Evidence based science of movement

Every year 8th September is celebrated as World Physiotherapy Day. It marks a day dedicated to respect the foundation of  non-surgery principles of modern medicine. Power of healing through exercises is known since Ancient times. In every manner of ancient medicine, enhancing healing through lifestyle promoting one’s fitness overall strength and working on body has been the key. Movement has been our notion of life, be it the first kick in the womb or the last point of movement in our life.

The WHO says that “Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.”

Physiotherapy is a branch of modern evidence based medicine which uses exercises, manipulations, mobilisation, electrotherapy, exercise therapy, dry needling, IASTM, taping in the most appropriate way to enhance overall quality of life. It has areas of specialization which enhances the treatment and outcomes.

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy is related to working on joints, muscles and soft tissues around to maximize the movement and minimize injuries. Injuries can not only occur to sports population but everyone who is moving around. Think of yourself visiting the market and twisting your ankle!

You will reach your highest level of pain free mobility only after getting trained by a qualified and registered physiotherapist. It is a more scientific approach towards exercise and reliable then copying exercises available on the internet. Working on inhibiting the pain receptors, the final result you get is better movement with reduced pain. Exercises are natural painkillers.. so no side effects as well.

Neurophysiotherapy helps to return to maximum independence post any neurological insult. A neurological insult is anything which affects your nervous system example a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, down’s syndrome, delayed milestones. The interesting fact here is there is neurophysiotherapy available for both adults and children.  Neurophysiotherapy helps in adapting the new neurons to get back to daily routine. It works on improving balance and coordination as well.

Coming next to Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy, this time of COVID 19 has proven that how minor affect to your lungs and heart can overall hamper your daily living. But having a branch of physiotherapy devoted to conditioning your basic pumps of life is a boon. It has shown excellent results in cases of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, post operative by – pass surgery (cardiac rehabilitation), asthma, COPD patients etc. It improves your overall aerobic capacity. Increase use of physiotherapy in ICU has resulted in reduced complications of prolong ICU stay, helps in improving the psychological status of the patients and enhances recovery at a faster and better rate. Exercises have resulted in growth of new collaterals of your blood vessels and improving the quality of pumping of heart, endothelial function, ejection fraction, cardiorespiratory endurance, & volume load.

Sports physiotherapy is gaining momentum since last many years. Fitness of a sportsman is the key to less injury and overall growth of the team. As a country, India is investing in the sports and here sports physiotherapists play an important role. They can be the game changers. Sports physiotherapy can be availed by amateur players and professionals both. It enhances your flexibility, endurance strength & performance as well.

Community physiotherapy works on the wellbeing of the community and helps in reducing disability encountered in daily activities.  Pre natal and post natal care is for the mothers who risk their life in giving birth. It speeds up their return to normal routine, reduces the levels of stress and promote confidence. Exercising before delivery also has benefits of reduced chances of complications and improves health of the baby. It is completely safe to exercise after getting a clearance by the gynecologist. Ergonomics refers to the science of safe working environment. Imagine a physiotherapist can help you in reducing those aches due to long hours of sitting and working without any medications. Preventive measures are also taken to reduce chances of any injuries.

Oncophysiotherapy is an upcoming branch which deals with rehabilitation in case of cancer. Cancer treatment being a long and mentally taxing process, the body starts giving up because of the hard effect of the treatment. Doing physiotherapy during and after treatment helps in reducing complications, improves confidence and makes a person Independent.

Pediatric physiotherapy is for the kids. Right from new born babies to adolescents, physiotherapy can be used at all ages for improving mobility, delayed milestones, floopy kids, imbalances while walking is taken care of. Working on the weakness and tightness of the muscles, it helps in motor relearning and sensory stimulation.

Geriatric physiotherapy is an important unexplored aspect since the quality of life matters most in the later stages of life. A healthy geriatric is independent, happy, at least risk of falls and accidents and enjoys life after years of hard work.

All this is only possible if there are more seats opened for physiotherapists at various levels in the government healthcare. Formation of a council will help in a better channelling and surveillance. I am sure in the coming time, physiotherapy will be a game changer in everyone’s life,that will improve quality of healthcare in the society  reduce the health care costs or  save budget & decrease burden on family, caretakers & the government.

In Jammu and Kashmir, as the average weather is on colder side, there is need for continuous movement for all the people living here. Conditions like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, joint aches- mainly backache and small joints pain are bound to be more than other states. Due to sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercises, non communicable diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia and obesity is predicted to increase drastically, early prevention and treatment will help in the coming future.

To all the readers, feel the magic of physiotherapy for yourself and your loved ones. Approach the expert physiotherapist or Movement Scientist with experience and apt clinician skills. and change your lifestyle today.

Dr Suhail Ahmad Mir is Sports Physiotherapist .He is President J & K Physiotherapists Association & Council Formation Committee.