An introduction to physiotherapy

  • By Dr. Shalini Kapoor

Diseases, accidents and many other reasons may affect the working abilities of a person. Sometimes, after surgical operations, many find it difficult to get back on their feet or start working normally with their hands. Most of such problems, and many more related to the physical aspect of a person, are treated through physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is a healthcare science branch concerned with the physical aspects and care of an individual. In this therapy, the caregiver maintains and rehabilitates the physical activities of an individual, so that the lost activity can be brought back to near normalcy. For achieving perfection, the physiotherapists make use of physical agents.

Working of physiotherapists

Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who are specifically trained to carry out this mode of treatment. The therapy makes use of different physical methods such as manipulation and massage for promoting well being and healing. The physiotherapists often take the help of physical agents to restore the range of movement of a person, after an illness or injury. These professionals carry out their work in different places such as GP surgeries, workplaces, private practices, hospitals and the community.

People who have had a stroke, or a recent surgery, or are suffering from breathing difficulties, heart problems, or even sports injuries, can benefit from physiotherapy.

When do you need physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists should be approached to treat problems related to:

  1. Joints
  2. Muscles
  3. Blood circulation
  4. Heart
  5. Lungs

Physiotherapy is also recommended for people with neurological conditions and mental health conditions, that may affect the workings of the nervous system and the brain. It is also advised for treating chronic health conditions.

Techniques of physiotherapy

A physiotherapist makes use of different techniques and approaches to help a person overcome short-health problems or injury. The techniques of physiotherapy are also applied to manage and reduce the problems caused due to long-term disability. Some of the methods are as follows:

Massage and manipulation

Physiotherapists massage the limbs and joints that are stiff and causing pain. They manipulate the movement of the joints to encourage more activity and flow of blood to the injured area of the body. This contributes in rapid recovery of the injury and a free flow movement of the stiff body areas. The masseurs, who massage these affected areas, are trained and know the exact way in which the massage needs to be done, to encourage blood flow.

Use of special effects

The therapy also makes use of various effects such as electric current, light, cold, heat and water. Again, it needs an expert to determine the amount of current or heat radiation that is needed for treating an individual. Many a times, the right combination of multiple effects can also be implemented to ensure rapid recovery.

Remedial exercises

Remedial exercises are prescribed taking into consideration the health condition of the patient. The physiotherapists provide support to the patients so that they can perform the exercises, while managing their chronic conditions.

The different approaches and techniques of physiotherapy, improve the ability of an individual to use the various body parts that have been affected by injury or a particular health condition. The best example is that, of arthritis. A patient suffering from this chronic condition has to bear a lot of pain and has a severe problem of stiff joints. With regular remedial exercises and with the help of an expert physiotherapist, the affected joints can be made mobile and the muscles surrounding these joints can be made stronger, over a period.