Over the centuries, manipulative interventions have fallen in and out of favor with the medical profession. The earliest historical reference to the practice of joint mobilization therapy dates back to 400 BCE. in Europe. Manipulative therapy also was initially the mainstay of the two leading alternative health care systems, osteopathy and chiropractic, both founded in the latter part of the 19th century in response to shortcomings in allopathic medicine who were heavily swayed towards drugs and amputations.
Per Henrik Ling
Per Henrik Ling (1776–1837) was a Swedish physiologist, gymnastics instructor, and expert fencer who was a scientific champion of hydrotherapy, exercise, and massage. Physiology was a rapidly growing science and Ling was able to show how exercise, passive and active, could have a beneficial, therapeutic effect. He is correctly credited with starting the Swedish Gymnastic Movement System (and incorrectly credited with creating the system of Swedish massage).
With medical and osteopathic physicians initially instrumental in introducing manipulative therapy to the profession of physical therapy, physical therapists have since then provided strong contributions to the field, thereby solidifying the profession’s claim to have manipulative therapy within in its legally regulated scope of practice.