History of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has been around and evolving since the 1800’s. It first began to improve function, mobility and injury in gymnastics setting in Sweden in 1813. About 100 years later physical therapists, known as “reconstruction aides” at the time, were used to help during the polio outbreak. Physical therapy soon got its start as a profession during the First World War and continued to gain respect and merit during the Second World War where physical therapists were used to treat soldiers with injuries including; amputations, burns, cold injuries, wounds, fractures, and nerve and spinal cord injuries. Techniques were developed throughout the years to continue to improve the ability to help with a variety of conditions including; musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, wound care, balance and vestibular and even animal rehabilitations.

Physical Therapy today has become a Doctoral Level profession and physical therapists have fought hard to gain autonomy in the medical profession. As a profession, we are working toward being the first line of evaluation as musculoskeletal experts to evaluate and address dysfunction and injury in the body. Physical therapy is useful as both rehabilitation and habilitation and is moving more toward a preventative therapy to address pain, mobility and function to improve overall quality of life.

At Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists, Physical Therapy has become a key component of the bio-pyscho-social model and our therapists work closely with the other medical professionals to offer patients complete and well-rounded care. We have had a physical therapy department at Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists since 2014 at the Reno location and recently expanded to the Sparks location in 2019 as well. Today, our therapists: Jamie Pribyl (Reno), Kelsey Tunney (Sparks) and Tristan Besa (Reno) use a “hands-on” approach and utilize a variety of manual techniques to treat the body as a whole. This manual restoration is paired with therapeutic exercise to strengthen, stretch and teach people how to move their bodies with less pain. We believe in one-on-one therapy to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible. If you are interested in the manual techniques we utilize, please check out our “Techniques” tab. You can also browse some of the common stretches we recommend for low back pain on our “Exercises” tab

Shaik AR, Shemjaz AM. The rise of physical therapy: A history in footsteps. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Nov 5];2:257-60.


"Jaime and Margaret have been the most help to me. I always feel better after a session with them and they are very kind and considerate of patients needs."

"Jamie the Physical Therapist is amazing, caring and compassionate. I always leave after PT feeling so much better. Please thank her."

"I see Kelsey for physical therapy in Sparks office. I just love her and she has helped me so much."

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