During the past fifteen years physical therapy has assumed an important place in the armamentarium of physicians, and large amounts of time and money are expended in administering various forms of physical therapy to patients who are ill or who are convalescing from disease or from accidental or operative injuries. Naturally a considerable literature has accumulated on the subject, but the observations are largely clinical and are not carefully controlled. Consequently, the beneficial effects claimed for various physical therapeutic procedures cannot be accepted without reservations, because due allowance must be made for the enthusiasm of the physician and for the desire of the patient to get well, while little credit is given to the natural tendency of the injured tissues to heal and resume their normal functions.
As a matter of fact, a large percentage of the physical therapy which is used today is prescribed and administered empirically. This is
KEY JA, ELZINGA E, FISCHER F. LOCAL ATROPHY OF BONE: II. EFFECT OF LOCAL HEAT, MASSAGE AND THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE. Arch Surg. 1934;28(5):943–947. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01170170138011
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