Delving into physiotherapy


With World Physiotherapy Day observed recently, physiotherapist Lorraine Saldanha (BPT MIAP) of Physio Edge, Ponda, shares why this field is important and how it can benefit us in our daily life


Q. Why is physiotherapy important and for whom?

Generally, physiotherapy is important for all who want to live healthy and painless lives. But it’s very important for post-operative rehabilitation. Physiotherapy is very important post surgery, post delivery and for those with stroke (CVA). Physical therapy plays an important role in children who have delayed milestones or certain birth or genetic abnormalities due to which they are unable to walk or use their hands appropriately. We train their muscles and help them improve their quality of life. Geriatric population, patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases too benefit a lot from physiotherapy. We have specific exercises that train their balance, coordination and fine motor issues. Physiotherapy is a treatment method that focuses on the science of movement and helps people to restore and maintain movement, strength, and function.

In today’s world, people have become more health conscious and everyone wants perfection in their day today activities. Due to this they seek professional help more often. Modern lifestyle, sedentary jobs have given rise to a lot of health issues. In this pandemic a lot of people are working from home and attending online classes. Inappropriate desk and chair, faulty ergonomics, and bad posture have resulted in people visiting us more often due to neck and back pain or strain.

Q. What are the different conditions that can be treated using physical therapy?

The list is endless but I will name a few common conditions: frozen shoulder, bell’s palsy, neck and back pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), delayed developmental milestones in children, degenerative diseases, nerve palsies, post operative stiffness especially after a fracture or muscle injury, post-operative knee and hip replacement.

Q. How can we use physiotherapy in daily life to keep ourselves fit?

Do proper stretching exercises for at least 20 minutes followed by some aerobic exercise like walking, cycling, swimming, etc. The stretching exercises should be learned from a qualified

Q. Physiotherapy is generally considered to be extremely expensive.

I don’t think it’s too expensive for a specialised service. We treat on the basis of 1:1 ratio, wherein one physiotherapist treats one patient. Every patient who walks in is a different case, hence a thorough examination and physical assessment is done. Based on their muscle imbalance, mobility of joints, intensity of pain, aggregating and relieving factors of pain, the treatment protocol is designed.

We as physiotherapists treat the root cause of any pain or muscle strain, by teaching you personalised exercises based on your pain and muscle involvement. We insist the exercises taught by us should be continued at home for efficient and good results, assuring the patient the pain will not relapse if the exercises are continued religiously.

Q. Does physiotherapy have something for this pandemic that the world is going through?

Yes definitely. We can also teach you breathing exercises. We call them chest expansion exercises. Patients admitted in the ICU and on ventilators also go through chest physiotherapy that helps reduce the secretions in the lungs.

Q. With rising awareness about physiotherapy, many are joining this field, any advice for them?

Be hard working, get a lot of hands-on experience, and do not stop learning. Learning is a continuous process. Till today I go back and read. Only then you can be successful.