Physiotherapists (according to APTA, American Association of Physical Therapist) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility – in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.
Physiotherapists (PTs) can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physiotherapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes.
Physiotherapy includes two important aspects:
Physiotherapy Examination of the patient with impairments, functional limitations and disabilities or other health-related conditions to diagnose, prognose and determine the intervention. Examination includes different but overlapping domains. These are:
- Musculoskeletal examination (e.g. muscle strength and length testing, joint mobility, posture and gait)
- Neuromuscular examination(e.g. reflex integrity, cranial nerve integrity, neuromotor development and sensory integration)
- Cardiovascular/ pulmonary examination( e.g. aerobic capacity/ endurance, ventilation and respiration venous and lymphatic circulation)
- Integumentary examination( integumentary integrity, wounds, etc)
Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing and modifying therapeutic interventions. Over and above this, a physiotherapist is also involved in:
- Preventing injury, impairment and disability.
- identifying the risk factors in the occupation that may leads to injury in future.
- promotion and maintenance of fitness, health and quality of life.
- Engaging in consultation, education and research.
Thus, if you consult a physiotherapist, you can expect the improvement in activities of daily living, occupational health and related stresses, and better overall functional performance in the presence of an impairment.
How physiotherapist achieve this?
Physiotherapist basically have three arrays, which if combined properly can give tremendous improvement in functioning of a human body and thus normal, or near normal life. These arrays are :
This include the modalities that are applied to get desired results in terms of decreasing pain, increasing range of motion at different joint and improving the muscle performance. The modalities include:
- Hot Packs
- Short Wave Diathermy (SWD)
- Interferential Therapy (IFT)
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Ultrasonic Therapy (TENS)
- Electrical Stimulation
It is the systematic performance or execution of planned physical movements, postures, or activities intended to remediate or prevent impairments. These include:
- Aerobic and endurance conditioning and reconditioning
- Balance and co- ordination training
- Body mechanics and postural awareness training
- Movement pattern training
- Relaxed passive movements
- Active- assistive exercises
MOBILIZATION AND SPECIAL TECHNIQUES
With the advancing knowledge in the last decade about the body mechanics, nervous system and mind- body relationship, there are numerous changes, refinement and interventions in the field of physiotherapy. This is incorporated in the more aggressive and result- oriented approaches that helps in better restoration of function in lesser time as compared to conservative approaches. This includes:
- Mobilisation and Manipulation of joints
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Neural tension techniques
- Proprioceptive training
- Neurodevelopmental & Sensory integration approaches.
Thus, Physiotherapy provides a comprehensive and holistic treatment approach after complete evaluation and assessment of individual health. And in turn helps in:
- Relief from pain
- Speedy recovery from your ailment
- Better physical and social health.