Applications of Physio

Physio, also known as physiotherapy, is the science of preventing, treating and managing disease or injury through the use of physical means as opposed to drugs and surgery. The main aim of the therapy is to relieve pain and restore mobility. The application of physiotherapy to manage illness dates back to 460 BC, when physicians at the time advocated for the use of manual therapy, hydrotherapy and massage to treat disease. Modern physiotherapy was developed at the end of the 19th century. The outbreak of polio and the world wars in the first half of the 20th century increased the demand for physiotherapy. This led to more research and worldwide acceptability of the technique as an effective way to treat illness and restore movement.

The following are areas where physio has been found effective.

Preventing Falls

As people age, they are prone to fall due to medical conditions, lack of balance or poor vision. Physiotherapists assess a person's risk of falling and consequently develop a customised activity program to help improve stability and strengthen legs. Further, the person is advised on how to make their home safer and how to reduce their risk of falling.

After Surgery

Surgery can impede the body movements of a patient. Physiotherapy is therefore applied to restore patients' mobility in addition to reducing their pain. It may involve stretching joints and muscles, stability exercises or walking exercises.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a condition in which a person has breathing difficulties and chronic cough with large amounts of mucus. It may be caused by long-term smoking, or it may be experienced by patients in the ICU due to reduced lung activity. Physiotherapy helps in increasing the lungs' capacity by improving muscle strength. It also helps to establish coordinated breathing and reduce excessive secretions from the lungs.  

In Sports

Sportsmen and women are vulnerable to various injuries due to excessive muscle stretching or field accidents. Knee, shoulder, hamstring and ankle injuries are common among athletes. Physio helps in injury prevention by educating athletes on correct warmup and stretching methods. It is also applied in treating injuries by helping reduce pain and joint mobilisation to restore movement.

Always ensure that you engage the services of a professional physiotherapist, as injuries could become severe when physio is done incorrectly.

Physio is an effective way to manage disease and injury and to restore mobility. It may be used to manage sports injury, treat COPD, after surgery and prevent falls among older adults.