First Advisor

Edward Degrauw

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors




Physical therapy -- History, Physical therapy -- Vocational guidance




The profession of physical therapy today is the culmination of various techniques, approaches, and knowledge sources from many different disciplines and philosophies. It is a highly dynamic and progressive field which focuses on incorporating new knowledge and techniques into the established practice: while some aspects can be traced back several millennia, others are the product of evolution and modernization within the field due to discoveries and advances in medical science as well as the needs and demands of the ever changing general population. In order to trace the evolution of the field, this review considered not only the direct progression, but also the cultural history that is associated with its development: the influencing factors in the world that allowed or required the changes that led to the profession as it is today. The evidence, therefore, incorporates contemporary sources throughout the frame of reference: relevant primary and secondary sources from the disciplines of history, medicine, and culture, among others.


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