World Physical Therapy Day: Remembering physios and their contribution

World Physical Therapy Day: Remembering physios and their contribution

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-09-08 14:53 September 8 was designated as World Physical Therapy Day by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) in 1996 to commemorate the founding of WCPT in 1951.The day is used to reaffirm unity and solidarity of the physiotherapists around the globe. It is an opportunity to recognise the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and community.Physiotherapists develop, maintain and restore people’s movement and functional ability. They can help people at any stage of their life when movement and function are threatened by ageing, injury, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors. They work in the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.The field deals with specialisations such as paediatrics to geriatrics. Paediatric physiotherapy includes interventions for special children like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, minimum brain damage, developmental disorders, hydrocephalus, spina bifida etc. to optimise the child’s maximum function.Neuro-physiotherapy deals with rehabilitation of individuals with stroke, paralysis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral nerve lesions and other neurological impairments. It aims to restore the maximum functional ability of an individual.Orthopaedic and sports branch focuses on diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries. It deals with on post-operative care after fractures, replacement and corrective surgeries. Management of degenerative and inflammatory conditions, deformities, amputation is done with non-invasive modalities, exercises and manual therapy techniques to minimise pain and optimise muscle and joint function. Ergonomics is another aspect that deals with interaction between human health and occupational environment.Cardio-respiratory physiotherapy emphasises on heart and lung functions. Various breathing techniques, positioning and exercises are incorporated to enhance the effect of medical and surgical management. Fitness is another popular branch associated with this field. Cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation are promising concepts in the field to improve quality of life and promote longevity.Physiotherapy is moving into the field of oncology as a sustainable intervention to maintain a certain level of physical function and prevent associated complications. In the area of women’s health, physiotherapy is concerned with antenatal and post-natal exercises, exercises to improve strength of pelvic floor muscles, incontinence, measures to reduce labour pain and its complications.Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is an area that focuses on enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families, meeting basic needs, and ensuring social inclusion and participation. It is a multi-sectorial strategy that empowers persons with disabilities to access and benefit from education, employment, health and social services. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of people with disabilities, their families and communities, relevant government and non-governmental organisations, health, education, vocational, social and other services.The theme for World Physical Therapy Day 2016 is - Add life to yearsThis highlights the fact that physiotherapy has the ability to rejuvenate people. It also contributes to capacity building and strengthening health systems. Physiotherapy has made individuals physically and functionally able, improved independence and participation and has proven to decrease the cost of care and support required. Through evidence-based practice and research, physiotherapy has helped in creating a healthy world. Therefore, it’s not just rehabilitation; it’s reliving! Author:Prachi Kerkar works as an Associate - Center for Health and Development, Mangaluru. She is also a physiotherapist with postgraduation in public health. An avid blogger and traveller, Prachi is a foodie and writes poems.