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Physiotherapy - Medical Science-The Physical Way

Dr. Dinesh Sharma

Physiotherapy includes examination, treatment, advice and instruction to any person preparatory to or for the purpose of or in connection with movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, physical disorder/disability, healing and pain from injury. Diseases, physical and mental condition using physical agents, activities and devices including exercises, mobilisation, manipulation and electrotherapy for diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Because of many years of successful use of physical agents under different classifications, the physiotherapists, physiologists and recent development in the science of physics and various branches of medicine has made it possible to develop a sound scientific basis for physiotherapy.

What is Health and Fitness?

Health: As defined by WHO, health is the state of physical, mental and social well being of humans.

Fitness: It is the state of well being of the human body. It includes the elements of strength, stamina, flexibility, co-ordination and behaviour, which depend upon the efficient functioning of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, hormonal, nervous, muscular, skeletal system of the body and psychological state of the mind to enable the individual to get through his daily activities without endangering the injury and fatigue.

How Does Disability Develop?

Physical impairment leads to functional limitation, which in turn leads to disability.

Physiotherapy: Why and When?

If the person is suffering from the following problems, it is advisable to consult a physiotherapist.
  • Pain in the muscles, ligaments, soft tissue structures, nerves and joints due to sprain, strain and overuse, injury.
  • Weakness/ stiffness of muscles/ neuromuscular control/ nerves due to injury or paralytic disease effect.
  • Restriction of spinal extremity, joint movement due to arthritis, spondylosis, slip disc, fractures surgery or any other pathology.
  • Physical impairment, dysfunction or disability due to the diseases, physical, mental condition or injury.
  • Non healing wounds/ulcers/slow healing fractures/oedema/amputations/adhesions of soft tissues.
  • Breathing difficulty due to traumatic/ obstructive/ restrictive lung diseases.

How Does Physiotherapy Help?

The physiotherapists are well qualified and trained in the application of appropriate physiotherapeutic measures after evaluating and identifying the problem. Physiotherapy involves electrotherapy such as shortwaves (27.12 MHz), microwaves (2150 MHz), ultrasound waves (1&3 MHz), L.F., M.F., interference currents, laser ultraviolet radiation, magnetic field, electronic traction, thermal, mechanical, exercise and manual therapy.

What are the common diseases for the effective indications of physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy helps in most of the diseases, disorders, presenting the symptoms as explained earlier but they can be classified as: Fitness and Physiotherapy: Principle of evaluation to assess muscle tone coordination, muscle strength testing, muscular endurance, joint movements, ROM, flexibility and stability and cardio-respiratory endurance. Physiotherapy is a Practical Profession Therapeutic clinical science is broadly composed of manual, mechanical and electrotherapies and achieve thermal, mechanical, chemical and electrical energy effects at cellular levels in tissues at different depths.

These effects are regulated by the individualised dosimetry prescribed and implemented by the physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy Principle

  • Identify the area of fitness that needs improvement
  • Evaluate any health risk factor and test current fitness level
  • Overcome the effects of previous injuries, diseases and disabilities because one has to get better to be fit.
  • Set goals appropriate to one's physical condition, making allowances for disabilities, age and pregnancy.
  • Design the programme to achieve these goals in view of one's time, profession, motivation and access to facilities etc.
  • Monitor the programme with regular testing, posture correction and maintenance exercises, strength development, flexibility, stamina, coordination, training for selected physical/sporting activity and motivation is to be achieved.

Sports Injuries and Physiotherapy

Sports is a vital part of the Indian lifestyle. It provides exercise, social contact, relaxation, competition and promotes good health. It may also cause injuries, many of which can be prevented.

Common injuries: Briuises, ligament sprain and tear, muscle and tendon strain, joint injuries, overuse injuries and stress fractures.


  • Correct warm up and warm down exercises
  • Proper stretching exercises
  • Protective strapping in some cases
  • Correct footwear
  • Specific conditioning for a particular sport
  • Good general and aerobic fitness

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