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Geriatric Physiotherapy: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment ? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any Side Effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment ?

Physiotherapy is defined as the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise rather than by drugs or surgery, whereas geriatric refers to old people, especially with regard to their health care. With these definitions, we can put together a definition for geriatric physiotherapy. Geriatric physiotherapy can be defined as physical therapy for the geriatric population, mainly focusing on optimizing function for the aging adult. This is important as there are many problems that are involved with the aging of the human body. These include obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, oral decay, respiratory disease, and a weakened body. Decreased capillary density and a thickening of vascular walls are present with aging. These structural and functional alterations in the vascular system explain age-associated reductions in muscle blood flow and impede blood flow, which increases the pain sensations. The physical activity status in a person influences vascular function and may explain alterations in muscle blood flow. This all explains many pains and aches that an aging human might face. This is all based on a study which evaluated the physiotherapy program run by the Bombay hospital on geriatric patients experiencing calf pain. Their complaints included the inability to walk or cannot bear weight on the affected side, swelling and in some severe cases, deformity. All these complaints increased with advancing age. The study concluded that the BHP Program had beneficial effects in reducing calf pain among the geriatric population and thereby improving and inducing quality of geriatric pain-free lifestyle, which shows geriatric physiotherapy is, in this case at least, very successful.

How is the treatment done?

There are many people involved in geriatric physiotherapy. There is a speech therapist, a chiropodist, an orthopedic surgeon, ward maids, porters, and the physical medicine consultant. All these people work very closely with the occupational therapists without whom their task would be made much more difficult. The co-ordinator of everybody's work is the geriatrician, and he serves as their 'leader' of sorts. Geriatric physiotherapy would be very inefficient if some of the members of the team were not on the same lines as some of the other members. Getting a geriatric patient out of bed as quickly as possible is one of the most important things that must be done, as the bed has also been described as a dangerous instrument with many side effects, so it would not be good for the chiropodist to see one of the nurses lifting a patient out of bed when he or she has spent a considerable amount of time trying to teach the patient to do it himself or herself. Equipment used in geriatric physiotherapy includes parallel bars and a mirror so they can see what exactly they are doing when they are walking, toe-raising clipers and plaster of paris or some other form of plastic black slabs are also used to prevent patients sagging at their knees when they try to walk. A common technique in geriatric physiotherapy is called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and it was developed in the United States of America. Exercises in this process include bridging, which involves the liftin of hips off the bed. This helps the insertion of a bedpan, which helps the nurses. Then, the patient rolls from one side of the bed to the other. The good side is treated first, as opposed to the infected side, as it will be the one that takes most of the strain during walking when the patient begins to walk again.

Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?)

The term geriatric refers to old people, especially with regard to their health care. Physiotherapy can be used to improve your health in surprising ways. Aged people usually have these signs, that can also be experienced by a relatively young person, and are a sign of requirement of physiotherapy. Issues in the inner ear of a person can result in that person losing their balance. Symptoms can also include dizziness and vertigo. Feeling a backache when sitting at a desk for too long is also a sign. Other signs include being in constant pain, for weeks at a time, not feeling as flexible as you previously did and cannot move in ways you could before, and wanting to urinate uncontrollably, either through stress incontinence or urge incontinence. If you are a geriatric person, and you are experiencing problems like this, it is a sign that you should take a visit to a physiotherapist.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Even if you are not experiencing many of the problems given above, it is advised to take a visit to a physiotherapist, even if you are not old. A difference in an individuals ability to live an active and healthy lifestyle can be made by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is the key to restoring and maintaining a level of physical function for many seniors, disabled or chronically ill people, and it permits independent living. Benefits of physiotherapy include improving joint mobility, decreasing pain, increasing strength and coordination and improved cardio-respiratory function. Physiotherapy gives you properly functional capability in your home or workspace. Physiotherapy is known for offering a specialized range of services for many patients, especially for those with heart and lung disease, traumatic athletic and/or workspace injuries.

Are there any Side Effects?

There are a few side effects of physiotherapy. These include pain. It is very likely that you will experience a lot of pain as you recover. There will also be a lot of swelling present, as the tissues, muscles, and ligaments are stretched in order to strengthen them. These symptoms are worse for geriatric patients. Discontinuing the course prematurely can have adverse effects on the body, such as more pain, and no resolution of the previous condition. There have also been claims of adverse effects caused by physiotherapists using electrotherapy. There were reports of burns, rashes, and increased pain, along with some events of nausea and fainting. Though these events are few and far apart, they are of concern.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Physiotherapy is a form of post-treatment, espesially for geriatric patients. Physiotherapy care is essential to an effective, complete treatment. Physiotherapic methods are used for post-treatment procedures in many situations, like prostate cancer, or even after total knee or hip replacement. Physiotherapy rehabilitation after first-time total hip or knee replacement surgery is usually the standard and essential treatment. After physiotherapic treatment, there may be pain, or even swelling.

How long does it take to recover?

The recovery time varies from person to person problems and thus are dependable on the patinets health conditions.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

In India, physiotherapy costs from two hundred and fifty rupees to one thousand rupees per session, so the total cost depends on the number of sessions which are required, which is ultimately dependant on what is required from the treatment. This can depend on whether it is a post-treatment process from another treatment, like a total hip replacement, or a requirement for a totally different problem, like the inability to walk properly, and other age dependant reasons. The cost for physiotherapy is the same for geriatric patients.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The effects of physiotherapy on geriatric patients, or even on regular patients is permanent, given that both the patient and the physiotherapist are aware of the problem, and the patents personla aim, or goal.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

A common alternative to physiotherapy in all forms is painkillers, as they reduce pain very quickly, and chronic pain is one of the most common reason physiotherapy is required, whether for geriatric citizens or for younger ones. However, this quick but temporary solution comes with a lot of risks, including but not limited to Flu-like aches and pains, depression, sweating and cold flashes, nausea, and vomiting, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, etcetera. This is the reason why physiotherapy may not be the most attractive option in the beginning, but in the long term, it is the most beneficial.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have a back pain since few days. Is there any physiotherapy treatment available?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck back knee & general exerc...
1 person found this helpful

How effective is physiotherapy in cervical spondylosis improvement? Does it require medication also along with physiotherapy.

Physiotherapist, Noida
Neck exercises. Neck stretching. Postural correction. Shoulder shrugs. Take frequent breaks at work.
1 person found this helpful

I have polio and my legs are affected is it possible to cure using physiotherapy.

Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho)
Orthopedist, Udaipur
Deformities in polio can be corrected surgically but power cannot be brought back .Physiotherapy also helps to certain extent.

For spondylolisthesis grade 3 which physiotherapy is good? Can you tell me some name of exercises?

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Bachelor of Physical Therapy
Physiotherapist, Hyderabad
In case of spondylolisthesis caution is advised to do exercises that may increase the slippage of the verterbra over the other. You need to under supervision of a skilled physiotherapist. Gentle core stabilization exercises, hip and low back stren...
1 person found this helpful

I have sciatica. And do physiotherapy once a year. but now am fed up of. Is there no permanent solution for this.

MCh Ortho, ATLS (AIIMS), Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Kolkata
You should get an MRI scan done to find out the cause of this persisting pain. That way the treatment can be targeted to eliminate the root cause of this pain.
2 people found this helpful

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