Therapy means any method or procedure to alleviate any pathological condition affected by injury, disease or disorder. Pathological condition is a condition different from normal condition.
Physiotherapy encompasses various sources of physical means like heat, light, and other mechanical devices, massage, exercise, bath etc., for diagnostic purposes, for research, for treatment, for rehabilitation and after-care purposes.
Medicine is healing agent, normally through drug but also through physical means, for treatment and care of the patient. When physical means are used the procedure comes under physical medicine.
Physical medicine and physiotherapy are almost similar in respect of preventive, curative, as well as rehabilitative purposes except that physical medicine also cover therapeutic approach towards occupational hazards.
Situations demanding treatment through physiotherapy are:
(i) Problems of the handicapped some hereditary, some environmental or circumstantial.
(ii) Problems of the deformed Postural.
(iii) Problems of the injured to provide first-aid, then sent to the doctor, and after recovery rehabilitation programme.
(iv) Problems of rehabilitation after illness.
Developmental exercises to recover and help comeback to previous position.
(v) Problem of general weakness in some cases.
(vi) Problem of chronic tension and chronic fatigue.
(vii) Problem of certain disease conditions like Asthma.
(viii) Problems of the mentally retarded children who cannot pick up skills along with the normal.
Guiding principles regarding procedure of treatment through physiotherapy:-
(a) Diagnosis first, with the help of laboratory test, measurements, physical examination and observation.
(b) Protection of the patient from further aggravation.
(c) Attention towards restoration of function and organic vigor.
If the patient is not co-operating, the patient should not be disturbed fill the patient comes round.
(d) Preparation of progressive charts and notes.
(e) Daily supervision by the therapist and the doctor.
(f) Preparation of a cumulative chart indicating history, diagnosis, prescription, progress etc.
(g) Application of heat, massage, and exercise.
(h) Periodical examination in order to evaluate the condition and to take further action.
(i) If the case requires further treatment in some other department, it should be referred there.
It should be remembered that physiotherapy is not an independent treatment; it is rather an adjunct to other methods of treatment.
Appliances are to be selected with caution and care in order to ensure effective treatment in the particular condition of the patient.
There should be mutual understanding and exchange of ideas between the physiotherapist and the physician. In fact, physiotherapy should be administered under the direct supervision of the physician.
By nature the physiotherapeutic treatment procedure is a long drawn affair, so patience on the part of both the patient as well as the physician is necessary.