World Physiotherapy Day: how is this therapy boosting health and morale in COVID-19

World Physiotherapy Day: how is this therapy boosting health and morale in COVID-19

The World Physical Therapy Day is observed on 8th September every year reminds us of the age-old physical treatment modality that has helped countless to recover from immobilization, injury, illness, or disability.

Worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has augmented awareness on the health and lifestyle of people to a great extent. And unlike any other alternative medicines, this therapy has helped many COVID-19 patients resuscitate from the ICU faster, or post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS).

This Day was designated in 1996 by the World Physiotherapy charity in the UK to advocate the essential role of the physiotherapists to generate awareness in the society to keep people mobile, fit, and independent.

This year, World Physiotherapy – the international charity that standardizes the treatment – is celebrating the day on the theme ‘Rehabilitation after COVID-19.’

From the history, it is known that a Swedish poet, Per Henrik Ling, revolutionized physiotherapy to help in the area of physical rehabilitation in the way of massage, manipulation and exercise.

Per Henrik Ling is known as the “father of Swedish gymnastics” who founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics in the year 1813.

To mention further, in fact, it was Hippocrates, the father of medicine, in the year 460 BC mentioned about physiotherapy in his writings.

He had introduced the concept of manually managing pain in the body. His writings were in much detail and mentioned that to master and develop such a skill, it needs practice for a long time.

What is Physiotherapy and how it helps?

Physiotherapy is the science of movement, and a Physiotherapist’s expertise lies in identifying the root cause of the injury, disease, or disability.

It is a treatment where the therapist helps you to get involved in your own rehabilitation, through education, awareness, and participation in their treatment process.

This allied health profession diagnoses and treats patients using evidence-based kinesiology exercise prescription, mobilization, health education, electrical and physical agents, among others.

Today, “during the prevalence of Covid-19 pandemic, it is significantly important to appreciate the contribution of physiotherapy to restore mobility, both internally and externally to help build up the immunity of individual”, says a physiotherapy practitioner, Rintu Manna, who has been practicing physiotherapy for more than 10 years in Kolkata. 

World Physiotherapy Day: how is this therapy boosting health and morale in COVID-19
Infographics by World Physiotheraphy charity

However, Manna also stated that “there is a lot of evidence of Covid-19 patients, who received lung physiotherapy, has regained their life immunity and has distinctively come out of their weakness after the novel infection.”

Physiotherapy can be very effective in recovering patients who have suffered severe nature of COVID-19 and have been through the ordeals of ventilation, oxygen support, and prolonged immobilization from a hospital bed.

In India, physiotherapy is yet to be prescribed by the government, unlike in other European countries, but it is being carried out on a unit to unit basis”, Mr. Manna said.

As a gesture to honor this Day, he says that “World Physiotherapy Day was introduced 1996 to mark the exponential advancement in the area of PT in revolutionizing awareness on people to recover their health without medicine. Medicine gives life, but physiotherapy helps to improve and maintain life.”

Here are some other examples when you might want to consult a physiotherapist

  1. Neck and back pain due to muscular and skeletal challenges.
  2. Complications or difficulties in bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments, such as arthritis and the post-effect of orthopedic surgery.
  3. Lung problems or breathing difficulties.
  4. Cardiac issues
  5. Gastrointestinal issues
  6. Traumatic effect on the brain or spine.
  7. For fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness, or weakness in muscular strength arising due to any major illnesses. 

Exercise is key to maintain a healthy life. However, a qualified and experienced physiotherapist can guide and educate you on the techniques and postural patterns to reduce the load on the spine and joints. 

The physiotherapist after analyzing your medical history considers and diagnoses your condition, and then gives you a treatment plan with a prescribed course of exercises and any assistive devices if needed.

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