The word 'surgery' is often dreaded by most patients. Be it an invasive oral surgery or a keyhole gallbladder surgery, it does not evoke a ready "yes" in most patients. There are too many patients who are ready to be on long-term medications if they could avoid the surgery and its complications. While there could be swelling, bruising, tingling, and many other symptoms, the one feared by most is the postoperative pain. What happens after the effect of the anesthetic wears off can leave many patients in a very anxious and fearful state. The trick is to prepare oneself - not just for the surgery but for the after effects.
Before the surgery, a detailed discussion with the doctor on the following is very important:
After the surgery, the following are some ways to cope with the pain:
1. Pain killers - Don't wait for the anesthesia effect to completely wear out. Take the pain killer much before the pain starts so that the onset of pain is delayed or nullified. For severe cases, opioids may be used to manage immediate postoperative pain. However, in most cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen are used. They may also be used up to a few days after surgery to ease the pain and inflammation, depending on the type of surgery.
2. Topical creams/lotions - In cases involving skin incisions, these help reduce the pain in the skin along the incision.
3. Compression stockings - In addition to reducing blood clot, they also reduce pain in the legs.
4. Physiotherapy - If there is a joint involved, doing physiotherapy after surgery is extremely beneficial. In addition to reducing pain, they also help improve mobility.
5. Sleep - Sufficient sleep (more than you normally would) promotes healing and helps your ability to cope with the pain.
6. Heating pads and ice packs - If these are your regular remedies for pain, feel free to use them even in postsurgical pains.
7. Reduce Stress - This will help you cope better with the pain and heal faster.
A given patient and a given surgery are a unique combination. No two patients will react the same way to a particular surgery. Postsurgical pain can be managed very effectively with a little planning.
Lower back pain is fast becoming an epidemic not just among the elderly, but across all age groups. Primary causes of back pain are quite a few including lumbar hernia, disc degenerative disease (DDD), spondylosis etc., but the symptoms are usually the same excruciating pain in the lower region of the spine, followed by stiffness. Since back pain is caused due to a number of spinal problems, it manifests differently in different patients. The pain may be dull, burning or sharp. It could also be felt at a single point or over a broad area and could be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness or even shooting pain in one or both legs.
Back pain can also be differentiated according to the time period:
Sometimes symptoms resolve on their own, but in many cases conservative treatment, such as physiotherapy, which often works better than surgery, becomes essential. Alternate therapies like surgery, acupressure, acupuncture as well as yoga and Ayurveda also help.
Physiotherapy - Exercises that work
Since the reason for low back pain is not always same, a patient’s treatment too should be tailored for his specific symptoms and condition. This is what the physiotherapist will do design an exercise plan based on the patient’s specific problem and its cause.
Physiotherapy treatments may include:
Physiotherapy exercises help support the back and strengthen muscles so that the spine is cushioned properly. This is why physiotherapy is relevant as a treatment for backache. Treatments like traction help in lengthening the spine and relieving compression of nerves that cause sciatica, radiating pain into legs largely due to lumbar herniation. If back pain is extreme, a patient will require physical therapy along with medication, which will help in managing pain and bringing the inflammation down. But in the long term, being physically active, going for walks, sitting properly and maintaining a good posture will help the most.
Tennis Elbow is involved with the muscles and tendons of one’s forearm. It leads to inflammation of the tendons which join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. Physiotherapy treatment can be of great help. The primary goal of this treatment is to improve the strength as well as the flexibility of one's forearm muscles. Now, before we take a look at the tips regarding physiotherapy treatment, let us briefly discuss its symptoms and causes.
If a person suffers from the problem of tennis elbow, then it’s sure to cause pain and tenderness on the outside of one’s elbow. The pain is at its peak when the elbow is kept still, while there might be variations in the pain when it is in use. There are other symptoms, which include:
There are a number of causes behind the occurrence of Tennis Elbow. They include:
Tips Regarding Physiotherapy Treatment For Tennis Elbow
Consult a physiotherapist to undergo physiotherapy treatment for tennis elbow, the therapist would help to provide strength and flexibility of forearm muscles. The following are some of the tips regarding Physiotherapy treatment to treat tennis elbow:
Knee pain is one of the most common and painful ailments that can limit mobility. Injuries can result in cartilage or meniscal tears or sprains too. Obesity is another reason knee pain is on the rise. Also, regular wear and tear of the ligaments and tendons around the knees due to old age is another cause. These days, with reduced physical activities and sedentary lifestyles, the rate at which knees are wearing out has also become accelerated. Whatever the reason, a correct diagnosis followed by prompt treatment can help.
Over the years, physiotherapy has been playing an important role in treating knee injuries. Whether to supplement the various drugs to reduce pain and inflammation or to avoid surgery, physiotherapy has helped many and its popularity is growing every day. Here are some ways that physiotherapy can help reduce pain.
1. Improve flexibility of tendons -The knee cap is an area where there are a lot of tendons and ligaments coordinating to enable movement. Careful exercising can ensure that the flexibility of tendons and ligaments is improved, thereby making your knee movement easier and less painful.
2. Improves blood supply - As we all know, proper movement requires a good blood supply. Exercising with a special focus on the knee ensures that blood supply is improved, and thereby the supporting ligaments and tendons function optimally.
3. Enhances the knee cap function - The knee cap is that portion which joins your thigh bone to your calf bones. This is prone to slip out of place, especially with arthritis and injuries. This can be painful and limit movement to a great degree. Focused exercises aimed at improving knee cap function will ensure that the knee cap has a wider range of function, and does not slip out of its socket easily.
4. Reduce rigidity - Once you start physiotherapy, you will feel your knees getting more flexible. The rigidity that had set in as a result of injuries and/or old age will also reduce over a period of time.
5. Slow down the wear and tear - When you start physiotherapy after knee damage, continuing the exercise routine, of course with expert guidance, can reduce the pace at which further damage might happen.
A word of caution though. Be sure to consult an experienced physiotherapist before you begin. Exercising in a bad manner can do equal or more harm than the original injury or old age itself. Contact us for a private consultation if required.
What are the benefits of physiotherapy in joint complaints?
How physiotherapy help in the joint complaint?
Physiotherapy includes following methods to improve the joint complaints:
1. Local applications
Application of ice packs to soothe hot, swollen joints and application of heat packs to relax tense, tired muscles is usually done.
2. Splinting of joints
In cases of rheumatoid arthritis where joint complaints flare-ups at that time splinting of the joints helps to the greater extent. Immobilization of the joint with splint helps to avoid further damage of soft tissues, and nerves.
3. Trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy
It helps by blocking pain messages from affected joint to the brain, and it alters the perception of pain. It is done by using a small machine with an electronic device which sends impulses to the nerve endings, and this is attached with the pads which are placed on the skin. This device causes a tingling sensation that gives soothing effects to the joint.
4. Gradual increasing daily exercises
Exercise should be started slowly, and it should increase slowly. This helps to strengthen the muscles and joints and increases fitness. Regular exercise also stimulates the production of endorphin which is one of the best pain-relieving hormones.
5. Massage therapy
Physiotherapy also includes massage therapy which helps to relax the muscles, helps to improve joint movement, and makes more comfortable movements.
Sometimes, acupuncture is also used to stimulate the brain to produce endorphins.
Hydrotherapy includes exercise in the warm water pool. It is mostly used in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The warm water in the pool increases circulation during exercise, and due to the buoyancy of water, the joint, and muscles can be exercised without any unnecessary pressure on it.
In which ultrasound is used to deliver certain medications such as topical steroids, painkillers to decrease the inflammation of joints.
9. Use of light therapy
In light therapy, infrared waves are used to raise body temperature which ultimately increases blood circulation. It gives fast pain relief and reduces inflammation.
Cerebral palsy refers to a medical condition where a child suffers from certain disabilities as a result of damage caused to his or her brain during or before birth. If a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy then he or she may experience a problem with body movement and brain development may also get affected. Along with difficulties in body movements, there are many other problems that he or she may encounter, such as difficulties in hearing or vision, intellectual disabilities, learning disorder, impaired speech and seizure problems, etc.
There are many causes responsible for cerebral palsy; they are stated as follows
Regular exercises and physiotherapy can help the child to cope up with the condition better. Following are a few exercises which may prove to be helpful:
Exercises with proper assistance can prove to be very beneficial for a child suffering from cerebral palsy.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, abbreviated as COPD, is an umbrella term which refers to the group of lung infections and diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and diseases of the small airways. Most people feel breathlessness, which is caused due to impairment of gaseous exchange that happens because of prolonged damage to the lungs over a period of time.
Symptoms such as fatigue, reduced tolerance to exercise, muscular dysfunction, breathlessness even after simple tasks like walking, anxiety, panic, depression, and mood disorders are associated with major chronic disorders of the respiratory system.
Physiotherapy is an effective intervention to treat patients suffering from COPD. It is the part of a formal supervised, multidisciplinary, and an intensive Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program that helps in treating manifestations of the conditions like COPD and Asthma. It consists of exercises to improve and maintain good lung capacity, resistance training, aerobic exercises, and support to behavioural and lifestyle changes for promoting self- efficacy. Your physiotherapist will choose from the different techniques and positions used to remove the unwanted excess sputum from the lungs and airways. The main purpose of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation is to help in improving the psychological and physical conditions of the pulmonary patients, along with training them for health enhancement techniques. Also, it should be noted that Pulmonary Rehabilitation is the cornerstone of care for patients suffering from COPD that uses integrated care by exploring underutilized opportunities.
Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation:
There are well-researched evidences of the improvement in the capacity of exercising, less breathlessness and fatigue, better control over condition, and an overall improvement in the quality of life of the patients suffering from COPD and Asthma.
Also, undergoing Pulmonary Rehabilitation lowers the rate of admissions, and re-admissions in hospitals due to recurrence of the symptoms and the related conditions.
It has also been reported that if Pulmonary Rehabilitation is properly undertaken, there is nearly no need for systematic health review to check COPD.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation, being a comprehensive program, helps in restoring fitness and easy breathing through breathing techniques, nutrition, exercise, relaxation, emotional support, medications, self-management, and other strategies for a better life, mainly by helping the lungs and the heart to function better.
How It Works?
Exercise is the key to any Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program for helping the lungs and the heart to function better and adjust to the condition. Some of the following exercises can be recommended based on the medical history of the patient:
1. Lower Body Exercise focuses on the workout of legs via running on a treadmill or climbing the staircase for rigorous training.
2. Upper Body Exercise includes working up the muscles of the arm and the chest by tasks as simple as lifting arms against gravity.
3. Breathing Exercise helps people with weak breathing and increasing their breathing and lung capacity.
4. Strength Training helps in building endurance and better stamina through activities like weight-lifting.
Other than exercise, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program focusses on helping patients build an understanding of their situation and amend their lifestyles accordingly. This includes helping them understand their medication plan, teaching them to use their inhalers right, quitting smoking, consuming a healthy and balanced diet, and other methods as may be suitable based on their specific condition. Also, they are made aware of their symptoms so that if there is any recurrence, it can be immediately reported to the concerned health professional. They are trained through counseling to manage and deal with panic, anxiety, and depression caused due to their condition.
Take Away: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is an effective intervention and the cornerstone of care for improving the psychological and physical conditions of the pulmonary patients, along with training them for health enhancement techniques. It helps in treating manifestations of the conditions like COPD and Asthma.
‘Movement disorders’ – the term refers to a class of neurological conditions, which lead to either an increased/abnormal movement or a scarcity of involuntary and voluntary movements.
Types of Movement Disorders-
The most common types of movement disorders are –
• Myalgia – More commonly known as muscle pain, myalgia originates in any part of the body. A person with myalgia will experience achiness and soreness in the muscles, which may range from severe to mild.
Myalgia does not occur from an underlying disease. Rather, the pain develops over time, mostly due to prolonged sitting, lying down, a strenuous physical activity, strains or sprains.
• Muscular dystrophy – This refers to a group of genetic disorders that lead to weakness and loss of muscle mass. The abnormal genes cause muscle degeneration and usually begins in early childhood. Myotonic, Facioscapulohumeral (FSHD), and Limb-girdle are a few forms of muscular dystrophy.
Muscular dystrophy is characterized by symptoms like – difficulty jumping and running, muscle stiffness and pain, walking on toes, waddling gait, trouble swallowing and breathing etc.
• Dystonia – The condition involves continuous involuntary muscle contractions with repetitive, twisting movements. Dystonia may affect either a specific body part (known as focal dystonia) or the full body (known as generalized dystonia).
• Huntington’s Disease – This is an inherited, neurodegenerative condition, where the brain’s nerve cells break down over time. Huntington’s disease usually kicks in, in the 30s or 40s. The disease results in psychiatric and cognitive symptoms – amnesia, confusion, slowness in activity etc.
• Multiple System Atrophy – This is a rare neurological disorder, which affects both the autonomic nervous system – the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary actions like digestion and blood pressure – and movement. Multiple System Atrophy leads to movement disorders like Parkinsonism or ataxia.
Symptoms of this disorder include – double or blurred vision, visual disturbances, unsteady gait, loss of balance etc.
• Tourette Syndrome – This is a disorder of the nervous system, which occurs usually between one’s childhood and teenage years. The disorder is associated with vocal sounds (vocal tics) and repetitive movements (motor tics).
Physiotherapy for Movement Disorders-
In most cases, movement disorders cannot be completely cured. However, with physiotherapy, you may be able to manage the symptoms and live a better life.
Physiotherapy is based on a few physical activities or mild exercises that help improve your joint movement and builds muscle strength. This particular treatment approach centres on –
• Exercises based on daily tasks that improve muscle strength
• Activities that improve your balance and reduce the chances of falling
• Exercises to gain control over the uncontrolled movement of legs, arms, and head
• Correct posture while standing or sitting to reduce pain and increase comfort
• Cueing, repetition and movement strategies to reduce the effects of freezing
• Participating in certain functional activities that make it easier for you to move around
• The repetitive movement to trigger pathways to the brain and improve movement accuracy
• Exercise to reduce fatigue and increase stamina
• Hydrotherapy and relaxation therapy to ease muscle stiffness
Neurological disorders affect people in different ways. Physiotherapy for movement disorders is tailored according to the patient’s goal and needs so that they are able to achieve maximum physical potential.
The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most delicate yet vital ligaments that holds the knee bones in place and stabilizes the movement. Injury to the ligament, on account of a sprain, can prove to be a cause of severe distress. This may lead to a partial or a complete destabilization of the knee joints and impair the normal movements to a great extent.
Some of the most common causes of this sort of a ligament tear are accidental injuries during a sporting activity, unexpected collision or incorrect body postures. This is a fairly common occurrence among the athletes. However, the physiological and neuromuscular controls make women more susceptible to damage to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament than men.
There are two cruciate ligaments in our body, i.e. the anterior and the posterior cruciate ligaments. They run in crosses to connect the insides of the knee joints. They regulate the back and forth movement of your knees. They therefore, may incur substantial damage through sudden movements like jerks or an abrupt change of direction; the degree of tear may vary from minor strains to complete detachment. Accordingly, treatments are available to cure the distress. The treatments may either be surgical or nonsurgical, depending about the extent of the injury as well as the age of the patient. A complete tear in the ligament necessitates surgery for recovery. However, one may choose to opt for other non - surgical methods to minimize the damage.
Some of the most effective treatments for a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament have been enlisted below:
1. Bracing: Wearing a brace or using a crutch for the purpose of movement can accord the knees with some stability. It also keeps the joints intact and alleviates pain.
2. Physiotherapy: Once the inflammation reduces, you may opt for physiotherapy to restore movement and reduce the pain. Heat and Ice therapies work as ideal adjuvants to physiotherapy in such cases.
3. Surgery: Regrowth of the anterior cruciate ligament may be possible through a surgical process of grafting. This enables the tissues to repair themselves. Knee caps and adequate rest accord better rehabilitation. The recovery is faster and steadier in this process.
Most of the people over the age of 40 years suffer from knee pain which may be` due to osteoarthritis knee. To prevent it stop squatting, sitting cross-legged. Early physiotherapy is also helpful.