Physiotherapy as a treatment for disabilities, dysfunctions and as a tool in the rehabilitation of patients has been in vogue since ancient times. But it was the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, who devised physiotherapy as a profession. Hippocrates, who is considered the Father of Modern medicine, lived during the period 460-370 BCE. He resorted to massage therapy to restore and maintain a person’s motor skills. Though massage still continues play an important part, physiotherapy techniques have gone far beyond massages.
Physiotherapy is a physical rehabilitation specialty exercise(s) involving mechanics, movements to promote mobility addressing issues in functional impairments and routine life acts through the examination, diagnosis, prognosis and physical intervention by physiotherapists. Physiotherapy helps restore normal movement and routine functionality by persons affected by injury, illness or any other form of disability. Physiotherapy is suitable for persons of all ages from children to the aged and elderly. Physiotherapy helps manage pain and sustain well being. Physiotherapists encourage development and facilitate faster recovery.
Physiotherapists adopt a holistic approach to health and well being of a person. To be successful, the physiotherapist requires the active involvement and support of the patient concerned. Physiotherapy can also help persons suffering from chronic conditions such as back pain, asthma etc. Sports persons, athletes and expectant mothers can also benefit from physiotherapy.
A physiotherapist using his knowledge and skills improve or treat a range of conditions associated with various body systems such as Neurological, Neuro-musculoskeletal, cardiac, respiratory and other systems. Physiotherapists can bring relief in case of strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, back pain, arthritis, sports related injuries, chronic heart disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis and post-operative rehabilitation.
A physiotherapist helps patients with physical difficulties sustained due to illness, injury, disability or age related causes, to improve their agility and movement. The task is to devise and review treatment using manual therapy (such as massage), therapeutic exercise and electrotherapy. In addition, a physiotherapist promotes the general well being hone the self-management skills of the patients.
The role of a physiotherapist can be seen in almost every medical condition or field. Accordingly, physiotherapists are involved in the rehabilitation of cardio-thoracic patients, pregnant women and mothers in giving pre-natal and ante-natal exercises, musculo-skeletal exercises in case of sportspersons, paediatrics, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, workplace dynamics and the list is endless. To conclude, there cannot be one sphere of activity in medicine, that is not a domain of physiotherapist.