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

Kay Nias

I had the great pleasure of spending an hour in conversation with Dr Kay Nias this morning. Kay is a Medicine Galleries Research Fellow at the Science Museum specializing in the history of physiotherapy, and has recently posted a beautifully illustrated and written piece on the history of the wheelchair

The Man in the Middle of Modern American Physical Therapy

I think one of the best things PTs can do when they come out of school [is to] go in a hospital.  Work inpatient/outpatient.  Learn the medical side of things.  Learn things about illness, learn things about other disciplines… Mike Rogers has been a practicing physical therapist specializing in orthopedic

The wonders of the Wellcome Archive

There are many wondrous things to be found at the Wellcome Library in London (link). Some years ago I spend a very happy month at the Wellcome researching the archives of the CSP for my doctorate, and a few days ago I stumbled across a file of photos I’d taken

C

Call for Papers

MECHANICAL MEDICINE Exploring the History of Healing by Exercise, Manipulation and Massage. 23 May 2019, Science Museum, London. A symposium at the Science Museum, London, organised by Dr Kay Nias (Medicine Galleries Research Fellow). ‘Physical medicine’ or ‘physical therapy’ has ancient origins. For thousands of years, people with illnesses and

Sir Charles Strong applying a low frequency current

A royal history of animal physiotherapy

‘’As humans respond so rapidly to this form of treatment for their injuries, why isn’t it used on horses for theirs?’’ Lord Luis Mountbatten to Sir Charles Strong (1939) Many will know of Lord Luis Mountbatten, a great british sailor, a notable diplomat, and the last Viceroy of India. Many

The first self-propelled wheelchair built by German paraplegic, Stephan Farffler

History of the Wheelchair

The 1st of March is International Wheelchair Day so we are getting ready for the celebrations by having a look back at the history of the wheelchair. While both chairs and wheels have been around of thousands of years, the Ancient Greeks and the Chinese were the first to combine

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