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What is Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy?

Specialist Hospital

Specialist Hospital

  Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   9 min     

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Physical therapy or physiotherapy (often abbreviated to PT) is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty that, by using mechanical force and movements, remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention. It is performed by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in many countries).

In addition to clinical practice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapy profession include research, education, consultation, and administration. Physical therapy services may be provided alongside, or in conjunction with, other medical services.

Physical therapy (or Physiotherapy) attempts to address the illnesses, or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.


PTs use an individual's history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings.

 

Electro diagnostic testing (e.g., electro myograms and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be used. PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, education, physical agents which includes heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, rays, prescription of assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses and other interventions.

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, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan.

This includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.

Physical therapy is a professional career which has many specialties including sports, neurology, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, orthopedics, women's health, and pediatrics.

Neurological rehabilitation is in particular a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and this workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities.

Physical therapy (or Physiotherapy) attempts to address the illnesses, or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

PTs use an individual's history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings. Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g., electromyograms and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be used.

 PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, education, physical agents which includes heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, rays, prescription of assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses and other interventions.



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, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan.

This includes providing therapeutic treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.

Physical therapy is a professional career which has many specialties including sports, neurology, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, orthopedics, women's health, and pediatrics.

Neurological rehabilitation is in particular a rapidly emerging field. PTs practice in many settings, such as private-owned physical therapy clinics, outpatient clinics or offices, health and wellness clinics, rehabilitation hospitals facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial and this workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities.

Educational criteria for physical therapy providers vary from state to state and from country to country, and among various levels of professional responsibility.

Most U.S. states have physical therapy practice acts that recognize both physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) and some jurisdictions also recognize physical therapy technicians (PT Techs) or aides. Most countries have licensing bodies that require physical therapists to be a member of before they can start practicing as independent professionals.

Physical therapist assistants may deliver treatment and physical interventions for patients and clients under a care plan established by and under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Physical therapist assistants in the United States are currently trained under associate of applied sciences curricula specific to the profession, as outlined and accredited by CAPTE.

As of August 2011, there were 276 accredited two-year (Associate degree) programs for physical therapist assistants In the United States of America.

According to CAPTE, as of 2012 there are 10,598 students currently enrolled in 280 accredited PTA programs in the United States.


Curricula for the physical therapist assistant associate degree include:

Anatomy & physiology

Exercise physiology

Human biology

Physics

Biomechanics

Kinesiology

Neuroscience

Clinical pathology

Behavioral sciences

Communication

Ethics

Research

Other coursework as required by individual programs.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation respiratory practitioners and physical therapists offer therapy for a wide variety of cardiopulmonary disorders or pre and post cardiac or pulmonary surgery. An example of cardiac surgery is coronary bypass surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasing endurance and functional independence.

Manual therapy is used in this field to assist in clearing lung secretions experienced with cystic fibrosis. Pulminary disorders, heart attacks, post coronary bypass surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis, treatments can benefit[citation needed] from cardiovascular and pulmonary specialized physical therapists

 Neurological physical therapy is a field focused on working with individuals who have a neurological disorder or disease. These can include stroke, chronic back pain, Alzheimer's disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), ALS, brain injury, cerebral palsy, l.g.b. syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, facial palsy and spinal cord injury. Common impairments associated with neurologic conditions include impairments of vision, balance, ambulation, activities of daily living, movement, muscle strength and loss of functional independence.

The techniques involve in neurological physical therapy are wide ranging and often require specialized training.

Neurological physiotherapy is also called neurophysiotherapy or neurological rehabilitation.

Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal systemincluding rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery. acute trauma such as sprains, strains, and injuries of insidious onset such as tendinopathy and bursitis.

This speciality of physical therapy is most often found in the out-patient clinical setting. Orthopedic therapists are trained in the treatment of post-operative orthopedic procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions, and amputations.

Joint and spine mobilization/manipulation, dry needling (similar to acupuncture), therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular techniques, muscle reeducation, hot/cold packs, and electrical muscle stimulation (e.g., cryotherapy, iontophoresis, electrotherapy) are modalities employed to expedite recovery in the orthopedic setting.

 Additionally, an emerging adjunct to diagnosis and treatment is the use of sonography for diagnosis and to guide treatments such as muscle retraining.

Those who have suffered injury or disease affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons will benefit from assessment by a physical therapist specialized in orthopedics.

Pediatric

Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problems and uses a limited variety of modalities to provide physical therapy for disorders in the pediatric population. These therapists are specialized in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases. Treatments focus mainly on improving gross and fine motor skills, balanceand coordination, strength and endurance as well as cognitive and sensory processing/integration.

Sports

Physical therapists are closely involved in the care and wellbeing of athletes including recreational, semi-professional (paid) and professional (full-time employment) participants.

This area of practice encompasses athletic injury management under 5 main categories:

acute care - assessment and diagnosis of an initial injury;

treatment - application of specialist advice and techniques to encourage healing;

rehabilitation - progressive management for full return to sport;

prevention - identification and address of deficiencies known to directly result in, or act as precursors to injury, such as movement assessment

education - sharing of specialist knowledge to individual athletes, teams or clubs to assist in prevention or management of injury.

Physical therapists who work for professional sport teams often have a specialized sports certification issued through their national registering organisation. Most Physical therapists who practice in a sporting environment are also active in collaborative sports medicine programs too (See also: athletic trainers).

Women's health

Women's health physical therapy mostly addresses women's issues related to the female reproductive system, child birth, and post-partum. These conditions include lymphedema, osteoporosis, pelvic pain, prenatal and post-partum periods, and urinary incontinence. It also addresses incontinence, pelvic pain, and other disorders associated with pelvic floor dysfunction.[47] Manual physical therapy has been demonstrated in multiple studies to increase rates of conception in women with infertility.

                                                                                 Image result for palliative care

Palliative care

Physiotherapy in the field of oncology and palliative care is a continuously evolving and developing specialty, both in malignant and non-malignant diseases. Rehabilitation for both groups of patients is now recognized as an essential part of the clinical pathway, as early diagnoses and new treatments are enabling patients to live longer. it is generally accepted that patients should have access to an appropriate level of rehabilitation, so that they can function at a minimum level of dependency and optimize their quality of life, regardless of their life expectancy.


Effectiveness


A 2012 systematic review found evidence to support the use of spine manipulation by physical therapists as a safe option to improve outcomes for low back pain. A 2015 systematic review suggested that spine manipulation and therapeutic massage are effective interventions for neck pain;

 It also suggested, however, that electro acupuncture, strain-counterstrain, relaxation massage, heat therapy and ultrasound therapy are not effective and thus not recommended for the treatment of neck pain.

Tags:  cite_notePhysiotherapy, sports, neurology, wound care, EMG, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, orthopedics, women's health,pediatrics.,

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