There is more to physiotherapy than pain relief


For most people, physiotherapy is a means to alleviate pain. The field, however, has expanded greatly over the years. Now physiotherapy is an integral part of treatment for patients who have suffered a stroke, or had a bypass surgery. September 8 is World Physiotherapy Day.

According to Arulappa Srichandra, chief physiotherapist at SIMS, in the past decade or so, the number of specialisations in physiotherapy has increased, and more people are being treated.

“In most cases, physiotherapy acts as an adjunct to medicine, and helps patients improve their recovery time,” he said. Although exercise and rehabilitation are the focus, physiotherapists can reduce doctors’ burden, he said.

Often both doctors and patients do not realise the role that physical therapy plays. “Even doctors do not refer patients to a physiotherapist for conditions like incontinence, because they do not realise the benefits of the treatment,” said K. Sriram, , a physiotherapist.

For a large number of conditions, physiotherapy helps build strength, maximise independence and optimise the physical functioning levels of the patient, he added.

Increasingly, technology-assisted physiotherapy has been improving recovery times for patients, Kaliyavaradhan, physiotherapist with Revive Rehabilitation Centre said. They have recently acquired two robotic physiotherapy machines, one to improve arm function, and the other to improve gait in patients who have suffered a stroke or other neurological conditions. “Using these machines, we help to re-train people to walk. Earlier, we would have to wait for over two months before we got patients to start walking again, but now it takes much less time,” he said.

According to Abdul Bari from the same centre, often it is the time taken for physiotherapy to take effect that deters patients. “When you pop a pain pill, the pain is relieved immediately, but physiotherapy will take at least a couple of days,” he said, adding that while this may be the case, physiotherapy provided a more holistic approach, which improved the quality of the patient’s life.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 8:16:03 PM |

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