Physiotherapy for the elderly is a busy field. Diseases and medical conditions hat require physical therapy abound in older people, and though such cases are not easy to handle, the results when good, are reward enough.
This field is known as geriatric physiotherapy. It was termed a specialized field in 1989. Therapists have studied the problems affecting the elderly since then. A number of problems affecting the older population have been identified and are treated by geriatric physiotherapy. Read more…
The first step in recovering from several painful and incapacitating conditions is a physiotherapy assessment. One can sit back and let the physiotherapist do all the work. However, more accurate and positive results will come of the physiotherapy assessment if the patient becomes involved.
When you go in to the physiotherapy appointment, your doctor should have given the physiotherapist some idea of your condition. The physiotherapy assessment will begin when the therapist takes a medical history. This is standard procedure for any type of health related problem. It is wise to be thorough in explaining past problems and conditions that seem to run in the family.
This can have a bearing on your treatment. It might even point to some disease or disorder that no one suspected that you had. A thorough physiotherapy assessment could possibly lead to treatment by a physician for an unexpected illness. You might find out that, while physiotherapy is bad for very few people, it is not what you need the most.
Then, the therapist will ask questions about your present condition. She will want to know when the pain, stiffness, or other problems started. She will ask you just how much it hurts, having you grade your pain on a scale of one to ten. One means no pain and ten means the worst pain you can imagine. The physiotherapy assessment will go on with your hypotheses of what caused it all.
The accuracy of your physiotherapy assessment rests on the precision with which you answer these questions. Telling the therapist that the pain is at a level of four when you know it is more like a level of eight will lead her to treat your pain less aggressively. It will be as if you had no physiotherapy assessment at all.
However, if you are able to correctly measure your degree of pain, you will help the therapist understand your problem. When the therapist knows when the problem began and has an idea of what caused it, the physiotherapy assessment will reflect that information.
Then, the therapist will watch you move. For a person who does not wish to be seen as weak, it may be a challenge to walk and do other movements as the person does them when no one is watching. In other words, a person with a sore and stiff neck may try to move it normally in order not to seem like an invalid.
You will be put through a series of movements that may seem cruel to you. It is a part of a good physiotherapy assessment to show all the movements done as best you can do them. If you can barely do them, that tells your physiotherapist a great deal of information.
It is best that the physiotherapy assessment covers all these pains and conditions. The way to make the most of a physiotherapy assessment is to be as honest and accurate as possible. It is only then that you will get the best care.
Knee injuries and the management of post-operative knee conditions require physios to apply cold therapy to the joints to control knee effusions and pain. This is difficult to do with traditional methods but the Aircast Cryocuff is a flexible and efficient device to achieve effective cryotherapy and compression.
Physiotherapists commonly assess and treat knee injuries and post-operative knee conditions, managing them promptly for speedy recovery and return to normal function. Recreational activities and sport involve many knee injuries such as ligamentous injuries to the medial, lateral and anterior cruciate ligaments, meniscal injuries to the knee cartilages, dislocation of the kneecap and injury to the knee capsule and knee joint replacement. Read more…
Physiotherapy can be a long, hard road. It takes willpower and endurance to keep at it. The mere act of keeping appointments can be grueling at times. One may feel like celebrating when it is all over; but what comes after physiotherapy?
The physiotherapist will leave you with words of advice to follow after your physiology is over. One important thing to keep in mind is that any exercises you are doing should be remembered for relapses. Read more…
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the commonest joint degeneration condition in the world, resulting in huge amounts of pain and suffering, work loss, expense and disability. Ageing of western developed populations, soon to be followed by some developing countries such as China, will place an increasing burden on medical services as the occurrence of OA rises steadily with age. There will be an increasing need to provide medical and physiotherapy treatment for OA over the next 50 years and for many thousands of people this will involve joint replacement.Â
Medical interventions can be rated on a scale which calculates the improvement in quality of life which results and here hip replacement comes out top of all treatments. The 1960s saw its development into a standard treatment for hip arthritis but the 21st century has seen the technique evolve into a complex and predictable approach to many hip conditions, with excellent fifteen year plus results. Once conservative treatments have been exhausted due to a worsening joint then joint replacement becomes the standard choice. Read more…
At least as early as the days of Hippocrates, massage was used and the history of physiotherapy was begun. The practice of physiotherapy has evolved through the centuries from the earliest forms to the complex system of treatment it is now.
In 460 B.C. Hector was using a type of physiotherapy called hydrotherapy, or water therapy. Professionals use this type of therapy today, although it is more specialized for each type of condition that the patients have. Read more…
When a knee becomes swollen it causes proper movement to become difficult. It is likely that it also causes stiffness and tightness in the joint. Doctors see more patients with swollen knees than any other type of knee problem. It is especially important to see a doctor if you have been experiencing swelling for more than 48 hours or having a lot of pain with it.
Arthritis is the most common cause of knee swelling. There are also a number of other things that can cause it including: infection, cruciate ligament tear, injury, meniscal tear, strain during exercise, collateral ligament tear, softening of the cartilage, fluid build up due to infection, tendinitis, bursitis and gout. Read more…
How Physiotherapists Treat Golfer’s Elbow
by Jonathan Blood-Smyth
Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is not confined to golfers, but occurs in many sportsmen and women, with racquet sports the most common causes. Other sports where golfer’s elbow occurs are in bowlers in cricket, archers and weightlifters. This and the more common tennis elbow are tendinopathies, overuse syndromes where there is no significant inflammation but a pathological alteration in the body of the tendon at the painful site.
The medial epicondyle is the bone prominence on the inside of the elbow where the forearm and rotatory muscle originate from. The muscles become tendinous near the bone and the tendon inserts into the bone to anchor the muscles. This area is where the pain occurs but no inflammatory process, rather a degenerative one. As the elbow is stresses by forces which would tend to push the elbow out into “knock elbow”, the tendon takes a lot of stress and changes occur.
High stresses occur in the cocking phase of a throw and during the subsequent acceleration, and in the golf swing from high backswing down to near the ball strike. Golfers are more likely to have their dominant hand affected and tennis players who use heavy topspin in their forehands are also more at risk.
The medial epicondyle is the bone prominence on the inside of the elbow where the forearm and rotatory muscle originate from. The muscles become tendinous near the bone and the tendon inserts into the bone to anchor the muscles. This area is where the pain occurs.and scientific work has not shown an inflammatory process but degenerative one. As the elbow is stresses by forces which would tend to push the elbow out into “knock elbow”, the tendon takes a lot of stress and changes occur. High stresses occur in the cocking phase of a throw and during the subsequent acceleration, and in the golf swing from high backswing down to near the ball strike. Golfers are more likely to have their dominant hand affected and tennis players who use heavy topspin in their forehands are also more at risk.
Pain and ache over the front of the medial epicondyle is the typical symptom, worse with repeated flexion of the wrist and improved with resting. Shoulder, elbow, forearm or hand pain can occur, with weakness or pins and needles in the lower arm. Physiotherapy examination includes the bony tendon insertions, the elbow joints and the muscles, with palpation of the “funny bone” area behind the elbow where the ulnar nerve lies. Nerve involvement can give weakness in the forearm muscles and sensory symptoms, so an exclusion neurological examination is performed by the physio.
The main treatment of golfer’s elbow is conservative, including anti-inflammatories, wrist and forearm splinting, corticosteroid injection and physiotherapy. Modifying the provoking activity is a first line of management, making patient education about the condition and the eliciting factors vital. An example is modifying the golf swing mechanics to avoid setting the problem off continually. The patient is taught to avoid aggravating positions and activities, such as leaning on the elbow if there is nerve involvement.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used in the initial acute phase to reduce pain and inflammation along with avoiding painful movements, use of ice, gentle stretches, friction massage and ultrasound. As the problem settles and becomes sub acute the aims change to improving flexibility by stretching, increasing strength and normal activities. A forearm brace may also be used or a wrist brace to rest the wrist muscles. Once the problem is chronic the programme continues with reduced use of the splint and re-introduction of sporting activities.
Correction of sporting technique, such as the golf swing, is best achieved by engaging a professional instructor who can also advise on stretches, fitness work and muscle strengthening. Athletes should warm up well before sport and stretch effectively afterwards, choosing good technique and selection of appropriate equipment. Doctors and therapists may need to monitor patients, especially athletes, very carefully as they tend to continue to perform through the pain.
You’ve just experienced an injury. Immediate action for therapy may be more important then you know.
Let’s take the example of a sport related injury. Whenever you see a baseball player or any athlete get hurt, the physiotherapist is usually one of the health professionals that immediately rushes to the injured to help the injured player. It may be just as important to visit a local physiotherapy clinic to ensure minimal recovery time, and prevention of life long chronic pain, if you experience an injury as well. Read more…
There is a great need for immediate intervention for children with Down syndrome. Physiotherapy does not fix the problem; development will still be slowed. However, it can address problems that are unique to Down syndrome children.
Early Down syndrome physiotherapy focuses on four problems that are common for these children. One is called hypotonia. This means that the child’s muscles lack tone. That is why, when you lay a Down syndrome child in his crib, he will flop out like a rag doll. Hypotonia needs to be treated because it affects the ability of the child to learn motor skills or to support himself correctly.
Another problem that can be helped by Down syndrome physiotherapy is laxity of the ligaments. The ligaments are so loose that they do not support the bones adequately. In infancy, it can be seen in the way they lie down with their legs splayed apart. In later years, their ankles and other joints will be loose enough to cause support problems.
Down syndrome physiotherapy is essential in helping these children overcome muscular weakness. If they are not exercised to correct the problem, they will develop behaviors that will make up for their lack of strength. Some of these behaviors may be harmful. For example, they may lock their knees to make up for having weak legs.
One problem these children face is in their body shape. Their arms and legs are generally shorter compared to their trunks than in most people. This leads to all kinds of problems sitting and climbing. Just reaching the table to eat can be a chore. Down syndrome physiotherapy can help with this problem.
In early intervention Down syndrome physiotherapy, the emphasis is on overcoming weakness and learning gross motor skills. Rolling over, sitting, crawling, and walking will all happen eventually, anyway. However, with Down syndrome physiotherapy, they can take place with solid physical foundations.
There is a concern with Down syndrome physiotherapy of parents notifying the doctors of problems that might require the help of a physiotherapist. A parent may be at a loss as to what is to be considered worthy of attention. After all, they already know that their child is not like other children who do not have Down syndrome.
If parents see a Down syndrome child having trouble holding up her neck, it is essential to call it to the attention of the doctor so that physiotherapy can be ordered to strengthen neck muscles. This is one example of many where a physiotherapist might help.
Once Down syndrome physiotherapy is started, it is best to keep up a life-long program to maintain health. Prevention of age-related problems with bones, ligaments, and muscles is becoming increasingly important. This is because people with Down syndrome are living to older ages. In fact there are more Down syndrome people over the age of 60 than ever before. Physiotherapy can help them live quality lives.
Down syndrome physiotherapy is often ignored until much damage has been done. The children are left with weaknesses, odd behaviors, and disfigurements that need not have happened. If Down syndrome physiotherapy is started early enough, the child will have a much healthier life.