What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

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Sports injuries and car accidents, among other injuries, can cause spinal cord injury. The range of spinal cord injury is wide. Some of these injuries are fairly minor and will heal well with a limited amount of physiotherapy, while others need physiotherapy for the rest of their lives.

As always with physiotherapy, the first step is evaluation. A plan is formulated that will include therapies specific to the kind of spinal cord injury the patient has. Neck injuries can cause quadriplegia, which requires special treatments.

An important issue in spinal cord injury is the level of the damage. If a physiotherapy program is not followed faithfully, the spine will begin to atrophy below the level of the spinal cord injury. The spine will shrink and the whole body below that point will become weaker as time goes by.

It is important that spinal cord injury patients get exercise of some form. They are prone to osteoporosis and heart problems, among other conditions. If there is a total lack of exercise, these risk factors become even more pronounced.

Physiotherapy for spinal cord injury involves exercising and stimulating the nerves and muscles below the level of the damage. This will allow patients with spinal cord injury to stay in good physical condition where they can. That way, if a cure becomes available, they will not be too weakened to benefit from it.

Every exercise the physiotherapy personnel go through with the spinal cord injury patient should be video-taped. This allows work to go on at home with an example of each exercise. Range-of-motion exercises are done by a caregiver, who moves the limbs so that they will not become set in one position.

For spinal cord injury patients who are not quadriplegics, there is physiotherapy using mats. These mats are raised off the floor, and can be operated by a hand crank or a power system. The physiotherapist will give exercises where the patient lies on the side, back, or stomach and works out or sits up and works out.

There are many restorative therapies in physiotherapy for spinal cord injury patients. These include electrical stimulation, biofeedback, vibrational therapy, laser therapy and other stimulation activities. Aqua therapy is also a physiotherapy method that is conducive to progress in spinal cord injury patients.

With all these therapies, spinal cord injury patients can sometimes restore themselves to earlier functioning. Other times, they can simply keep their bodies from deteriorating as they wait for a cure.

Spinal cord injury research is being conducted constantly. Physiotherapy is one of the fields that are being explored. One study is putting spinal cord injury patients in harnesses over treadmills stimulating walking. They are trying to find a way to help people walk again who had given up hope of doing so.

Physiotherapy gives hope for spinal cord injury patients. It allows them to have the most normal functioning that they are currently able to have. Perhaps when a cure comes outcomes will be even better. However, physiotherapy will probably always be needed for spinal cord injury patients.

The History of Physiotherapy

The History of Physiotherapy

At least as early as the days of Hippocrates, massage was used and the history of physiotherapy was begun. The practice of physiotherapy has evolved through the centuries from the earliest forms to the complex system of treatment it is now.

In 460 B.C. Hector was using a type of physiotherapy called hydrotherapy, or water therapy. Professionals use this type of therapy today, although it is more specialized for each type of condition that the patients have.

In 1894, there is the first evidence of a group of nurses in the history of physiotherapy with a Chartered Society. Within twenty years, physiotherapy programs were set up in other countries. New Zealand’s started in 1913 and America’s in 1914.

The first American professionals in the history of physiotherapy were from the Walter Reed College and Hospital in Portland Oregon. Rather than being called physiotherapists, they were called reconstruction aides. These aides were nurses and they had a physical education background. They were important in the recovery of many World War I veterans.

Research has been done throughout the modern history of physiotherapy. In fact, right near the very beginning, a research study was done in the US. It was published in 1921. Physiotherapy research continues today in a myriad of specialties.

Also in 1921, the Physical Therapy Association was formed by Mary McMillan. This group later became the APTA, arguably the most influential organization in the American history of physiotherapy.

The Georgia Warm Springs Foundation was started in 1924 to deal with the ever-growing epidemic of polio. The foundation offered physiotherapy for these patients. Sister Kinney was known nationally for her work with polio victims. She practiced at the Mayo Clinic. The polio epidemic was a turning point in the history of physiotherapy.

After the polio epidemic had waned, the treatments of choice were massage, exercise, and traction. In about 1950, chiropractic manipulations came on the scene in the history of physiotherapy. This was most common in Great Britain.

After that time, the history of physiotherapy moved from hospitals into other arenas of service. There were, and are, physiotherapists working in clinics, private practices, nursing homes, and schools. The Orthopedics specialty of physiotherapy was born about this time, also.

The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy came onto the scene, and began making changes and has influenced the profession ever since. Mariano Rocabado was a physiotherapist who had a profound impact. Freddy Kaltenborn, from Norway, influenced physiotherapy on the east coast of the US. At the same time, Geoffrey Maitland of Australia changed the way training was done in the history of physiotherapy.

The focus during the 1980s history of physiotherapy was on technology. New procedures came about that used computers, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and other devices. By the 1990s, interest had shifted to manual therapy, with Freddy Kaltenborn again leading the way.

During the history of physiotherapy, training and practice have changed and improved. Many brilliant pioneers have left their marks in the literature and organizations of the field. Physiotherapy is a well-respected profession as a result.

How Physiotherapy Works

Many people are hesitant when they hear the term “physiotherapy.” They do not know what it is, why it is used, how it is used and how it can possibly help them. Most people, whenever they have an injury of some sort, run to a medical doctor who generally prescribes pain medication for injuries. While pain medication is an effective way to deal with pain caused by various ailments, diseases and injuries, it merely masks the pain and does not solve the problem. In addition, many pain medications are highly addictive.

Physiotherapy is nothing new. It dates back to ancient times. Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recognized that there was a need for patients to be mobilized. People who have illnesses or disease that keeps them immobile run the risk of getting blood clots in their legs that can travel to their heart or brain. Modern physiotherapy began in the late 19th century when doctors began to realize that patients needed to be mobilized in order to recover. During the polio outbreaks of the 1930s and 1940s, physiotherapy played an important role in helping people who were affected by this terrible illness to regain the strength to walk.

Mobilization, manipulation of muscles and ligaments, exercise, education and training is how physiotherapy works today. There are many reasons why people see a physiotherapist. They range from back and neck pain, which are the most common, to neurological conditions. Even people with heart and lung conditions often have some sort of physiotherapy to help them recover. Physiotherapy is now an important part of any patient recovery, whether it be from an operation or an injury. Many patients, when released from the hospital, are released into the care of a licensed physiotherapist who works with the patient to continue the recovery process.

Curing migraines is one example of how physiotherapy works. Many physicians and physiotherapists believe that migraines are the result of a misaligned spine. By manipulating the spinal column, many physiotherapists have reported success in alleviating the symptoms of migraine headaches; a disabling condition that plagues millions of Americans each year.

Even people with injuries present at birth, such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida have been able to live better lives with the help of physiotherapy. The therapist keeps the limbs mobile and allows the patient to live a longer and more productive life.

Stroke victims are a great example of how physiotherapy works. Oftentimes, after a stroke, a patient is unable to speak or use a certain part of his or her body. A physiotherapist works with a stroke victim to help him or her regain speech as well as movement in the effected area. Physiotherapists have achieved amazing results with stroke victims, particularly in recent years.

Physiotherapy is practiced by a licensed therapist who has vast education in the field of the types of injuries and diseases he or she treats. People who have suffered an accident or have undergone an operation and have recovered with the help of therapy can clearly attest to how physiotherapy works to cut recovery time in half and allow the patient to get back to leading a better quality of life.

Physiotherapy For Cancer Patients

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Cancer is probably the most feared illness. Cancer is not the death sentence it was many years ago. More people are now surviving cancer than ever before as more effective treatments to combat this dreaded disease are discovered every day by the medical community. Many in the medical community agree that a patient’s attitude has much to do with the patient making a full recovery.

Physiotherapy for cancer patients is crucial to their recovery. Many hospitals that treat cancer patients develop a team of doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists to assist the cancer patient in all aspects of combating his illness and then making a full recovery. The team works together to insure that the illness is combated from all angles. No longer is one doctor the sole person to whom a cancer patient can turn for help.

Physiotherapy for cancer patients encompasses a wide spectrum of treatment. Many people who have a tumor removed, for example, experience swelling in the area of removal,. Physiotherapy can work wonders to alleviate the swelling an assist the patient towards a complete recovery. Relieving swelling of certain areas, particularly in the lymph nodes, can not only alleviate pain, but may put the disease at bay.

Weakness and loss of appetite are common symptoms of those undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Chronic fatigue is common, but can also lead to depression. The medical community is now beginning to realize how important a positive attitude on the part of the patient is in achieving full recovery from the illness. Physiotherapy to treat cancer patients may entail getting a person who is tired from chemotherapy treatments a bit mobile. No one expects them to do strenuous work, but implementing a mild exercise plan can do wonders for those receiving chemotherapy treatments. Exercise stimulates the endorphins in the brain that can elevate the mood as well as induce energy. Licensed physiotherapists often work with those who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment to implement an appropriate exercise regime that will enable the patient to not only recover from the treatment quicker, but can also stave off some of the side effects of chemotherapy.

Lymphedema therapy is very important when treating cancer patients who have tissue swelling from tumor removal or swelling in their lymph nodes due to cancer. Physiotherapy to treat cancer patients also includes lymphedema therapy that is a specialized part of physiotherapy and can help restore normal function for patients.

In addition to providing individualized programs to help cancer patients recover from their illness, physiotherapy for cancer patients can benefit these patients psychologically as well. Physiotherapists often work very closely with their patients and develop a bond with them. This bond can be a tremendous comfort to someone who is facing an illness such as cancer and who may be surrounded by doctors who, very often, do not take the necessary time to explain procedures and options to the patients. While doctors are encouraged not to “get involved” with their patients, for many different reasons, physiotherapists are trained to develop a good rapport with their patients as this generally adds a feeling of trust between therapist and patient and is proven to produce good results.

What Is Physiotherapy?

What Is Physiotherapy?


If you have a musculo-skeletal problem or injury, you might be given a referral to a physiotherapy clinic.
If you have gone to one before, you know what to expect. If you are new to this service, you might ask, what is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is also known as physical therapy. That answers the question of what is physiotherapy for many people. However, if you have not had any dealings with this form of treatment, you need to know more.

A type of health care, physiotherapy concerns itself with providing physical healing methods for many different kinds of injuries and illnesses. Some of these techniques are done in a hands-on manner, by using massage or manipulation of the musculo-skeletal system. Knowing what is physiotherapy is crucial to getting this kind of help.

Education is a part of what is physiotherapy. A physiotherapist will teach a patient how to care for their injuries. He will teach exercises to do at home so that therapy can continue beyond the walls of the clinic or hospital. He will teach ways to overcome difficulties that cannot be cured.

Another part of what is physiotherapy is rehabilitation. Patients have injuries from sports, car accidents, or assault. These injuries can be treated through physiotherapy. Given the right treatments and an injury that will respond to treatment, much progress can be made. Full functioning may be regained. It may even be possible for them to go back to work rather than being laid up at home.

An answer to what is physiotherapy is what kinds of treatments physiotherapists use. Heat, ice, and ultrasound are used to relieve pain and stiffness. Massage, chiropractic, and other hands-on methods are important. All these methods tend to promote better health, both physical and psychological.

Equipment for helping patients regain their strength and mobility are a part of what is physiotherapy. This equipment may allow a person who is partially paralyzed to get the most exercise possible. This is crucial in maintaining the integrity of their spines and muscles.

What is physiotherapy? It is a carefully planned and executed treatment strategy. It is based upon assessments of the conditions that patients suffer. If all goes well, the patient will return to their original condition. If this is not possible, the goal is for the patient to reach a goal that is the best movement and lack of pain that is possible.

People who are referred to a clinic may ask, what is physiotherapy? However, they will be given quick answers to this question. After an initial evaluation, they will be scheduled for treatments like ultrasound or acupuncture. They will be assigned exercises to do at home. A good physiotherapist will begin treatment right away.

People, who ask what is physiotherapy, often do not consider the preventative side of the field. It is a part of the work of practitioners of physiotherapy to encourage exercises and postures that will help patients avoid physical injuries and conditions requiring their services. An excellent physiotherapist will have fewer return patients, but the flow of people needing physiotherapy continues.

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