Physicians like Hippocrates, and later Galenus, are believed to have been the first practitioners of physiotherapy, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques and hydrotherapy to treat people in 460 B.C. After the development of orthopedics in the eighteenth century, machines like the Gymnasticon were developed to treat gout and similar diseases by the systematic exercise of the joints, similar to later developments in physiotherapy.
The earliest documented origins of actual physiotherapy as a professional group date back to Per Henrik Ling “Father of Swedish Gymnastics” who founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for massage, manipulation, and exercise. In 1887, physiotherapists were given official registration by Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare. Other countries soon followed and in 1894 four nurses in Great Britain formed the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy / Physical Therapy. (2018, November 2). Physiopedia, .