Physiotherapists, who are first visit practitioners in most of the countries according to world council of physiotherapy (WCPT, 2015), are the one who spends more time with the patients more than almost any medical and para-medical professionals. They work with physical agents like heat and cold, mechanical forces, electromagnetic spectrum and so on. Physiotherapists treat a variety of patients suffering from Orthopaedic, neurological, paediatrics, geriatrics and cardiorespiratory conditions.
In the past two decades, physiotherapy has developed its wings into many fields like obstetrics and gynaecology, sports, endocrinology and more significantly community medicine. The development of any field is determined by the volume of research and updates actively happening. This exactly true in case of physiotherapy when one considers the quantity and quality of research available. With the advent of more research, there always will be birth to many innovations and insight. Physiotherapist plays a very vital role in preventing surgeries by strengthening and stabilizing the weaker systems and also play a pivot role in managing patients after surgery.
Ergonomics which is a less known science a decade before is now a highly sought field which deals with right work posture. Physiotherapist with their explicit knowledge about the body mechanics can alter the posture and give patients an effective way to move around.
The practice of basics and fundamentals of physiotherapy practice is the need of the hour in spite of so many advances. The practice of innovations which are feasible and scientifically proved can only be an add-on to the basic exercise and movement intervention. Physiotherapy emphasises on learning tasks or activities of daily living which are indispensable and also insists on repeated practice of the same. With practice learned task will become a skill.
Physiotherapists approach every patient with a thorough physical examination, both subjectively and objectively, focusing on drawing every little information from the patients with attention and comprehending their sufferings. Based on the finding an expert team analysis with other rehabilitation team members will be done and after the sharing of ideas and brainstorming session, a tailor-made and best physiotherapy programme will be provided to the patient. It is strongly believed that success of rehabilitation depends on a team approach, sharing of knowledge and sharing of credits.
Physiotherapists also practice using proper outcome measures to evaluate the outcome of treatment which will help in measuring the progression of patients and altering our intervention and efforts. Using reliable and valid outcome measures will make the progression statement more objective and avoid bias and subjectivity. In Indian scenario, rehabilitation ends after the patient becomes independent in bed mobility and basic transfer activity. Independence in toileting activity and feeding activity are the major desirable activities of patients and caretaker too. The mindset of people getting treated and giving treatment, the medical and para-medical professional’s workload and the huge number of patients have to be blamed for this scenario. Focusing on complete rehabilitation and squeezing every bit of patient potential to maximise their functional status should be the ultimate goal of physiotherapy. Defining what the complete rehabilitation of an individual patient is is very vital in which community ambulation and social participation are the vital objectives. Physiotherapists should empower patients and their caretakers with what is actually happening to the patients and what’s the roadmap to rehabilitation.
Overall the physiotherapy is a vital service in dealing with a wide variety of ailments and physiotherapists are an essential member in rehabilitation team, who can maximise the patient performance using simple, non-invasive treatment tools.