Physiotherapy Theory, Techniques, Tools - Health and Fitness India

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In this blog post, I'll share in the comments below about Physiotherapy Theory, Techniques and Tools.

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Physical therapists formed their first professional association in 1921, called the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association. Led by President Mary McMillan, an executive committee of elected officers governed the Association, which included 274 charter members. By the end of the 1930s, the Association changed its name to the American Physiotherapy Association. Men were admitted, and membership grew to just under 1,000.

With the advent of World War II and a nationwide polio epidemic during the 1940s and 1950s, physical therapists were in greater demand than ever before. The Association's membership swelled to 8,000, and the number of physical therapy education programs across the US increased from 16 to 39.

By the late 1940s, the Association had changed its name to the American Physical Therapy Association, hired a full-time staff, and opened its first office in New York City.

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Comment by Shakti Saran on July 12, 2013 at 12:21am

Physical therapy (or physiotherapy), often abbreviated PT, is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention carried out by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in most countries) and physical therapist assistants (known as physical rehabilitation therapists or physiotherapy assistants in some countries).

In addition to clinical practice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapy profession include research, education, consultation, and administration.

Comment by Shakti Saran on July 12, 2013 at 12:26am

No matter what area of the body ails you – neck, shoulder, back, knee – physical therapists have an established history of helping individuals improve their quality of life.

A physical therapist can help you move freely again without pain and discomfort and feeling renewed and ready to move on. They can even help you prevent an injury altogether.

For instance, a study of 1,435 NCAA Division 1 female soccer players demonstrated that those who participated in a physical therapy program had an overall ACL injury rate 41 percent lower than those who did only a regular warm-up prior to practice.1

Because physical therapists receive specialized education in a variety of sciences – physics, human anatomy, kinesiology (human movement), to name a few – they understand how the body works and how to get you moving again. They know how to manage all four of the body's major systems – musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary (skin) – to restore and maximize mobility.

Whether you are living with diabetes or recovering from a stroke, a fall, or a sports injury, a physical therapist is a trusted health care professional who will work closely with you to evaluate your condition and develop an effective, personalized plan of care. A physical therapist can help you achieve long-term results for many conditions that limit your ability to move.

Comment by Shakti Saran on July 12, 2013 at 11:31am

Question: The pediatrician says that my infant son's gross motor development is delayed. He's four months old and doesn't put any weight on his legs. He also isn’t reaching and grabbing objects or holding them in his hands. He still can't hold his head up by himself. What are some exercises I can do to help him? Thank you!

Answer: The most important first step in helping a child's development is observing what your child is doing physically and asking questions if things don't seem right, which you have done. A physical therapist, especially one who specializes in care of infants and children, can observe your child’s movement and help him to move forward and "catch up" with his age group. 

At four months, the time spent on the belly is crucial to development of both head and body strength in infants, which then affects what they do with their arms and hands. Tummy time may be difficult for a child who is having trouble holding up his head, which is called head control. By conducting a thorough evaluation, the physical therapist can identify areas of weakness or decreased muscle tone, then teach you specific exercises and activities to address the areas of concern. For instance, sometimes when there is muscle weakness in the trunk, a child will learn a new skill quickly on one side of the body and tend not to use the other side. This may lead to movement habits that are hard to change later. Babies, like the rest of us, will choose the easiest route to learning a new skill.  By interacting with a physical therapist, your child can begin to develop appropriate movement habits and improve his confidence for future developmental challenges.

Continue regular dialogue about your child's development with his pediatrician during scheduled check-ups and address issues quickly as they arise. 

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Comment by Shakti Saran on July 19, 2013 at 1:49pm

Achilles tendinopathy is an irritation of the Achilles tendon, a thick band of tissue along the back of the lower leg that connects the calf muscles to the heel. The term tendinopathy refers to any problem with a tendon, either short or long term. The Achilles tendon helps to balance forces in the leg and assists with movement of the leg and the ankle joint. Achilles tendinopathy results when the demand placed on the Achilles tendon is greater than its ability to function. This can occur after 1 episode (acute injury) or after repetitive irritation or "microtrauma" (chronic injury).

Achilles tendinopathy may result from a combination of several different variables, including:

Ankle stiffness
Calf tightness
Calf weakness
Abnormal foot structure
Abnormal foot mechanics
Improper footwear
A change in an exercise routine or sport activity

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Comment by Shakti Saran on July 20, 2013 at 9:59am

Often called a stiff or “frozen shoulder,” adhesive capsulitis occurs in about 2% to 5% of the general population. It affects women more than men and typically occurs in people who are over the age of 45. Of the people who have had adhesive capsulitis in one shoulder, 20% to 30% will get it in the other shoulder. 

Adhesive capsulitis is the stiffening of the shoulder due to scar tissue, which results in painful movement and loss of motion. The actual cause of adhesive capsulitis is a matter for debate. Some believe it is caused by inflammation, such as when the lining of a joint becomes inflamed (synovitis), or by autoimmune reactions, where the body launches an "attack" against its own substances and tissues. Other possible causes include:

  • Reactions after an injury or surgery
  • Pain from other conditions—such as arthritis, a rotator cuff tear, bursitis, or tendinitis—that has caused you to stop moving your shoulder
  • Immobilization of your arm, such as in a sling, after surgery or fracture

Often, however, there is no known reason why adhesive capsulitis starts.

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Comment by Shakti Saran on July 29, 2013 at 4:13pm

Alzheimer disease is a progressive condition that damages brain cells and affects how we speak, think, and interact with other people. It's the most common cause of dementia, a group of brain disorders that cause a decline in memory and the ability to perform daily activities. And it's the fifth leading cause of death among adults over age 65 in the United States, after heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, and respiratory disease.

The risk of getting Alzheimer disease increases with age; it's rare to get it before age 60. Having a relative with Alzheimer disease raises your risk of getting it, but most people with the disease do not have a family history of it.

One of the major symptoms of Alzheimer disease is confusion. There are several other potential causes of confusion, some of which may be reversible if discovered early:

If confusion comes on suddenly, schedule a visit with a physician or a neurologist immediately.
If confusion occurs or gets worse after a fall or a head injury, immediately call 911 or emergency medical services (EMS) so that an ambulance can be sent.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

For people with Alzheimer disease, research shows that:

Physical activity can improve memory.
Regular exercise may delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer disease.
Regular exercise may delay the decline in ability to perform activities of daily living in people who have Alzheimer disease.
As the movement experts, physical therapists can design exercise programs for people with a variety of health conditions, including Alzheimer disease.

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Comment by Shakti Saran on July 29, 2013 at 4:21pm

What Is Ankle Sprain?

Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the "bands" that hold joints together. Ankle sprains occur when the foot twists or turns beyond its normal range of movement, causing the ligaments to stretch beyond their normal length. If the force is too strong, the ligaments may tear.

An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged or how many ligaments are injured. An ankle sprain is given a grade from 1 to 3 depending on the amount of ligament damaged. A grade 1 sprain is mild, grade 2 is moderate, and grade 3 is severe.

Ankle sprains also are classified as acute, chronic, or recurrent:

An acute sprain occurred recently—usually within the past few weeks—and is in an active stage of healing.
A chronic sprain continues to cause symptoms beyond the expected time for normal healing.
A recurrent sprain occurs easily and frequently, usually with only minimal force.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

The First 24 to 48 Hours

For the first 24 to 48 hours after injury, ankle sprains usually are treated by resting the ankle on a pillow or stool, using elastic bandages or supports, and 10-minute ice treatments. A physical therapist can decide if you should use crutches or a cane to protect your ankle while it is healing.

The therapist can design a specific treatment program for you to follow at home to help speed your recovery. Some sprains may require physical therapy treatments to help relieve swelling and pain, such skilled hand movements called manual therapy, special exercises, ice or heat treatments, and electrical stimulation. More severe sprains may require a special brace to provide extra support to your ankle.

As You Start to Recover

Your physical therapist's overall goal is to return you to the roles you perform in the home, at work, and in the community. Without proper rehabilitation, serious problems—such as decreased movement, chronic pain, swelling, and joint instability—could arise, severely limiting your ability to do your usual activities.

Your physical therapist will select from treatments including:

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Comment by Shakti Saran on August 1, 2013 at 8:23pm

What is an ACL Tear?

The ACL is one of the major ligaments (bands of tissue) connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone. It can tear if you:

Twist your knee while keeping your foot planted on the ground
Stop suddenly while running
Suddenly shift your weight from one leg to the other
Jump and land on an extended (straightened) knee
Stretch the knee farther than you should
Experience a direct hit to the knee

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Once an ACL tear has been diagnosed, you will work with your surgeon and physical therapist to decide if you should have surgery or if you can try to manage your recovery without surgery. If you don’t have surgery, your therapist will work with you to restore your muscle strength, endurance, and coordination so that you can return to your regular activities. In some cases, the therapist may help you to learn to modify your physical activity so that you put less stress on your knee. If you decide to have surgery, your therapist can help you both before and after the procedure.
Treatment Without Surgery

Current research evidence has identified a specific group of patients (called "copers") who have the potential for success without surgery. These patients have injury only to the ACL, and no episodes of "giving way" since the initial injury. There are specific functional tests—such as the Knee Outcomes Survey, the Global Rating of Knee Function, and the timed hop test—that can help the physical therapist identify this group of patients. If you fall into this category, your physical therapist will design a specific physical therapy treatment program for you, most likely including electrical stimulation to the quadriceps muscle, cardiovascular strengthening, traditional muscle strengthening, and balance training.
Treatment Before Surgery

Some orthopedic surgeons refer their patients to a physical therapist for a short course of rehabilitation before surgery. Your therapist will help you decrease your swelling, increase the range of movement of your knee, and strengthen your thigh muscles (quadriceps).

You might have what is known as a "quadriceps lag." This is when you try to raise your leg straight in the air, but you can't control the knee, and your leg bends slightly. Research shows that improving this condition before surgery leads to better outcomes after surgery. Your therapist might use electrical stimulation to help you straighten your leg.
Treatment After Surgery

Your orthopedic surgeon will provide postsurgery instructions. Physical therapists have developed and published guidelines on knee stability and movement problems, which recommend the following actions.

Comment by Shakti Saran on August 9, 2013 at 1:33pm

What Is a Pressure Ulcer ("Bed Sore")?

Pressure ulcers are caused by forces that block the flow of blood to the skin:

  • When too much pressure being exerted on the same area of the skin for too long, such as when someone lies in the same position all the time.
  • When "shearing" forces cause the skin to bunch up in one area, such as when a person stays in a reclining position too long in either a bed or a chair.

Pressure ulcers can happen to:

  • Newborns in incubators who are resting on lines or tubes.
  • People with spinal cord injuries who have lost sensation and don't feel uncomfortable sitting in the same position day after day—and therefore don't realize that their skin is being affected.
  • People who are bed bound and who are unable to change their position in bed.

Although pressure ulcers can develop anywhere on the body, they are more likely to occur on the buttocks of people who sit in a chair all day or in the heels, above the tailbone, and on the insides of the elbows of people who have to stay in bed all day.

Pressure ulcers can result from friction injuries to the skin when a person is being pulled across a surface, such as being pulled across a sheet when the bed is being made or being pulled out of a wheelchair.

Skin also can be injured by prolonged exposure to tape, urine, and feces, or it might be injured by tape removal. Although these injuries might look similar to a pressure ulcer, they often aren't. However, this kind of wound is more likely to become a pressure ulcer if the skin is exposed to too much or too little moisture, scrubbing, or temperatures that are too cool or too warm.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Wound care has been a part of physical therapist practice from its very beginnings. Based on the results of the physical therapist's evaluation, including a review of the medical history and an examination of the wound, the therapist will select treatments, which may include caregiver training, strengthening exercises, wound care, improvements to the seat or bed, and coordination with other health care providers.

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Comment by Shakti Saran on August 14, 2013 at 4:43pm

What Is Bell Palsy?

Bell palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis. It occurs when the nerve that controls movement on one side of your face becomes inflamed. The condition often comes on suddenly but improves on its own within a few weeks. Although the cause of Bell palsy remains unclear, it’s thought that some cases might be caused by the herpes virus that also causes cold sores.

There are several causes of facial paralysis, such as tumors of the facial nerve or tumors of the base of the brain, trauma, or a congenital condition (a condition that you're born with). Bell palsy usually begins with a sudden weakness on one side of your face or a sudden feeling that you can’t move one side of your face. It's important for you to know that these can be symptoms of such conditions as stroke. Seek medical care immediately, especially if your facial weakness is accompanied by:

    Pain in the ear, cheek, or teeth
    Loss of facial sensation
    Weakness of arms or legs
    Vision changes
    Severe headache

Signs and Symptoms

Bell palsy usually begins with a sudden weakness on one side of your face or a sudden feeling that you can’t move one side of your face. The weakness gets worse quickly. Other symptoms include:

    Inability to close the eye on the affected side
    Drooping of the affected side (within a few hours to overnight)
    Teariness or dryness of the eye
    Pain in or behind your ear
    Sensitivity to sound
    Loss of sense of taste

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?


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