The earliest documented origins of actual physical therapy as a professional group date back to Per Henrik Ling, “Father of Swedish Gymnastics,” who founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for manipulation, and exercise.
Physiotherapy is treatment to restore, maintain, and make the most of a patient’s mobility, function, and well-being. Physiotherapy helps through physical rehabilitation, injury prevention, and health and fitness. Physiotherapists get you involved in your own recovery.
Physiotherapy is integral to all spheres of health and well-being such as promotion, prevention, habilitation and rehabilitation and encompasses physical, psychological, emotional and social factors. Physiotherapy involves the interaction of the physiotherapist with the client including his/her family, care givers and relevant other health professionals and communities.
Types of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy has evolved in the form of various sub-specialties, which enable PT to deal with various conditions in a more effective and appropriate way. Below is the list of various sub-specialties and their uses:
Neurological physiotherapy – Neurological conditions lead to extreme muscle weakness, loss of balance and coordination, muscle spasm, tremors, loss of function, and decreased sensation. Neurological physiotherapy aims at establishing mobility and treating functional disorders which originate from nervous and neuromuscular system such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, sciatica, aneurysm, and Parkinson’s disease.
Orthopedic/ musculoskeletal physiotherapy – This sub-specialty deals with repairing the deformities and treating the ailments related to human musculoskeletal system, which include correcting the muscles, ligaments, bones, joints, and tendons. The main aim is to alleviate pain, increase mobilization, and to rectify the skeletal injury.
Cardiopulmonary physiotherapy – This sub-specialty treats the patients who suffer from cardiopulmonary disorders such as cardiac arrest and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Physiotherapists run cardiac rehabilitation centers and educate the patients about certain forms of exercises and resistance training techniques which can help them improve their overall quality of life.
Pediatric physiotherapy – Pediatric physiotherapists help in improving acute injuries, defects which are present at the time of birth, delayed physical growth, or certain genetic defects such as cerebral palsy (a condition which restricts the overall movement and coordination). Physiotherapists use various therapeutic exercises in children, which can aid in strengthening the affected parts; thereby improving the precise and overall movement of those parts.
Geriatric physiotherapy – This sub-specialty deals with certain age-related medical conditions such as arthritis (pain in the joints), osteoporosis (fragile and brittle bones). Geriatric physiotherapists guide elderly about restricting certain movements which can aggravate pain, provide their patients with gait aides to improve overall mobility and to minimize pain by employing various techniques and exercises.