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Physical activity is for life; so begin today

Image result for World Physical Therapy DayThe importance of physiotherapists, persons qualified to treat disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise, has come to the forefront worldwide as healthcare systems shoulder the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

The theme for the World Physical Therapy Day is ‘physical activity for life.’ “Physiotherapy can suit individuals of all age groups, gender and fitness levels. Exercise routines can be tailored to the patient’s requirements and ability,” B. Balachandar, physiotherapist, told The Hindu .

Mr. Balachandar’s Woraiyur-based Physio Vision Foundation Tamil Nadu conducts workshops and training programmes periodically for professionals in the field.

On September 8, a free adult and paediatric physiotherapy consultation is being offered by Mr. Balachandar in collaboration with Physio Mantra, at his clinic in Ramalinga Nagar.

“Children and youth aged 5–17 years should spend at least 60 minutes on moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. Whenever possible, young people with disabilities should meet these recommendations. However they should work with their healthcare provider to understand the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for them,” he said. Adults aged 18–64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity throughout the week, he said.

Physiotherapy is often associated only with rehabilitation, though it can also play an equally key role in preventing lifestyle diseases, say other practitioners.

“There’s been a quantum leap in public awareness about the role of physiotherapists and well-being,” said K. Hariohm, whose practice Spring Physiotherapy Centre is based in K. K. Nagar, Chennai. “A lot of people are exploring non-pharmacological solutions for problems like back pain, and have found physiotherapy exercises to be useful.”

But there are areas where physiotherapy continues to be overlooked. “It can be used in post-natal and pre-natal exercises on the recommendation of gynaecologists, but this is still not very well known in our country,” he said. “We need to educate people about our role in maternity and neurological care. But you cannot instruct people to manage their condition without supervision.”

As to the impact of technology-based treatment, J. Mohanakrishnan, physiotherapist at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, said, “We use gadgets, but only for documenting and statistics. It doesn’t mean that gadgets are all. A physiotherapist’s reputation still depends on one’s personal skills and specialisation.”

Terming the future bright for physiotherapy in prevention of lifestyle diseases, Mr. Mohanakrishnan added that more has to be done to raise the profile of the subject among aspiring medical students. “Physiotherapy is a much-required field of study, but not many pupils are aware of this right now. We can serve mankind better if we had the support of the Government in promoting this vital field of healthcare,” he said.
Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/physical-activity-is-for-life-so-begin-today/article19641941.ece

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