Physical therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy, by using mechanical force and movements (biomechanics or kinesiology), manual therapy, exercise therapy, and electrotherapy, remediates impairments and promotes mobility and function. Physical therapy is used to improve a patient’s quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, physical intervention, and patient education. It is performed by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in many countries). Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System, being a leader in health services, we appreciate the services rendered by physiotherapists.
In addition to clinical practice, other activities encompassed in the physical therapy profession include research, education, consultation, and administration. Physical therapy services may be provided as primary care treatment or alongside, or in conjunction with, other medical services.
Physical Therapy Definition
A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises and equipment to help patients regain or improve their physical abilities is known as physical therapy. Abbreviated PT. Physical Therapy is appropriate for many types of patients, from infants born with musculoskeletal birth defects, to adults suffering from sciatica or the after effects of injury or surgery, to elderly post-stroke patients.
Physical therapy effectiveness
A 2012 systematic review found evidence to support the use of spine manipulation by physical therapists as a safe option to improve outcomes for lower back pain.
According to randomized control trials, a combination of manual therapy and supervised exercise therapy by physiotherapists give functional benefits for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and may delay or prevent the need for surgery.
Another randomized controlled study has shown that surgical decompression treatment and physiotherapy are on par for lumbar spinal stenosis in improving symptoms and function.
A 2012 systematic review about the effectiveness of physiotherapy treatment in asthma patients concluded that physiotherapy treatment may:
- Improve the quality of life
- Promote cardiopulmonary fitness and inspiratory pressure
- Reduce symptoms and medication use
A 2015 systematic review suggested that, while spine manipulation and therapeutic massage are effective interventions for neck pain, electroacupuncture, strain-counterstrain, relaxation massage, heat therapy, and ultrasound therapy are not as effective, and thus not recommended.
Physical Therapy Association
Indian Association Physiotherapist is a registered body in India, with over 30,000 physiotherapists as a member of this body.
Physiotherapy means a physiotherapeutic system of medicine which includes examination, treatment, advice, and instructions to any person preparatory to or for the purpose of or in connection with:
- Movement dysfunction
- Bodily malfunction
- Physical disorder
- Pain from trauma
- Physical and mental conditions using physical agents including exercise
- Mechanical and electrotherapy
- Activity and devices or diagnosis
- Treatment and prevention
However, various other health professionals e.g., Chiropractic, Osteopathy) use some physical therapeutic methods. A program of physical therapy will typically involve caregivers.
PT’s utilize an individual’s history and physical examination in diagnosis and treatment, and if necessary, will incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies. Electrodiagnostic testing (e.g. electro myo grams and nerve conduction velocity testing) may also be of assistance.
PTs practice in many settings, such as:
- Outpatient clinics or offices
- Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
- Extended care facilities
- Education or research centers
- Industrial workplaces or other occupational environments
- Fitness centers
- Sports training facilities
Benefits of physical therapy
Here are 10 ways it may benefit you:
Reduce or eliminate pain
Therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques such as joint and soft tissue mobilization or treatments such as ultrasound, taping or electrical stimulation can help relieve pain and restore muscle and joint function to reduce pain. Such therapies can also prevent pain from returning.
If physical therapy helps you eliminate pain or heal from an injury, surgery may not be needed. And even if surgery is required, you may benefit from pre-surgery physical therapy. If you are going into a surgery stronger and in better shape, you will recover faster afterward in many cases. Also, by avoiding surgery, health care costs are reduced.
If you’re having trouble standing, walking or moving—no matter your age—physical therapy can help. Stretching and strengthening exercises help restore your ability to move. Physical therapists can properly fit individuals with a cane, crutches or any other assistive device, or assess for an orthotic prescription. By customizing an individual care plan, whatever activity that is important to an individual’s life can be practiced and adapted to ensure maximal performance and safety.
Recover from a stroke
It’s common to lose some degree of function and movement after stroke. Physical therapy helps to strengthen weakened parts of the body and improve gait and balance. Physical therapists can also improve stroke patients’ ability to transfer and move around in bed so that they can be more independent around the home, and reduce their burden of care for toileting, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living.
Recover from or prevent a sports injury
Physical therapists understand how different sports can increase your risk for specific types of injuries (such as stress fractures for distance runners). They can design appropriate recovery or prevention exercise programs for you to ensure a safe return to your sport.
Improve your balance and prevent falls
When you begin physical therapy, you will get screened for fall risk. If you’re at high risk for falls, therapists will provide exercises that safely and carefully challenge your balance as a way to mimic real-life situations. Therapists also help you with exercises to improve coordination and assistive devices to help with safer walking. When the balance problem is caused by a problem in one’s vestibular system, Physical therapists can perform specific maneuvers that can quickly restore proper vestibular functioning, and reduce and eliminate symptoms of dizziness or vertigo.
Manage diabetes and vascular conditions
As part of an overall diabetes management plan, exercise can help effectively control blood sugar. Additionally, people with diabetes may have problems with sensation in their feet and legs. Physical therapists can help provide and educate these patients on proper foot care to prevent further problems down the road.
Manage age-related issues
As individuals age, they may develop arthritis or osteoporosis or need a joint replacement. Physical therapists are experts in helping patients recover from joint replacement, and manage arthritic or osteoporotic conditions conservatively.
Manage heart and lung disease
While patients may complete cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack or procedure, you also may receive physical therapy if your daily functioning is affected. For pulmonary problems, physical therapy can improve quality of life through strengthening, conditioning and breathing exercises, and help patients clear fluid in the lungs.
Manage Women’s Health and other conditions
Women have specific health concerns, such as with pregnancy and post-partum care. Physical therapists can offer specialized management of issues related to women’s health. Additionally, PT can provide specialized treatment for Bowel incontinence, breast cancer, constipation, fibromyalgia, lymphedema, male pelvic health, pelvic pain, and urinary incontinence.
How to become a PTA
Now that you know a bit more about the job, take a look at your step-by-step guide to becoming a PTA.
Step 1: Earn a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate’s degree
All states require PTAs to have an Associate’s degree from an accredited program, according to the BLS. Earning a degree may sound daunting, but some programs allow you to finish in as few as 18 months. Around 25 percent of that education time is typically devoted to hands-on clinical training, according to APTA.
Step 2: Pass the licensing exam
All states except Colorado and Hawaii require PTAs to be licensed in addition to holding an Associate’s degree. Once applicants have graduated from a PTA program, they’re eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for physical therapist assistants. Once you pass this exam, you’ll be a licensed PTA.
It’s important to thoroughly prepare for the NPTE before taking it. Though retakes are available, you may only take the exam three times in one year or six times total. More details on the NPTE can be found at The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website. Depending on the state, physical therapist assistants may also need to take continuing education courses to keep their license.
Step 3: Brush up on these in-demand PTA skills
After earning your Associate’s degree and passing the NPTE, you’re nearly ready to begin your career as a PTA. But before you go running into the career field, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward by coming prepared with the top skills you’ll need to perform the job.
PTA job postings in the last year sought applicants with rehabilitation, treatment planning, and therapy skills, according to Burning Glass. Physical demand also made the top-10 list, as PTAs generally undergo a very physically active workday, going through exercises with their patients, repositioning patients and transporting them as needed.
Patient and family education and instruction is also a skill many employers are seeking. PTAs are often responsible for explaining post-care plans to patients and their families. As a PTA, you’re—in some ways—part cheerleader, part coach, and part medical professional, so as you might expect, you’ll need excellent communication, motivation, and instructional skills to succeed.
While a great physical therapy assistant program will be sure to equip you with the necessary skills, a little extra proficiency in these skill areas will help your resume stand out to employers. You might also consider getting involved in extracurricular activities to polish your skills.
Coaching youth sports is an excellent option for anyone looking to develop their training and motivational skills, volunteering at nursing homes would be an excellent way to show your interest in working with aging populations, and organizations like Toastmasters can help refine your ability to speak clearly and confidently.
Step 4: Hone your resume and interview skills and start applying
No matter the job you’re applying for, taking the time to update and polish your resume will help improve your odds of getting a callback. You’ll also want to work on your interviewing skills while on your search.
As you go into your job search, understand what your preferred practice areas are—do you want to work with athletes? Elderly? People with disabilities? While it might not be practical in all locations, narrowing your search and tailoring your resume and interview answers to your preferred physical therapy specialty area can help you prioritize and focus yourself while searching.
Physical Therapy Center
Please find a list of physical therapy centers in India for the services of physical therapy.
Home services – Physical therapy
Home physiotherapy occurs when a physiotherapist come to a patient’s home to render the rehabilitation services. This may include manual therapy or equipment like IFT, Ultrasound may be used as well. The portable types of equipment are carried by a physiotherapist to provide treatment as per the patient’s requirement. Getting Physiotherapy treatment at home can be costly and this option normally opts for bedridden patients.
Telehealth services of physical therapy
Telerehabilitation or Telehealth is a developing form of physical therapy in response to the increasing demand for physical therapy treatment. Telehealth is online communication between the clinician and patient, either live or in pre-recorded sessions. The benefits of telehealth include improved accessibility in remote areas, cost efficiency, and improved convenience for the bedridden and home-restricted, physically disabled. Some considerations for telehealth include:
- Limited evidence to prove effectiveness and compliance more than in-person therapy
- Licensing and payment policy issues
- Compromised privacy
Studies are controversial as to the effectiveness of telehealth in patients with more serious conditions, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and lower back pain.
Physical therapy – United States
Definitions and licensing requirements in the United States vary among jurisdictions, as each state has enacted its own physical therapy practice act defining the profession within its jurisdiction, but the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has also drafted a model definition in order to limit this variation, and the APTA is also responsible for accrediting physical therapy education curricula throughout the United States of America.