World Physical Therapy Day takes place every year on the 8th of September. The aim is to make people aware of the benefits and need for physical therapy. Physical therapy or physiotherapy is an important field in which physical ailments are treated through massage, exercise, heating, ultrasound waves, and many other methods. An important aspect of physiotherapy is that it is a treatment that treats the disease without medication and the person can return to their previous state of health through various physical exercises. Physiotherapy is popular not only for bone and joint pain, inflammation, injury, rehabilitation after surgery but also for patients after neurosurgery, lung and heart surgery.
In our society nowadays, back pain is becoming more and more common due to constant bent work on computer or laptop, whether at home or in the office. In the past, back pain was a problem only for the elderly, but nowadays, everyone, big or small, seems to be experiencing the problem. The main reason for this is the sitting and standing style and doing daily activities while sitting. Unfortunately, the affected person is constantly unaware of the complications or various diseases arising from this position. A physiotherapist can provide accurate information about the correct positions for sitting and working.
Physiotherapists mostly use physical exercise for treatment. It is also called physical therapy in common parlance. This treatment can treat various ailments of the body such as joint and muscle pain, neuralgia, paralysis, mental and physical disabilities, polio, etc. Physiotherapy is also used after an accidental fracture and disability. Today there are many centers where physiotherapy is available through the best and latest machines and under the surveillance of the best physiotherapists.
Purpose of Physical Therapy
The purpose of Physical Therapy is to help you return to an active life as quickly as possible and to the best, you can accomplish. Physical Therapy strives to reduce pain, increase flexibility, range of motion, and function, build strength, and correct posture. Patient education is an important component of Physical Therapy. Patients learn how their spine works, proper body mechanics, common disorders and their causes, benefits of good posture, the importance of physical fitness and its relationship to illness and injury, prevention, and progress.
History of Physiotherapy
In relation to certain records (symbolic and written) discovered by historians, physical therapy treatments such as therapeutic massages, hydrotherapy, and exercises were used in India, China, and Greece thousands of years ago.
Around 1000 B.C., Chinese people used to perform a physical exercise called Kung Fu to correct body positioning and improve breathing. In old Indian scripts, there were also some exercises and massages found to treat arthritis.
In primeval Greece, Herodicus, a well-known Greek physician, elucidates about exercises recognized as Ars Gymnastics or The Art of Gymnastics that contains walking, weight lifting, and wrestling to improve some feverish conditions.
In 460 BC, Hippocrates, a primordial Greek physician, customarily known as the Father of Medicine, stressed on exercising to develop and boost physical strength. Hydrotherapy was employed during the same year by Hector. Additionally, Aristotle also recommended that messaging with oil can relieve fatigue and stress.
Around 180 B.C., Romans implemented a type of exercise recognized as gymnastics to recover physical strength. Later on, in the second century, Galen, a famous Greek physician, surgeon, and philosopher educated about performing contemporary exercises to recover the overall strength.
Modern physiotherapy uses all methods such as massage, hand pressure, electricity, ultrasound waves, heat and cold pads, hot water exercise, etc. Given the importance of physiotherapy in Britain in 1893, it was introduced as a separate branch of medicine, after which regular medical and research programs in this field of medicine were formally launched. In 1921 Mary McMillan founded a physiotherapy association in the United States called the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and then gradually medical experts adopted various researches in this field and gained innovation and expertise in various ways in its various therapies.
Patients with respiratory disease are sometimes to have physical therapy. In such patients, chest physiotherapy is performed, which makes it easier for them to breathe.
There are specific physical therapies for many neurological and mental illnesses such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, congenital mental retardation, etc. Acupuncture is also considered part of physiotherapy in many countries, and many physiotherapists practice acupuncture and chiropractic, among other methods.
Physiotherapy is also most commonly used for the neck, shoulder, back, and lumbar pain. Sometimes the pain is caused by a blockage of a vein in the bones or joints. In such pain, any part of the body, especially the arm or justify, feels numb, feel sticky, and painful. In this case, for inflammation use cold patches, keep a cold cloth or ice in swollen place. If there is only pain and no inflammation, keep a warm cloth heating pad on the spot. Physiotherapy is not done if there are excruciating pain and inflammation and for that medicine is given for almost one week to alleviate some of the pain and then physiotherapy is started.
Physiotherapy for frozen shoulder, sciatica, knee pain, neck pain, and lumbar spine, provides significant relief in two to three weeks.
Many physiotherapists now practice acupuncture, reflexology, pressure therapy, and chiropractic among other methods. These are ancient Chinese therapies that have now been incorporated into physiotherapy in many countries. According to them, there are many points or places in the body that are activated by applying pressure with hands, massage, acupuncture, applying heat, or applying electric shock. The nerves in these places send messages to the internal organs and organs of the body, which increase or decrease the number of chemicals, and reach the required amount, and reduce the discomfort. For that, especially on the palms and soles of the feet are massaged daily and pressure is applied, which gradually improves the internal organs and system.
Physical Therapy for Paralysis Treatment
Paralysis is considered to be the leading cause of disability worldwide. The causes of paralysis include depression, poor eating habits, high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, and diabetes. In a stroke, one side of the body suddenly becomes weak, the tongue staggers, and the vision can be affected. Some patients even become unable to walk. Physiotherapy also plays an important role in the treatment of paralyzed patients.
Physical Therapy for Sports Injuries
Additionally, athletes suffer from a variety of injuries, which is why each team requires a physical therapist to help keep them fit, including providing immediate medical assistance. Physiotherapy also plays an important role in protecting long-term bedridden and ICU patients from further complications.
Physiotherapy also helps in maintaining balance and prevents falls, helps control diabetes and coronary heart disease, helps prevent age-related problems, as well as heart and lung disease. Chest physiotherapy is recommended for patients with respiratory diseases, which makes breathing easier.
Arthritis is a very painful disease; physiotherapy is also advised to the affected patients along with painkillers. Physiotherapy is a successful treatment for polio, sciatica, post-operative nervous weakness, numbness of hands and feet, mental retardation, or other similar ailments and diseases. Physical therapy is also important in restoring health after heart surgery.
Physical Therapy Helps with Women’s Health Problems
Due to the unhealthy and negative lifestyle, in today’s busy life many people are suffering from neck, back, and joint pain. This is partly due to the prolonged sitting, use of spicy food, and new technology. At the same time, joint pain is more common in women. These problems are usually treated with medications that have their own importance and relieve discomfort, but physiotherapy is very useful for long-term or permanent relief. Women who suffer from back pain during pregnancy, postpartum complications, and after pregnancy also need physiotherapy treatment. Also, physiotherapy treatment is considered beneficial for women.
Benefits of Physiotherapy on Women’s Health:
- Physiotherapy provides relief from pregnancy pain
- Provide strengthening to overall health
- Kegel or pelvic floor exercises for a controlled childbirth
- Physiotherapy also controls urinary functions
- Activates pelvic floor
Most pediatric services are given to infants often get disregarded. Many of these treatments and services assist in the improved development and growth of the child, both physically and mentally. One such service is pediatric physiotherapy. It would never cross an individual’s mind to take their children to the physiotherapist; however, this carries lots of benefits.
Pediatric Physiotherapy Advantages:
- Pediatric physiotherapy can improve the motor skills of your child
- It also helps in dealing with developmental delays and genetic disorders
- Pediatric physiotherapy also provide fast recovery from sports injuries, head trauma and pain
- It also normalizes body movements
- Pediatric physiotherapy develops strength, balance, and endurance in your child
As our age passes, our metabolism slows down, and some underlying health issues start to become prominent. To avert this or to control previously existing symptoms, Geriatric Physiotherapy can be necessary in maintaining health in our later age. Geriatric Physiotherapy facilitates us to employ our muscles in a way that helps us work in an effective and efficient manner and reduce the chances of injuries in elderly age.
Benefits of Geriatric Physiotherapy:
- You can also restore strength, mobility, and endurance with the help of geriatric physiotherapy
- It also reduces chronic pain
- Geriatric physiotherapy also improves fitness and wellbeing
- Improves bad posture
- It also resolves the physical limitations
Neurological Physiotherapy helps manage any conditions associated with the nervous system. Neurological physiotherapy also helps in issues like sciatica, head injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and many other related diseases. It not only strengthens the neurological system but provides help to an individual in regaining all his mobility. It also can help keep away from any diseases derives from the neurological and neuromuscular systems.
Neurological Physiotherapy Benefits:
- Restores neural pathways
- Improves motor control, balance, and eye-to-hand coordination
- It also increases sensation in the body
- Neurological physiotherapy repairs soft tissue damage
- Kinetic link training
- Plays an important role after brain surgery
Cardio-respiratory, pulmonary and vascular physiotherapy can be useful to patients suffering from diseases of heart, chest, and lungs. This physiotherapy treatment helps in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from cardiac arrest or some other chronic pulmonary diseases.
Cardio-Respiratory Physiotherapy Benefits:
- Provides resistance from different ailments
- Breathing and circulatory exercises
- Cardio-respiratory Physiotherapy helps manage shortness of breath and chronic cough
- It also provides positioning for the best possible lung expansion
- Provides rehabilitation for cardiac and pulmonary conditions
Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is another form of physiotherapy that deals with the reinstatement of entire and unlocked functions of the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is also known as Orthopaedic Physiotherapy. This orthopedic or musculoskeletal system includes bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, as well as joints.
Advantages of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy;
- Musculoskeletal physiotherapy also helps in alleviating pain
- It also increases mobilization
- Orthopedic physiotherapy rectifies injuries
- It also aligns the whole musculoskeletal system
- Cures soft tissue damage
Physiotherapy for Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that can be severe and can be fatal. It is the leading cause of death in the United States alone. Even before COVID-19, pneumonia was common in many countries. About one-third of these elderly people visited the hospital several times a year and died. Surviving patients become so weak that they cannot do their normal work.
Janet Freiberger, a physiotherapist at the University of Pittsburgh, said that as physiotherapy is increased in pneumonia patients, the incidence of hospitalizations and deaths decreases. He made the announcement after studying 30,000 patients at the Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. All of these patients had pneumonia or influenza.
Dr. Janet said she was not surprised by the results because physiotherapy keeps her away from the hospital and now data and surveys have confirmed it. The survey looked at thousands of patients aged 18 or over and carefully studied their data. Tracey Evaloth, another physiotherapist, says it resolves patients’ problems and makes it easier for them to walk.
Not only do pneumonia patients get rid of the fear of death, but they get better and better. Experts then insist that all hospitals provide physiotherapy to pneumonia patients. The study found that timely and accurate physiotherapy and occupational therapy can help pneumonia patients recover faster.
Seven Diseases That Can Be Treated With Physiotherapy
1. Heart Diseases
Physiotherapy is effective in protecting against heart disease, but people with heart disease can also benefit from this treatment. A physiotherapist can help you keep your weight in check and reduce it. Keeping cholesterol levels within healthy limits is extremely important for heart patients and physiotherapy can help you with this. Physiotherapy rehabilitation programs are very important for people who have had a heart attack. Physiotherapy will not only make them feel better but also have a positive effect on their heart health.
2. Bladder Weakness
Millions of people worldwide suffer from urinary incontinence due to bladder weakness; this includes both men and women. But few people know how beneficial it can be to have physiotherapy in this situation. The physiotherapist may suggest an exercise program for your affected muscles to help strengthen those muscles and reduce the associated symptoms.
Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects women the most. Did you know that physiotherapy can help you better cope with this disease and the risks involved? With the help of this method of treatment, exercises can be suggested for you, which will not only strengthen your bones but also improve your overall fitness and balance and reduce the chances of falling and breaking bones to a great extent.
4. Problems with the Growth of Children
Many parents are worried that their child is not sitting or walking on time. Treatment with a pediatric physiotherapist can also be very helpful in case of other growth problems and hyperactivity in children.
This respiratory disease can be life-threatening for most people. Asthma patients can get a lot of help in controlling their disease and improving their quality of life if they consult a physiotherapist along with other treatments.
There are several types of headaches including migraine, cluster headache, and stress headache. The physiotherapist can determine the type of headache and take steps to help relieve headaches and migraine complaints.
Back pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages without distinction. In physiotherapy, it is possible to reduce this pain with the help of massage and exercise. You will be amazed that with a few simple exercises, you will be able to get rid of this pain forever. If you suffer from a similar ailment, be sure to consult a good physiotherapist. Not only can this reduce the cost of treatment, but it can also improve your overall health and make life more enjoyable