Physiotherapy is something that we are all familiar with. Most of us will know at least one person who has been involved with physiotherapy, and many of us will have done it ourselves. It can be used to help in a wide variety of issues, from sports injuries to chronic pain. Most of you probably have a general idea of what physiotherapy is, but here are some interesting facts about physiotherapy that you probably don’t know.
Physiotherapy as we know it today first stated to gain popularity at the end of the 19th Century. After the Polio outbreak of 1916, many women were employed to help sick children with their movements. When veterans of the First World War returned home in need of rehabilitation, the popularity of physiotherapy skyrocketed.
However, it is believed that Hippocrates, the “Father of Western Medicine” and the man after whom the Hippocratic Oath is named used practices similar to physiotherapy as far back as 460BC.
As treatment time depends enormously on the part of the body that is injured, as well as the severity of the injury itself, it is difficult to say how many sessions may be required with a physiotherapist. However, the average number is between 7 and 10 visits with your physiotherapist, as well as any exercises that may be required at home.
Although that may not sound like a lot, we all know how difficult it can be to commit to something you don’t want to do and actually see it through. Despite that fact that it makes us better, physiotherapy is often not something people look forward to committing to, which may explain why only 30% of patients actually follow through on their full course of treatment.
Some people believe that physiotherapy is an easy job for people who like sports, but the reality is far from it. Physiotherapists in most countries are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, although many will be educated to Master’s or Doctorate level.
Physiotherapists need to have an in-depth knowledge of the entire musculoskeletal system. That’s up to 840 muscles, between 206 & 270 bones, 220 nerves, and much more.
Electricity can be used in many different ways to help treat physiotherapy patients. It can be used to produce heat in the body (Diathermy), to administer medication (Iontophoresis), or to relieve pain in a particular part of the body (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Electric currents can also be used to prevent atrophy, where muscles that are not being used grow smaller and weaker over time.