Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, is a health related field that strives to enable individuals who were physically injured or whose bodies have degenerated due to aging or disease to function as much as they can without assistance. This often involves an interaction with the medical practitioner and patient that incorporates physical therapy equipment or training exercises for muscles that may have been harmed for a number of medical reasons.
The medical professionals who work within this field are often identified as physical therapists. Many of these practitioners receive years of education before obtaining a license to practice. PT disciplines are also multifaceted and diverse, ranging from geriatric to orthodontic. Certified therapists are reregistered with the American Physical Therapy Association, and undergo vigorous scrutiny prior to be accepting into the board.
Physical Therapy Fields
Some physical therapists work within hospitals or centers while others are contractors who work independent of a facility. The kind of physical therapist you work with will greatly depend on what kind of injury or ailment you are addressing.
This type of therapists deals with injury or disease of the musculoskeletal system. With the use of physical therapy equipment, a therapist may retrain a client on the fundamentals of walking after multiple leg fractures or enable them to regain the use of their hands after invasive surgeries. Simple physical training supplies, like hot cold compresses may be used for sprains or mild fractures.
Geriatric physical therapists work with the elderly while pediatric physical therapist work with babies and children. Both specialists are familiar with diseases that afflict their particular group and their training is geared to help target problems associated with those illnesses. For example, a pediatric therapist may help a child with a curvature of the spine to learn to walk with a brace while a geriatric therapist helps senior citizens cope with arthritis or aggravations from various replacement surgeries.
A neurological patient often relies on the expertise of a physic therapist in this field to combat issues associated with neurological damage. Brain or spinal cord injury and in born issues like MS or Parkinson’s are often dealt with by these specialists. Often these types of practitioners work with people who have been paralyzed and are unable to walk. Physical therapy supplies like electronic muscle stimulators may be used by these therapist to stimulate blood flow and keep the muscles from atrophying.
Practitioners of this particular health discipline must keep massage therapy equipment current and up to date. More often than not, individual masseuses work as independent contractors and have to buy their own massage therapy supplies. Again, these individuals have to be fully licensed and board certified even if they are not affiliated with a specific center. A masseuse who works within a medical establishment will have access to state of the art massage therapy equipment, although they still may have to pay for a few of their own massage therapy supplies.
The Role of Family
A good portion of physical therapy success is based on the mental attitude of the patient. This is where family can come in. The physical therapist will show the patient what steps they need to take to ensure a positive outcome. In turn, the family has to be there for the patient and help keep their spirits up so that they fight to get back to a place of wholeness after a tremendous physical set back.
Remember, when looking for physical therapist, be sure to check and see if they went to an accredited school and are board certified. Even a masseuse should be well trained, whether they have to provide their own massage therapy supplies or not.
In the end, the over all goal of physical therapy is to increase the fitness and well being of the patient post surgery or after an accident or prolonged, debilitating illness.