Many times I was asked whether I was a “physical therapist or a physiotherapist”, or if “physiotherapy” is different from “physical therapy”. The answer of course is that the meaning of the words “Physical Therapy” and “Physiotherapy” is identical and the word “Physiotherapy” is just used for the sake of brevity. Therefore physiotherapy, as shown by the word itself (physical + therapy), is the science and art to heal with natural methods.
Usually the customer has insurance coverage. Depending on the Insurance Fund, he may be entitled to full or partial coverage. In case someone wants to follow a full physiotherapy program without the participation of his insurance fund, the cost is usually around EUR 300 for a 10-day program. Compared to some other options – such as surgical intervention, it is clearly much more inexpensive.
The duration of a session varies depending on the condition, the cooperation and how many means of therapy are needed. Usually, it ranges from half hour to one hour, but sometimes can exceed 90 minutes. The number of sessions usually ranges between 5 and 15 visits, and mainly depends on the condition and age of the customer. In some cases, there are long-term programs with monthly sessions.
The physiotherapist performs therapeutical programs for the prevention, improvement and rehabilitation of pathological conditions, for which physical therapy is considered appropriate or to people who have been referred to or have received a consult by a recognized medical specialty. Therefore the existence of an indication and an opinion by a competent physician is a prerequisite.
In most cases, our goal is the treatment and rehabilitation of motor failures that sometimes manifest with pain, sometimes movement failure or a combination thereof. Apart from these cases, the application of physiotherapeutic treatment can be done to prevent or even to improve the overall image. Besides, a large number of clients suffer from chronic diseases or conditions, so they prefer to follow physiotherapy programs once or twice a year for the prevention and maintenance of the overall good condition. The implementation of physiotherapeutic preoperative treatment helps the postoperative course, as the patient faces more efficiently any dyskinesias and comes back more rapidly.
We can say that there are typical and essential qualifications for a physiotherapist. These co-exist, and they are both essential. The typical qualifications have to do with to the prerequisites required by the state, in order to practice. The exercise of the profession is regulated by law. A TEI degree or a degree from equivalent schools is required, in addition to the professional license issued by the Directorate of Health of the prefectures. Furthermore, the Law 775/70, which mainly certifies the profession of physiotherapist and in particular the Article 15, provisions strict penalties for the misuse of the profession. This is the same as the misuse of the Medical Profession.
The physiotherapist performs physiotherapeutic actions for the prevention, improvement and rehabilitation of pathological conditions for which physiotherapy is considered appropriate, to people who have had a consult or a diagnosis by a recognized medical professional. But the essential qualifications for the bona fide physiotherapist, also govern his relations with the patients, the colleagues and his partners.
Furthermore, a good physiotherapist should be aware of the modern rehabilitation methodologies, as physiotherapy is a constantly evolving science. It should offer its services regardless of nationality, cultural awareness, religion, race, color, political affiliation, social status or financial situation. The physiotherapist should respect medical confidentiality in all his relationships. In short, he should respect the Code of Conduct of Physiotherapists.
Neurological studies show that if a stroke is treated with hospitalization within three hours, it can have the least possible impact on our health. Thus, we realize then how important it is to recognize the stroke and provide immediate hospitalization. Nevertheless, sometimes the symptoms are difficult to detect by the person who is experiencing it. This can be devastating or even fatal. The brain can be severely damaged by a variety of disorders in the patient. One successful way of recognizing the stroke by a non-skilled is the pursuit of the following actions by the patient:
- Ask him to smile.
- Ask to complete a sentence.
- Ask him to simultaneously raise both his hands with elbows stretched.
- Ask him to pull out his tongue. If it leans to one side, it is a stroke indication.
If the person cannot correctly perform any of the above, it is a stroke indicator and it should be hospitalized immediately. Call for urgent help and describe the specific indicators you found. The immediate care of the patient will diminish or even eliminate the effects of the stroke.
The Sauna is a traditional methodology used by mainly northern people, with many therapeutic properties. It is used for wellness, toning, healing and prevention. Today it is widely known worldwide with many variations, thanks to its diverse and remarkable results. It is considered the strongest form of steambath and experts believe that it delivers the best results. Below is a simple and short code for those:
- Detoxification: The thermal energy induces sweating, thereby expelling unwanted toxic materials and thus detoxifying the skin.
- Relaxation: Thermal energy relaxes the muscles and decreases the tension in the body.
- Metabolism Improvement: The sharp alternation of hot and cold temperatures cause changes to the metabolism and improves blood circulation in the body.
- Skin Peeling: By improving circulation and sweating, dilation of the pores of the skin takes place and thus dead cells, dust and chemicals are removed from the skin. This results in a more elastic, sheer and lustrous (with fewer wrinkles) skin.
- Weight Loss: Perspiration and the changes in metabolism require the consumption of increased quantities of energy from the body.
- Slimming: Changes in metabolism cause the fat to burn and leave the body through perspiration.
- Analgesia: The increase of blood circulation causes improvement in oxygenation in the problem areas, resulting in pain relief and accelerated recovery.
- Cardiac stimulation: The heart gets the same workout as with a 10k run.
- Immunization: Thermal energy and increasing metabolism neutralize viruses.
USE OF SAUNA FOR MAXIMUM RESULTS
- You should use the sauna1-2 times per week, but no more.
- Start with a short warm shower (you may not wet your head).
- Wipe down your body.
- Upon entering the sauna, sit on the lower level to adapt to the environment. You can then climb to the next level and lie down.
- Stay in the sauna for 8-10 minutes or until your entire body is covered in sweat.
- Immediately step in the cold shower for about 30 seconds,
- Wipe yourself and relax for 10-15 minutes
- Enter the sauna and repeat the process for another 2 times.
The use of sauna should be avoided in people with heart conditions, those taking medication, wounded people (acute and subacute traumas), in people with contraindication for steambaths, in pregnant women and young unaccompanied children.
It is certainly difficult to exercise the profession of the physiotherapist. Firstly, the nature of the profession itself is difficult. The fact that we’re dealing with the health sector is sufficient enough to consider how responsible our position is. We deal with the rehabilitation of the patient and stress is our companion on a daily basis.
Each organism has its own characteristics, so that it is unique. As a result, treatment programs have to be tailored to the individual case. Besides, two people that have the same characteristics (sex, age, weight, height, etc.), the same disease and clinical picture, respond differently to the same treatment program. We need to constantly monitor the evolution of the patient, to seek the most appropriate methodology and to think about his response.
We may often need to improvise ways to make a program more functional or to find ways to motivate an overage patient or excite the curiosity of a child in order to participate. But, the most important thing we have to do is to mentally approach the patient, provide him with psychological support and encouragement at every attempt. It is very important to make mental contact with the patient and that requires skill and charisma in the approach. But this also creates a mental load to the therapist, as the successive contacts with different characters and temperaments, and the continuous non externalization of his personal feelings often leads to mental fatigue.
The physiotherapy treatment can be adjusted to almost any condition and situation. Pregnancy requires special attention and the physiotherapist should be informed about it. The physiotherapist must also ask about it during the initial history of the patient and to have the approval of the physician attending to the pregnancy. Surely there are programs that can be safely applied to such cases, with satisfactory results. The massage is such an example, where special programs can be applied until the 6th month of pregnancy.
The time of a session varies depending on the condition, the cooperation and how many means of therapy are needed. Usually, it ranges from half hour to one hour, but sometimes can exceed 90 minutes. The number of sessions usually ranges between 5 and 15 visits, and mainly depends on the condition and age of the customer. In some cases, there are long-term programs with monthly sessions.
The Spinal Decompression therapy is a modern method that has evolved in recent years. The appropriate conditions to which it applies are:
- Degenerate intervertebral discs
- Spinal disc circular herniation
- Intervertebral disc hernias
- Thinning intervertebral disks
- Degenerate articular surfaces
- Back pain, Neck pain, Sciatica
In all of the above conditions, which are very common because of the modern lifestyle, it offers immediate results and sometimes helps avoid invasive methods.
The objectives of this therapy are to increase the distance and lower the pressure between the intervertebral discs. Through this process, we can achieve improved feeding and oxygenation of the area, lowering of the pressure on the nerve roots, the re-absorption of the hernia within the fibrous ring of the disc, better mobility and ultimately the reduction of pain. The contribution of the treatment is very important because the periodic spine disorders can become chronic and their causes inhibit the body’s healing mechanisms. Spinal Decompression offers immediate results and sometimes helps avoid invasive methods.
- Avoid staying in the same position for a long time, such as while driving.
- Avoid sudden movements such as bending, turning or stretching to reach for something. Absolutely avoid complex movements (bending with stretching or stretching and turning) as you move or place objects.
- For activities that require bending forward (eg making the bed), you should lean on something with one hand or place your leg on a foot stool so as your back does not accept the full weight. Bend your knees to avoid bending the waist.
- Avoid exposure to drafts. They may cause the onset of muscular contractions.
- Athletic activities such as swimming and gymnastics floor exercises are recommended. The exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen. Do not exercise when you’re experiencing pain. (For exercises, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGbcp1qzgFo).
- Be sure to sleep on a suitable mattress which evenly supports the body, thus promoting a comfortable rest.
- Wear soft and low shoes, with rubber soles (such as sports shoes).
- In case you’re driving any type of vehicle, ensure that the suspensions are in good condition and the body is in a comfortable position when driving. You can use a pillow to support the pelvis and lower back.
- In case of lumbago because of pregnancy, bed rest may be useful in a relaxed condition for some time.
- Maintaining your ideal body weight or the loss of the excess weight is necessary to prevent backache.
- In a sitting position, your back must be supported on its entire surface, so that the back muscles are relaxed. You can use a small pillow for this purpose.
- Strictly follow the right way to lift a weight (take example of the posture in weightlifting athletes).
- Your legs and arms must be used for lifting loads instead of your back.
- Move your shoulders backwards, do not bend your back, bend your knees and move the whole torso slightly forward. Keep the load as close as possible to your chest and then straighten your legs to lift the weight, while keeping your back straight.
- The back and the neck should be in a straight line.
- The feet should be slightly apart for balance.
- The load must be close to your body.