Physiotherapy, just like other health professions, works to promote health and well-being of the individual and the general public (improve quality of life). This is achieved through a holistic approach with the combination of manual therapy, massage therapy, rehabilitative exercises, electrotherapy, and modalities such as ice and heat.
A Physiotherapist’s key goals are to
functional limitations, and disabilities in individuals at risk of altered movement behaviors due to health or medically related factors, socio-economic stressors, and lifestyle factors,
provide interventions to restore integrity of body systems essential to movement,
maximize function and recuperation, and
enhance quality of life in individuals and groups with altered movement behaviors resulting from impairments or functional limitations.
COMMON CONDITIONS WE TREAT/MANAGE
Physiotherapist play a holistic role in the management of both acquired (brachial plexus injury: erb’s palsy and klumpke’s palsy) and congenital (developmental delay and cerebral palsy) problems.
MUSCULO-SKELETAL DISORDERS AND RHEUMATOLOGICAL CONDITIONS
These include spondylosis (cervical and lumbar), low back pain, osteoarthritis (shoulder, hip, and knee), rheumatoid arthritis, sprain, strain, general muscle aches/pain, rehabilitation after fracture (which starts immediately after surgery), management of burn injuries which affects the integrity of joints), among others.
These include all types of fractures. Physiotherapy management/treatment for fracture cases starts immediately after casting. This is done to prevent muscles from wasting which subsequently lead to decrease or loss of functions performed by muscles being restricted.
These include cerebrovascular accident (also known as stroke), facial palsy, Bell’s palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, and traumatic brain injuries resulting in loss or decrease in task performance.
Physiotherapists play a key role in the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries (sprains, strains, and rehabilitation after a fracture).
POST OPERATIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY
This involves taking individuals through exercises to strengthen muscle/group of muscle affected post a surgery. Commonest among such is post cesarean section, post craniotomy, post laminectomy, and post laparotomy.
Physiotherapists are also well vexed in taking individuals through fitness and weight loss programs. We also educate our clients and the public on common conditions as well as back care and assuming correct postures.
COMMON CONDITIONS AND TREATMENT DURATIONS
The duration it takes to treat a condition varies depending on the type on condition, that is, be it musculoskeletal, orthopedic or neurologic.
Neurologic conditions: These usually take a longer time to treat especially when the condition is chronic. In chronic cases, the condition is managed to avoid further deterioration. That is to state that, a hundred percent (100%) recovery is not promised. However, client is managed to be able to perform basic activities of daily living (BADL) to encourage independence and confidence. In such cases, the client is put on a long term treatment program. In cases of acute and sub-acute duration (less than 2 months), up to 70% recovery of functionality can be achieved. This will however require frequent Physiotherapy visits and adherence to prescribed exercises.
Orthopedic conditions: Treatment starts immediately after casting and continues till functionality is achieved. Physiotherapist must visit at least twice a week. Treatment is also performed depending on the stage of bone healing and condition of the fractured site.
Musculo-skeletal conditions: Common conditions include low back pain, cervical and lumbar spondylosis. The minimum number of Physiotherapy visits is twelve (12) sessions. This also depends on the severity of the condition.
Rheumatologic conditions: A common condition is knee osteoarthritis. Others include osteoarthric pains in the shoulder, hip and spine. The minimum number of Physiotherapy visits is twelve (12) sessions and also depends on severity and duration. Arthritic pain from overuse injuries among young adults can be resolved to the barest minimum. However, age-related arthritic pain is managed alongside some lifestyle modifications (where necessary).
Paediatric conditions: Pediatric conditions such as brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy) can be resolved completely when noticed earlier in child. However, this does not mean that nothing can be achieved. Treatment depends on how long condition has been unattended to and extent of damage to muscles. Minimum number of Physiotherapist visits is thrice a week for at least two (2) months. Paediatric neurologic conditions such as cerebral palsy and delayed development also require early detection hence Physiotherapy treatment. Just like other conditions, earlier detection at the earlier stages helps to achieve more results. This however does not imply that nothing can be done for the child. The child will be put on a long term Physiotherapy management coupled with assistance from Occupational Therapists.