Physiotherapists help physically injured or disabled people through movement and exercise. They also educate and advise people of all ages to maintain health and prevent disease.
Physiotherapy comes from the word physio meaning physical & therapy meaning treatment. Physiotherapists assist injured or disabled people to perform everyday tasks and activities easier. Also, they treat patients through several physical exercises including muscle stretching, strengthening, isometric, isotonic & cardio exercises.
Here are some of the day-to-day activities of a physiotherapist:
1. Recording the medical condition, treatment, response and progress in a patient's chart.
2. Evaluating the medical records of the patient and determining the nature of the diagnosis
3. Administrating the manual exercises, massage or traction to help relieve pain and increasing the patient’s muscle strength
4. Discharging the patient from physical therapy after attaining positive results and providing follow-up care or referrals.
Based on the nature of the treatment, there are many types of physiotherapists. Let us look at some of the notable ones and what they do:
An orthopaedic physiotherapist concentrates on rehabilitating the musculoskeletal system, including joints and bones. The rehabilitation of bones is achieved through methods like stretching, strength training and endurance exercises.
Geriatric physiotherapists focus on the physical movement needs the aged. They provide treatment for conditions such as arthritis, alzheimer's disease, cancer, osteoporosis and joint replacement.
A neurological physiotherapist concentrates on educating clients to adapt to visual, balance, mobility and muscle loss impairments for activities of daily living. They also nurse patients with neurological conditions and impairments, such as alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, parkinson's disease, brain injury, cerebral palsy, stroke and spinal cord injury.
Cardiovascular and pulmonary physiotherapist focuses on nursing patients who suffer from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis
Paediatric physiotherapists nurse infants, toddlers, children and adolescents suffering from acute injury, birth defects, developmental delays, genetic disorders, head trauma, limb deficiencies, muscle diseases and orthopaedic disabilities.
You might think, how can one become a qualified Physiotherapist in India?
In India, Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) is a four and a half year medicine course which also includes 6 months of internship. The Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP) regulates the physiotherapy curriculum in India. The minimum qualification for BPT is completing the Higher Secondary education with 50% marks in physics, chemistry and biology. After the completion of BPT, one can opt for Master of Physiotherapy (MPT) for specialization.
Now, let’s look at a famous Physiotherapist and his notable work:
Dr. Ali Irani
Dr Ali Irani is well known for his proficiency in the field of physiotherapy. He has also served as the physiotherapist for Indian cricket team for around ten years. He completed his graduation from M.S University, Baroda. He also completed his PhD in Sports Medicine and PhD in Anatomy of Body Movement and Dance.
Dr Ali Irani is the Head of the Department of Physiotherapy, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre at Dr B. Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai. He also acts as the President of the Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP) and the Vice-President of Bombay District Sports Medicine Association