A Brief History Of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can be broken down to mean physical therapy. Its origin has been traced as far back as 460 BC with physicians like Galen and Hippocrates being the first people to actually practice it. They used physical therapy as a form of rehabilitative medicine to remarkably ease pain and discomfort. The first record made of professional physiotherapy was in Sweden. This is where it was first practiced in 1831. Many countries soon saw the need to form associations that handled any physiotherapy related matter. It was not until the early 19th century that modern physical therapy advanced globally.

The treatment method mostly used involved in the practice of physiotherapy included massage, traction, and exercise. It was at a later period that manipulative procedures used for the treatments of joints and spine began after much research had been carried out. Specialization in the different branches of physiotherapy soon followed. It was mainly hospital based at first but, in recent time, physiotherapy has evolved to gain firmer ground in other active areas of health care.

Definition Of Physiotherapy

There are so many acceptable definitions of physiotherapy. It is basically a health care profession that aims to provide care and increase the quality of life by use of manual methods to restore and promote the physical, social and psychological well being of an individual. This healthcare profession is able to sufficiently assist persons who suffer as a result of an injury, a disability and any form of pain.

As seen from the definition, it is actually a method employed to improve the muscle, limb and joint movements. The base of physiotherapy is well-founded scientific discoveries. The physiotherapy professional hopes to clearly understand the basic principles of movement and function. A trained physiotherapist usually administers physiotherapy. These ones work hand in hand with their patients and are able to assist them in their healing process. The bulk of physiotherapy is tied to being able to access, correctly diagnose and adequately treat any condition that affects movements in any way.

Types of physiotherapy

Physiotherapy uses various methods to achieve a common goal – that is to help patients attain health and reach their maximum potential. One of these methods is physical physiotherapy which could be orthopaedic, geriatric, paediatric and cardiopulmonary. Orthopaedic physiotherapy concentrates mainly on restoring and maintaining function to the muscles and bones of the skeleton. Endurance exercises, stretching and joint mobilization is used. Geriatric physiotherapy focuses on those advanced in years and in any movement disorder that may result from old age such as osteoporosis, joint removal, and more commonly arthritis. The main aim here is to reduce any pain and gradually restore mobility. Paediatric physiotherapy takes into consideration the needs of infants, children, and even adolescents. The aim here is to detect any problem that would make mobility difficult including those as a result of defects of birth, deficiencies of the limbs and muscles etc.  Cardiopulmonary physiotherapy, on the other hand, is able to treat problems of the heart and respiratory system.

In summary, Physical physiotherapy employs mainly physical methods including exercise, mobilization, electrotherapy, and massage to ensure the normal health and restore the normal body functioning. This is carried out using different materials like a physical therapy bed, hot and cold packs, braces and support bands for exercise and even sophisticated machines, for example, an ultrasound machine among others.