The first ever special issue on the history of physiotherapy moves closer

Last year we began work on the first ever special issue Physiotherapy Theory and Practice dedicated to the history of physiotherapy, and today the project moved a step closer. All eight draft papers were sent off for peer review today, and we’re posting all of the draft abstracts here so

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Mystery Physiotherapy History

Those of you older than, say, 50, should have no trouble identifying these.  So do you know what they are and what we did with them?

Notes from IPHA Whole Group meeting – May 2019

We had a really lovely post-WCPT meeting of the whole IPHA membership this week. You can find links to the agenda and audio recording here. There were some decisions made at the meeting that will shape some of the work of the IPHA for the next year or so: The

Light therapy

Physiotherapy has a long history with light therapy. Throughout much of the 20th century, light therapies were an integral part of the therapists toolkit. And actinotherapy – or the therapeutic use of artificial non-ionising radiations, especially ultraviolet light and infra-red (Beckett 1955, 1) – has formed perhaps the largest part.

Analysis of Physiotherapy through Art History

We are well accustomed to photographs of World War I physiotherapy wards. Busy rooms, filled with rehabilitating soldiers offer a glimpse into a past world and the beginnings of a new profession. In contrast, a painting of the very same scene offers far greater insight, as we get to see what

Obituary: Freddy Kaltenborn (1923-2019)

A giant has died, the likes of which we will see no more. He was the right man at the right time. Physical Therapy had not yet become a profession when in the 1950’s Freddy Kaltenborn then of Norway and later of Germany, began his interest in mastering joint manipulation.

Plaster of Paris

Immobilisation of injured limbs has been performed for thousands of years and starch-based casts were the standard treatment, with only minor changes, until the beginning of the 19th century. Many centuries before it was introduced as a cast material, Plaster of Paris (PoP)* was well known as a building material. Egyptians

Pictures and stories

One of the facets of the IPHA that sets it apart from many of the other sub-groups of physiotherapists is its rich heritage of pictures and stories. Whereas for some groups a scientific paper or a treatment pathway best expresses the work of the people in the group, pictures and

Origins of the Bad Ragaz Ring Method

The waters of Bad (Bath) Ragaz, Switzerland enjoy a long history of healing, which began in 1240 when hunters from the local monastery discovered an extraordinary warm thermal spring in the Tamina Gorge, close to the nearby Mountain town of Pfäfers. Bathing activities started soon afterwards by drilling bathtubs into

A Heart Stopping Game

Physios are like goal keepers and umpires: you don’t notice the good ones. A shell shocked and broken England cricket team was touring New Zealand in February 1975 for a two match test series.  Having just faced the fearsome pace attack of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in Australia and

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