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Physiotherapy / Physical Therapy ( Physio = Physical agents, Therapy = Treatment) is a branch of medical science in which diseases/disabilities are treated with the help of physical means/agents e.g. exercise, electrical equipments like Muscle Stimulator, SWD etc, different types of rays like Infra-red, Ultraviolet rays etc. In the perspective of today's health conscious society Physiotherapy is not only concerned with treating diseases/disabilities rather it has become an indispensable part of healthy living life style.
Everybody wants to be fit physically, mentally as well as socially so Physiotherapy provides a niche to all of them.
Physiotherapy may be defined as a science that seeks to improve movement dysfunction, promote optimal health and functions of the human body. Physiotherapy helps in optimal functioning of the body. It involves the assessment, maintenance, restoration of the physical function and performance of the body and is strongly recommended for people with degenerative disorders, the physically challenged, sportspeople and those suffering from arthritis and neurological disorders. This preventive and remedial procedure is very often used as a supplement with oral medicines. It could also include heat radiation, water therapy, massages, diathermy, traction and other procedures.
Physiotherapists treat a wide range of ailments, so specialisation is possible in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics, sports physical therapy, neurology, clinical electrophysiologic and cardiopulmonary therapy.
The job of a physiotherapist, which is preventive, restorative and rehabilitative, is challenging but lucrative at the same time. They are qualified to perform a history and physical examination, conduct assessments to determine a diagnosis process, select appropriate physical therapy interventions to treat the dysfunction, and monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
Physiotherapists use various therapeutic intervention techniques to treat a patient. Some of the them are Manual Therapy, TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation used to control pain), Ultrasound Technique, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Manipulation, Acupuncture etc. Although the work of a physiotherapist may tend to be physically very strenuous as it involves physically lifting and supporting patients, their profession brings with it much satisfaction, since it involves relieving patients of pain and helping them recover from specific physical ailments.
ELIGIBILITY / EDUCATION :
The basic eligibility for courses in physiotherapy is 10+2 passed or equivalent examination with physics, chemistry, biology and English. At least 50% of marks should be secured in each of these subjects.
The admission to institutes is through entrance examination. There is a Common Entrance Test (CET) for the course in Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT). Admission is based mainly on CET scores.
The courses are designed to give the students a basic understanding of the human body, based on medical sciences, training in understanding the procedures for therapy and the related skill training. The course contents include anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, medical and surgical conditions, biomechanics, kineseology, disability prevention, rehabilitation and other subjects. A major part of the course work is practical in nature including an internship period where students work under the supervision of professionals at various hospitals and institutions.
JOB PROSPECTS :
Employment opportunities for physiotherapists are tremendous as it is a career where the demand exceeds supply. A physiotherapist could be employed in the rehabilitation departments, municipal corporations and private bodies. Their demand in medical institutions is increasing since physiotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of patients with muscular and cerebral problems. Like all other medical and paramedical professionals, physiotherapists can work in hospitals, orthopaedic departments, rehabilitation centres for the handicapped, schools for the mentally retarded and physically disabled children, health institutions and defense medical establishments.
Physiotherapists can also opt for teaching, while those with adequate capital can establish private clinics of their own.