YAEEEEYYYY!!!!! It’s WORLD PHYSIOTHERAPY DAY! WHOOP! WHOOP!!
I woke up 7.30am knowing I’m gonna be late for clinic although that wasn’t the plan I had when I went to bed unusually early last night. I rushed in and out of the bathroom, and was standing in front of my wardrobe tryna decide which of my outfits will be the lucky one while they were screaming “Pick me, Pick me”. There and then, my roomie asked if there were gonna be patients booked for treatment at the Physiotherapy out-patient clinic since today is WORLD PHYSIOTHERAPY DAY (Oh yeah, i actually lost track of today’s date). The sudden and intense feeling of joy made me quiver at the realization that today might just be a ‘no-school day’ (*covers face* Everyone needs a breather every now and then nau). So after making a few calls to confirm what I’d like to call good news though the better part of it is that this day; 8th of September, Physiotherapy and Physical Therapists all over the world are being celebrated. Do you guys know what Physiotherapy really is about or are you one of those who thinks ‘bones and/or massage’? May I enlighten you?
Physiotherapy is an amazing profession and I’m not saying this because it’s my soon-to-be profession but strictly because it is! Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that is concerned with the development, prevention, maintenance and rehabilitation of optimal physical function. This is to say that you don’t necessarily have to be suffering from a ‘medical condition’ to require the services of a Physical Therapist and I have to emphasize that Physiotherapy isn’t just about “bones” (which is the mentality of the average Nigerian). Physiotherapy can be divided into the following specialities:
- Neurosurgery and Neuromedicine
- Cardiopulmonary and Burns
- Orthopaedics and Trauma
- Women’s health
As the specialities infer, every age group requires the services of a Physiotherapist, from the pregnant woman to the child with Cerebral palsy or the one with Erb’s palsy, the sportsman who has a sprain, the young adult who has post immobilization stiffness after having a POP cast taken out or the one who wants to build muscles (the 6-packs thingy *winks*), to the middle aged who just suffered a stroke or the obese one who is tryna lose weight and finally to the aged with Parkinson’s disease. These doesn’t even cover the depths of what Physiotherapy entails but at least it gives you a pretty clear picture. The diversity of Physiotherapy is such that it has diffused into Aquatics as well as Veterinary. The importance of Physiotherapy cannot be overrated and the fact that not too many people are aware puts them on the ‘losing side’ (Pardon my French).
Physiotherapy uses various modalities in the course of managing a client and the specificity of the client’s presenting symptoms or the condition itself determines the type and combination of modalities to be used. There are 3 basic classifications of modalities and some of the modalities include:
- Electrotherapy (involves the use of Ultraviolet Radiation, Ultrasound, Infrared, Laser Therapy, Microwave diathermy e.t.c).
a. Cryotherapy (involves the use of ice to alleviate symptoms such as acute pain, muscle spasm, inflammation e.t.c).
b.Thermotherapy (involves the use of heat to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain, to induce relaxation of tight structures e.t.c).
c. Electrical Stimulation (involves the use of various alternating and direct currents such as TENS, Galvanic, Russian and Faradic to alleviate pain, stimulate nerves, strengthen muscles e.t.c).
2. Manual Therapy (involves the use of different types of massage techniques to induce relaxation, increase blood circulation, loosen adhesion, relieve pain e.t.c).
To whom it may concern: Certain conditions are indications for massage, this is similar to how headache is an indication for taking Paracetamol (That’s relatable innit?). The massage techniques incorporated in Physiotherapy is aimed at achieving a therapeutic goal and this is what distinguishes Physical Therapists from Masseuses.
- Exercise Therapy (involves the use of planned, structured and purposive physical activity aimed at achieving a therapeutic goal).
- Hydrotherapy (involves the use of water in managing conditions that present with muscle weakness, spasticity, reduced motion at joints e.t.c).
You’re probably wondering how water is used in managing a condition yeah? Certain properties of water like buoyancy, turbulence, upthrust as well as gravity makes it easier to carry out certain movements in water that are otherwise impossible or difficult to carry out on land especially in patients with muscle weakness. Exercises done in water also helps to improve strength, mobility and overall quality of life in addition to it being fun and relaxing.
I really hope all this piques your interest enough to find out more about Physiotherapy and its relevance to you and people close to you. Don’t wait until something goes wrong, “maintenance” remember?
I wish all Physiotherapists everywhere a “HAPPY WORLD PHYSIOTHERAPY DAY”. In all said, Physiotherapy is a realm that is inexhaustible, you can look up all you want on it today but with every rising sun, you’ll find something new owing to its ever-evolving state. I really hope you have gained a thing or two. Be good. 🙂