What is the treatment?
Physiotherapy helps to restore mobility and normalcy in a patient's life after he/she is affected by any injury, disease or disability, in general.
Components of a physiotherapy session include manual therapy, advising and educating the patient. Physiotherapy can help a patient of any age to manage further pain and prevent subsequent injuries or diseases. In a nutshell, physiotherapy helps a patient improve and maximize his/her physical strength, functioning and general well-being while taking care of the underlying issues.
It adopts a more holistic approach to a patient's treatment process by taking into consideration his/her lifestyle and other dimensions of their lives.
Physiotherapy helps prevent disability and injury, manages chronic as well as acute health conditions, manages and betters physical performance of the patient, provides rehabilitation from the injury and educates patients on how to prevent any further recurrence.
How is the treatment done?
A physiotherapist may employ a variety of techniques, determined by the nature of the injury sustained and the particular problem that is being treated. The commonest of them are:
- Manual manipulation: Moving the soft tissues and the joints betters circulation, flushes excess fluids from the body and relaxes overtly tight muscles and spasms.
- Electrical stimulation of the nerves: Delivering electric currents in controlled intensity to the affected part helps to contain the pain signals, thus preventing them from reaching the brain.
- Acupuncture: This is a great way of stimulating the CNS while dulling the pain and relaxing tight muscles.
- Demonstration: Teaching and demonstrating proper movement patterns to the patient help them to recuperate on their own.
- Functional testing: This involves examining the patient with regards to their physical movements to better assess his/her condition.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Few conditions that can benefit from physical therapy are:
- Cardio-pulmonary conditions such as COPD, myocardial infarction and cystic fibrosis
- Hand therapy in conditions such as trigger finger and CTS (Carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Tears in the rotator cuff, lower or upper back pain and TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders)
- Injuries to the spinal cord, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, trauma to the brain and vestibular dysfunction
- Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disorders in children
- Tennis elbow and other injuries related to sports
- Urinary incontinence
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
There is nothing as a non-eligibility criterion for physiotherapy. Anybody who has sustained an injury, disease or has been rendered disabled from a trauma can go for physiotherapy for improved functioning and mobility, obviously after due consultation with the doctor in charge.
Are there any side effects?
Yes, there are a few side effects associated with physiotherapy. It is absolutely essential to address these by talking it out with the physiotherapist. Some of the common side effects are:
- Pain: It may happen that your pain increases while you recuperate and recover. To address such pain, oral pain medicines might be administered prior to a session of physical therapy. Heat/cold therapy or other topical methods can work as well.
- Swelling: This is very common; it's because of the fact that the tissues, muscles and ligaments are stretched in order to strengthen them. This can result in swelling and further pain because of it.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
The basic guideline here is to stick to the course and complete it. While there might not be fool-proof guarantee of outcome or resolution of the pain post physiotherapy, getting demotivated because of this and discontinuing the course prematurely can have adverse effects on the body. This can result in further pain and absolute non-resolution of the condition whatsoever. It is best to talk to the concerned physiotherapist and tell him/her precisely about your own personal objectives. The physio can then tailor the treatment plan according to your objectives and recommend you to make certain lifestyle modifications for quicker recovery.
How long does it take to recover?
It is important to keep in mind that every problem is different and the rate at which individuals recover will always vary. Physiotherapy may take longer to bring results in case the problem being dealt with is severe and on the other hand, may require a much shorter downtime if the patient had only sustained a minor injury. Typically, the body's softer tissues take about 6-7 weeks to heal completely; hence, physiotherapy will last for that time period.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
The cost of physiotherapy in India ranges from Rs.250- Rs.1500 per session.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
While there is no fool-proof guarantee of results, physiotherapy is very important for holistic recovery of the patient post injury or disability of any kind. If stuck to the entire treatment course and done with diligence, physiotherapy usually helps the patient in ways more than one. To put it simply, the effects of physiotherapy are permanent, given the patient is clear about his/her personal goals and expectations and lets the physiotherapist know about the same as well.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
The alternatives to physiotherapy are:
- The intake of carbs should be kept in check as increased consumption of carbs results in inflammation because of spiked blood sugar levels.
- Oils that are rich in LDL should be avoided. Also, foods rich in trans-fats and saturated fats should be cut out from the diet.
- Eat more of plant-based foods and items rich in anti-inflammatory properties such as green tea, onion, garlic, lemon, mustard, horseradish, parsley, celery, etc.