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What is physical therapy?

What is physical therapy?

Physiotherapy, or physiotherapy, as it is commonly known in English-speaking countries, is performed for the purpose of restoring functional movements that have decreased due to injury, illness, trauma or old age; It is the name given to the treatment of patients with electric current, hot or cold application, exercises or various applications. Physiotherapy covers a wide range of disease states diagnosed by physicians (physiatrists) who have received specialization training in physical medicine and rehabilitation after the Faculty of Medicine. Health professionals (physiotherapists) graduated from undergraduate programs of the Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Department of universities plan and implement the treatment diagnosed by a specialist physician.

Physician and physiotherapist work together in the relevant treatment centers. Physiotherapy, which is described in medical language as "treatment aimed at obtaining or restoring optimal neuromusculoskeletal function", can sometimes take many years.

The aim of physiotherapy is to enable individuals to fulfill vital factors in a healthy way. Physiotherapy includes elements such as emotionality and social relations apart from physical practice. Before the application of treatment, some laboratory findings and examination are applied. There are special care centers for physiotherapy - areas such as geriatrics, neurological, fitness centers and sports training facilities.

The history of physiotherapy goes back to the time of Hippocrates. At that time, patients were tried to be treated with massage, manual therapy methods or hydrotherapy, that is, using the therapeutic properties of water.

However, the first professional physiotherapy studies took place in Europe at the beginning of the 17th century. Established in Sweden in 1813, the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) is the first known institution where physiotherapy was also practiced. Massage, manipulation and exercise were performed in this center. Sweden began providing its physiotherapists with official registrations in 1887 through the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy was founded in England in 1894 by four nurses. In 1913, the School of Physiotherapy was opened at the University of Otago in New Zealand. In 1921, the first Physiotherapy Association was established in America by Mary McMillan. Its current name is the American Physical Therapy Association. (APTA).

Prof. at Hacettepe University in 1961. Dr. With the opening of the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation by İhsan Doğramacı, the foundations of the physiotherapist profession in Turkey were laid. The School was structured as the first Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Faculty of the country with the Presidency's decision dated 09.01.2019 and numbered 576 published in the Official Gazette.[1]

Physiotherapy techniques, which previously consisted of massage, traction and exercise, have increased day by day and have given physiotherapists the authority to work in hospitals, medical centers, rehabilitation centers, orthopedic clinics and many more.

Physiotherapists use some therapeutic agents to create the desired effect in the area to be treated. Since each disease has a different prognosis and pathology, the physiotherapist chooses and applies the most appropriate agent for treatment using his knowledge and skills. These agents have many physiological effects, from increasing blood flow in tissues to post-synaptic inhibition and blockade of pain.

Superficial and deep heat agents: Hot-pack, paraffin, infrared, fluidotherapy, short wave diathermy, long wave diathermy, microwave diathermy, ultrasound.

Cold agents: Cold-pack, cryotherapy.

Hydrotherapy methods: Immersion baths, opposite baths, whirlpool baths (whirlpool), butterfly bath (hubbard tank), opposite showers, hydromassage, underwater traction bath, galvanic bath, balneotherapy.

Electrotherapy agents: Galvanic current, faradic current, diadynamic currents, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), interference currents, BEMER (bio electromagnetic energy regulation).

Manipulative treatment methods: Classical massage, connective tissue massage, lymphedema drainage, mobilization and manipulation techniques.


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