INTRODUCTIONPhysiotherapy as a holistic healing method to achieve a healthier life has created a niche for itself as a leading health care system that improves health without the use of drugs or surgery. Physiotherapy (also known as Physical therapy) is defined as the assessment, evaluation, and treatment and prevention of physical disability, movement dysfunction and pain resulting from injury,
Physiotherapy, as a profession, may briefly be defined as a science that seeks to alleviate movement dysfunction, to promote optimal health and functions of the human body. It involves the treatment of patients through exercise therapy and other therapeutic agents, including heat radiations, electricity, sound water and message, and is used to cure weak muscles, difficulties in the movement of shoulder and knee joints, paralysis, inborn and acquired deformities, gynecological ailments and other such disorders. It is one of the rapidly growing areas of medicine that involves heat radiations, massages, tractions, water therapy and diathermy. Patients with such problems are referred by medical practitioners to physiotherapists who then take on the responsibility of restoring them to health. The core skills used by physiotherapists include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and the application of electro-physical modalities. Physiotherapists use various therapeutic intervention techniques to treat a patient. Some of them are Manual Therapy, TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation used to control pain), Ultrasound Technique, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Manipulation, Acupuncture etc. Although the work of a physiotherapist may tend to be physically very strenuous as it involves physically lifting and supporting patients, their profession brings with it much satisfaction, since it involves relieving patients of pain and helping them recover from specific physical ailments.
Physiotherapy has many specialties including cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopaedic and pediatrics to name some of the more common areas. PTs practice in many settings, such as outpatient clinics or offices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities.
• As physiotherapists can treat a wide range of disorders, they are highly in demand today making career physiotherapy very attractive. A physiotherapist could be employed in the following areas
• Rehabilitation departments.
• The central and state governments, municipal corporations and private bodies which includes Institute of the Physically Handicapped, medical rehabilitation centers, health institutions and defence medical establishments etc.
• Medical Institutions.
• Orthopaedic departments.
• Schools for the mentally retarded and physically disabled children.
• Physiotherapists can also opt for teaching.
• Establish private clinics of their own.
• The physiotherapists can opt for research and development works in the pharmaceutical companies and institutional laboratories.
• Others work in sports clubs or in industry, where they supervise gym activity, assess fitness levels, devise appropriate exercise programmes and advise on posture and lifting.
• Law - Retail Physiotherapy/Pharmaceutical Company Attorney
Mary McMillan, R.N (est. 1888-1936) was chief aide at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 1918, and director of physiotherapy at Harvard University Medical School from 1921 to 1925. She made significant contributions toward introducing massage as an integral part of rehabilitative physiotherapy, and was also director of massage and medical gymnastics at Children's Hospital in Portland, Maine. She was the author of Massage and Therapeutic Exercise (1925), and was elected as the first president of the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association (later called the American Physical Therapy Association) in 1921. McMillan could be called the mother of massage in America.
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