you heal naturally.

read more