ABOUT PHYSIOTHERAPY

The Philosophy behind Physiotherapy is to make the physical therapy science extremely simple. What is meant by the above statement that the machine named as a human body responds to the physical therapy in the most scientific method possible. Physical Fitness Physiotherapy identifies the root cause of the problems and starts oiling the portions of the body which is not responding or from where the root cause of the medical problems of the body starts from. A smart and qualified physiotherapist looks at the problem eye to eye and tooth to tooth. They do not focus on one area like other disciplines but has an overall assessment of the entire body and then derives the root cause of the problem. Once identified, they go about a detailed plan as to tackle the problem, plans out a rehabilitation program keeping in account the health condition and works as a master craftsman by going step by step to solve the problem. A rehabilitation program’s time frame is ascertained depending on the condition of the patient and is reviewed periodically. Dr. Mukherjee feels that the awareness among the people for the Philosophy behind Physiotherapy is very poor as people tend to neglect this discipline. People need to be educated and made aware the goodness of Physiotherapy and how it can change the lives of people by treating the disease from the root which is the most essential factor. It is just not an exercise but a science of going step by step to the cause of the problem and giving remedial measures to cure the cause.

“Physiotherapy” is a health science that aims in rehabilitation and enhance individuals with movement chaos by utilizing evidence-based, natural process like motivation, exercise, education, advocacy and adapted tools. Physiotherapists study subjects like neuroscience, physiology and anatomy for developing attitudes and skills that are very much required for health prevention, education, rehabilitation and treatment of the patients with disabilities and physical ailments.

WHO defines “Physiotherapy” (http;//www.who.int/hrh/statistics/Health-workers-classification.pdf) “Physiotherapy assess, plan and implement rehabilitative programs that improve or restore human motor function, maximize movement ability, relieve pain syndromes, and treat or prevent physical challenges associated with injuries, diseases and other impairments.

They apply a broad range of physical therapies and techniques such as movement ,ultrasound, heating, laser and other techniques. They may develop and implement programmers for screening and prevention of common physical activities and disorders”.

pain relife

It is sad to say that there are still many educated people in India who think that physiotherapy is only related to a few exercises. “Physiotherapy is a science in itself”. One might be suffering from cardiopulmonary ,orthopaedic, paediatric, neurology, sports injury, congenital abnormality, to name a few, where physical management becomes as a essential part of the rehabilitation process and some times is the only process.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN ORTHOPAEDIC

There are numerous instances where Physiotherapy has saved many patients having arthritis, fractures, sports injuries, sprains, amputations, impaired posture, impaired muscle functions, impaired joint mobility, muscle performance, motor function inability, Cervical and Lumber Spondylosis, Frozen Shoulder, Total knee replacement, total hip replacement, Arthroscopy, Ligament Surgery and Trauma. Physical Fitness The therapy includes a detailed study of the conditions of the patient and prescribes proper remedial measures like exercise, post-operative care involving a lot of planning and rehabilitation program.

PRE & POST SPINAL PROBLEMS

The anatomy of the spine can be defined that it is made up of individual bones called vertebrae joined together by muscles and ligaments. Intervertebral disc are flat and soft. They separate and cushion each vertebra from one another. They make it flexible due to which we are able to bend. Different regions are termed differently like the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (chest); lumbar and sacral spines (lower back). A normal and healthy spine has a front to back curve (normal cervical lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and lumbar lordosis). If the curve becomes larger than normal then it poses problems for the human body.

  • Thoracic hyper-kyphosis, round back occurs when the backward curve in the upper spine becomes large. It is also known as Scheuermann’s disease or kyphosis.
  • Hypo-kyphosis happens when there is not enough backward curve in the upper spine.
  • Hyper-lordosis or swayback happens when the inward curve in the lower back is very large.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS

Neurological Physiotherapy is the treatment of neurological disorders like Stroke and Parkinson Disease. Neurological physiotherapy is a specialized field in itself. It is the treatment of the nervous system where the muscles can be tight with spasms or weak or they might have tremors with paralyzed uncoordinated movement leading to movement disorders. Physical Fitness Speech and swallowing can also be severely affected in such a neurological disorder. Physiotherapy planning and scheduling is done by the physiotherapist along with the patient / family members for the remedial procedure.

In the event of a stroke physiotherapy needs to be administered as early as possible until the patient is able to reach their optimum potential of commencing their daily activity tasks. Administering physiotherapy in the very early stage is extremely helpful for the patients. Maximum recovery time happens in a month’s time following the stroke after which the rehabilitation process becomes slow. Cerebral palsy – A neurological disorder Cerebral stands for Cerebrum and Palsy stands for disorder. Cerebral Palsy is the physical disorder that is caused by the inability of the brain to stimulate muscle coordination or movement and motor skills. The condition is developed in complicated pregnancy cases, difficult delivery, and brain trauma. Physiotherapy has got a few types, which can treat cerebral palsy. Physical therapy is one of them that help patients having cerebral palsy develop gross motor skills. Gross Motor Skills are the movement of large muscle of the body like the legs and the arms. This leads to the improvement of body balance and movement. A physiotherapist helps further development of the musculoskeletal problems in patients having cerebral palsy. The next type of cerebral physiotherapy is occupational therapy facilitating the movement of smaller muscles that is known as the fine motor skills. Face, Fingers, Hands, Toes and feet are examples of the small muscles. Adaptive equipment like wheel chairs, walkers, eating utensils allows greater flexibility in treating cerebral palsy patients. Physiotherapists also use speech and language therapy to enable flexibility to the face and jaw muscles. Speech and Sign language communication considerably improve the cerebral palsy patients’ condition by using communication tools like computers and visual tools. Sensory integration therapy is another therapy which teaches the sequence of movement and helps patients in absorbing sensory kind of information.

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

In today’s ever demanding work environment, occupational hazards are on the rise. You will find all young IT and ITES professionals complaining of neck pain, stress, spondylosis problems, and cervical problems. Maximum problems that occur are due to long hours of sitting on a chair. Postural problems are also a common cause where the professionals work in such a position that they develop serious posture problems. A common example is sitting in a non-upright position on the chair or not following basic ergonomics. Ergonomics have long tried to define postures that minimize unnecessary static work and reducing undue stress on a particular body part. People should follow the ergonomic principles where:

  • The workers can adapt different, safe and healthy postures.
  • Muscular work should be done with the largest muscle base groups.
  • Work should be performed with joints at about mid-point of their movement range like the head, trunks and neck.

There are techniques that are taught like the “Alexander Technique”. This technique identifies basic wrongs which a person does while working in their day-to-day lives. It teaches people of avoiding work habits that create excessive amount of static work and the reduction of stress to specific portions of the body through unnecessary muscular force. There are numerous examples of people suffering from occupational hazards where the workers and staff need to be more conscious in their daily postural problems while doing their daily occupational work. A conscious and educated individual regarding postural problems can significantly decrease the occurrence of such occupational hazards and lead a comfortable life.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN PEDIATRICS

Just as Paediatricians need to be extremely patient with their child patients which requires a great deal of concentration while treating them, physiotherapists also needs to go through the same methodology which is very different compared to other adult patients. Paediatrics disorders can be controlled by Physiotherapy. The common examples among many paediatric disorders are scoliosis, torticollis, Os-Good Schlatter, developmental disorders, injuries involving trauma or sue to sports, genetic disorders, and cerebral palsy. In scoliosis (different spinal problems like sxoiliuosis, kyphosis, lordosis) where the spine gets affected, physiotherapy exercises helps the patients strengthen their back. Physical Fitness to treat traumatic children it is extremely important for the physiotherapist to work with the child in helping them out to come out of the traumatic incident with great psychological therapy being involved. In grave sports injuries it is important to stress on the injured body parts and draft a remedial program which might stretch to weeks and months depending on the intensity of the injury.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN CARDIOPULMONARY DISEASES

Physiotherapy is of immense value to patients having cardiopulmonary distress like asthma, acute chest infection, trauma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Post-Myocardial infarction (MI) and post surgery training and recovery of patients. Physiotherapy has taken a giant leap forward in treating patients with non organic respiratory syndromes like hyperventilation and other stress related disorders, cardio pulmonary treatment and non invasive ventilation.

Treatment involves a rigorous exercise that meets the respective aliments of the patient, manual techniques like cleaning infected mucus from a person’s chest.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN GERIATRICS

Geriatric Physiotherapy involves therapy for diseases occurring mainly due to old age like arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, balance disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, joint replacement, pulmonary diseases, and stroke. Geriatric Physiotherapy became a specialty physical therapy in 1989.

Treatment for cardiovascular disease exercise, aqua therapy, and electrical stimulation is the normal treatment measures in physiotherapy. For skeletal problems like osteoporosis the treatment strategy is to improve the bone density and reducing the likelihood of falls. Treatment goals can be defined by assessing signs and symptoms, ability to function, mobility that gives specific planning for proceeding in such a treatment. Since the main aim and focus is on increasing peak bone mass for middle-aged adults. For the elderly patients focus is more on conserving the bone mass, reducing falls, increasing the mobility and the ability to go about with their daily activities.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN INTEGUMENTARY

Integumentary physiotherapy is the treatment done to heal wounds caused by burns, injury which involves the skin. Physiotherapists go about their treatment with the help of surgical instruments like mechanical lavage, dressings and topical agents to promote tissue growth within the skin. Edema control, compression garments, splinting, exercise are the general methods of treatment.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is also an area where physiotherapy helps the mother to know the exercises required during and after pregnancy to maintain good health. Musculoskeletal discomfort is a common discomfort experienced by nearly all the women during pregnancy. Common problems arising in pregnancy are a) lower back pain b) Headaches and Neck pain caused by postural problems, c) Painful Hamstrings and Heel cords, d) Arm pain, e) Bladder Leakage and f) stretching of abdominal walls causing back pain & delivery problems.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN RESPIRATORY SYNDROMES

Physiotherapy has a very important role to play in respiratory syndromes where patients are unable to breathe from the nose where they need to do mouth breathing or any artificial way. Respiratory System pumps gas to the lungs, makes way for gas exchanges to tissue cells, helps in metabolism and speech. For patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome [ARDS], physiotherapy aims to provide a) removal of retained secretions, b) Exercise for Passive and Active movements, c) Chest therapy involving positioning to enhance secretion removal and gas exchanges, shaking and vibrations etc.

PHYSIOTHERAPY IN OSTEOARTHRITIS

Are you having a stiff joint, swelling or pain in your knees, ankles, hips, feet, hands and spine? In such a case you should visit a good physiotherapist as you might be having osteoarthritis. It can be as severe where joint replacements might be required. The exact cause of it is unknown but it is widely believed that it can due to an injury or constant stress on a specific joint or body part over the years. Obesity also plays a part as they cause strain on the weight bearing joints.

Physiotherapist will take a calculated route of rehabilitation where they need to know the functioning ability of the joints and the effect of it in their daily lives. The therapy will involve the following depending on the intensity of the problem.

  • Daily Exercise
  • Manual Therapy
  • Lifestyle and Posture advice
  • Application of heat or cold to affected parts
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Balanced diet with adequate supplement of calcium.

PRE & POST NATAL CLASS

Pre Natal stands for Pre-pregnancy and Post Natal stands for after pregnancy. Physiotherapy has a huge role to play in pre and postnatal situations with classes conducted by experts in this field. The objective of these classes is to educate the pregnant mothers about pregnancy and labour. Audio-Visual aids are used to make the classes more absorbing. Interactivity amongst therapists and mothers make it a better learning curve for the mothers where the dos and don’ts are mentioned that helps a lot in pre and post natal care.

MANUAL THERAPY

Manual therapy / manipulation therapy is a treatment primarily used by physiotherapist; chiropractors and osteopaths to treat musculoskeletal pain and disabilities. It most commonly includes joint mobilization, joint manipulation and soft tissue mobilization.

Other style of manual therapy:
  • Vertebral manipulation
  • Peripheral manipulation
  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Muscle activation techniques (MAT)
  • Muscle energy techniques (MET)
  • Myo therapy
  • Tractions

TAPING TECHNIQUE

Taping / strapping techniques are effectively used in both for prevention and treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal, anomalies as an aid to prevention, the role of taping is to decrease the frequency and severity of a injury. Broadly speaking the techniques is applied in the following circumstances. 1. In the acute phase immediately following an injury. This is to prevent further movement which may aggravate the injury and also to provide compressive support in an effort to contort the amount of swelling. 2. during the active rehabilitation period to provide mechanical support and proprioceptive feedback to the damaged joint in efforts to reduce the risk of an injury.

Commonest cases where taping helps:
  • Acute sprains and strains
  • plantar fasciitis
  • tennis elbow
  • patello femoral dysfunction
  • sacro-iliac joint dysfunction
  • shoulder impingement syndrome.