“Learning for practice” and “learning from practice.”

Physical therapy

Bringing motion to life

What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a dynamic health care profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function.

It is a profession in which a systematic clinical reasoning is used in a problem-solving approach to patient-centered care.

Physiotherapy is a health care profession concerned with human functions and movements and maximizing potential:

* It uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being, taking in consideration the variations in health status

* It is science-based, committed to extending, applying, evaluating and reviewing the evidence that underpins and informs its practice and delivery

* The exercise of clinical judgment and informed interpretation is at its core.

History of physical therapy

Physicians like Hippocrates and Galenus are believed to be the first practitioners of physical therapy, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques and hydrotherapy to treat people in 460 BC.

In 1894AD, physical therapy was mentioned for the first time as a medical career when a group of British nurses established a society of physiotherapy that was known Chartered Society of physiotherapy.

Modern physical therapy was established in Britain towards the end of the 19th century. Research catalyzed the physical therapy movement. The first physical therapy research was published in the United States in March 1921 in "The PT Review.

" In the same year, Mary McMillan organized the Physical Therapy Association (now called the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). In 1924, the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation promoted the field by touting physical therapy as a treatment for polio.

During World War II this profession witnessed a rapid development because of the increase incidence of spinal cord injuries.

Treatment through the 1940s primarily consisted of exercise, massage, and traction. Manipulative procedures to the spine and extremity joints began to be practiced, especially in the British Commonwealth countries, in the early 1950s.

At the present, Canada, United States, Britain, and Australia are the leading countries in the field of physical therapy. This profession has entered the Arab world and evolved as never before.

In Jordan:

1964: UNRWA invited Egyptian rehabilitation team to meet the needs of children with special needs in the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. 1965: 2 British physical therapists opened a home for children with special needs in Amman.

1965: The Royal Medical Services gave scholarships for 2 nurses to Britain in order to take a practical program in physical therapy for a period of 6 months. On their return, the first clinic of physiotherapy was established in Jordan.

1967: A training program in physical therapy for three years started in Al-Bashir hospital. 1980: Jordanian physiotherapy association (JPTS) was established.

1999: BA program for 4 years in physiotherapy was established in three public Jordanian universities.

What Are the Roles of Physical Therapists?

1- Integrate five elements of patient/client management in a manner designed to maximize outcomes. These elements are:

• Examination

• Evaluation

• Diagnosis

• Prognosis

• Intervention (including coordination, communication, and documentation; patient/client related instruction; and procedural intervention).

2- Interact and practice in collaboration with a variety of professionals.

3- Address risk. Physical therapists identify risk factors and behaviors that may impede optimal functioning.

4- Provide prevention and promote health, wellness and fitness

5- Consult, educate, engage in critical inquiry, and administrate.

6- Direct and supervise physical therapy services, including support personnel.

What are the main specialties in physiotherapy? Musculoskeletal

Physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons) including post-operative orthopedic procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions and amputations.

Joint and spine mobilization/manipulation, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular reeducation, hot/cold packs, and electrical devices are modalities often used to expedite recovery in the orthopedic setting. Pediatric

Physical therapists assist in early detection of health problems and use a wide variety of modalities to treat disorders in the pediatric population. They diagnose, treat, and manage infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration.

The Most common diseases/disorders that physical therapists deal with in this field are developmental delays, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and torticollis.


A field in which physical therapists work with individuals having neurological disorders / diseases. These include stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and facial palsy. Impairments of vision, muscle strength, balance, movement, ambulation, and activities of daily living are common impairments associated with neurological conditions.

In this field physical therapists play an integral role in designing and implementing Interventions that seek to promote recovery, independence and improve quality of life through neurofacilitation, functional and compensatory training strategies. Interventions also focus on the prevention of secondary impairments. Furthermore; physiotherapy has a big role in slowing the disease progression in the progressive neurological problems.


Pulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary program of care for patients with respiratory impairment that is individually tailored and designed to optimize physical and social performance and autonomy.

Components of this program include exercise testing and training, secretion removal instruction, education, and psychological support COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis are the most common chronic obstructive lung disease for which pulmonary rehabilitation is rendered. Patients with restrictive lung disease have also demonstrated improvement in functional abilities following pulmonary rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation is also a multidisciplinary program.

In patients with cardiac problems like coronary artery disease or with multiple medical diagnosis only one of which is cardiac, physical therapists role is clear: to understand the pathophysiology of the disease process and the energy demands that are being placed on the patient, to accurately examine the patient, and to establish a safe plan of care. The ultimate goal is to improve the patient's physiological response to activity and, in doing so, decrease the work of the cardiovascular system.

Cardiac rehabilitation program begins in the hospital and extends into the maintenance phase.


As human grow older, there is often a general decline in strength, endurance and balance and so increase the risk of falling down that is a common cause of injury. Falling can lead to broken bones, head injuries and other problems that affect independency and quality of life.

Physical therapists can help elderly to improve strength, endurance, and balance and reduce pain. Keeping elderly moving well will prevent falls and injuries and so continue to enjoy life.


Physiotherapy plays an integral part in the multi-disciplinary approach to the management of sports injuries. The aim of physiotherapy is to treat and fully rehabilitate the athlete post-injury, post-operatively, to prevent further injury and to return the athlete to sport in the shortest possible time.


The vestibular system, or balance system, is found in your inner ear. It provides sensory information to your brain about the position of your head. The brain then affects our eye movements and our muscles that keep us upright. If your vestibular system is damaged, you may feel dizzy or lose of balance. Vestibular physiotherapy includes a thorough evaluation including identifying the exact circumstances that provoke symptoms and then designing an individualized treatment plan to t help desensitize and retrain the brain's reactions.

Who is the physiotherapist (PTs)?

Physiotherapist is the person who has a Bachelor degree in physiotherapy or equivalent or a higher degree in physiotherapy specialties.

Physiotherapists are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, which have physical problems caused by illness, accident or ageing that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

Physiotherapists also have an appreciation of psychological, cultural and social factors The core skills used by physiotherapists include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, functional training in self-care, functional training in community and work, and the application of electro-physical modalities.

Physiotherapy is a ''hands on'' physical career in every sense. The personal qualities needed for this rewarding role are tolerance, patience, compassion, and good communication skills.