Category Archives: Physiotherapy

How Physiotherapy Works

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Many people are hesitant when they hear the term “physiotherapy.” They do not know what it is, why it is used, how it is used and how it can possibly help them. Most people, whenever they have an injury of some sort, run to a medical doctor who generally prescribes pain medication for injuries. While pain medication is an effective way to deal with pain caused by various ailments, diseases and injuries, it merely masks the pain and does not solve the problem. In addition, many pain medications are highly addictive.

Physiotherapy is nothing new. It dates back to ancient times. Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recognized that there was a need for patients to be mobilized. People who have illnesses or disease that keeps them immobile run the risk of getting blood clots in their legs that can travel to their heart or brain. Modern physiotherapy began in the late 19th century when doctors began to realize that patients needed to be mobilized in order to recover. During the polio outbreaks of the 1930s and 1940s, physiotherapy played an important role in helping people who were affected by this terrible illness to regain the strength to walk.

Mobilization, manipulation of muscles and ligaments, exercise, education and training is how physiotherapy works today. There are many reasons why people see a physiotherapist. They range from back and neck pain, which are the most common, to neurological conditions. Even people with heart and lung conditions often have some sort of physiotherapy to help them recover. Physiotherapy is now an important part of any patient recovery, whether it be from an operation or an injury. Many patients, when released from the hospital, are released into the care of a licensed physiotherapist who works with the patient to continue the recovery process.

Curing migraines is one example of how physiotherapy works. Many physicians and physiotherapists believe that migraines are the result of a misaligned spine. By manipulating the spinal column, many physiotherapists have reported success in alleviating the symptoms of migraine headaches; a disabling condition that plagues millions of Americans each year.

Even people with injuries present at birth, such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida have been able to live better lives with the help of physiotherapy. The therapist keeps the limbs mobile and allows the patient to live a longer and more productive life.

Stroke victims are a great example of how physiotherapy works. Oftentimes, after a stroke, a patient is unable to speak or use a certain part of his or her body. A physiotherapist works with a stroke victim to help him or her regain speech as well as movement in the effected area. Physiotherapists have achieved amazing results with stroke victims, particularly in recent years.

Physiotherapy is practiced by a licensed therapist who has vast education in the field of the types of injuries and diseases he or she treats. People who have suffered an accident or have undergone an operation and have recovered with the help of therapy can clearly attest to how physiotherapy works to cut recovery time in half and allow the patient to get back to leading a better quality of life.

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What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

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Sports injuries and car accidents, among other injuries, can cause spinal cord injury.
The range of spinal cord injury is wide. Some of these injuries are fairly minor and will heal well with a limited amount of physiotherapy, while others need physiotherapy for the rest of their lives.

As always with physiotherapy, the first step is evaluation. A plan is formulated that will include therapies specific to the kind of spinal cord injury the patient has. Neck injuries can cause quadriplegia, which requires special treatments.

An important issue in spinal cord injury is the level of the damage. If a physiotherapy program is not followed faithfully, the spine will begin to atrophy below the level of the spinal cord injury. The spine will shrink and the whole body below that point will become weaker as time goes by.

It is important that spinal cord injury patients get exercise of some form. They are prone to osteoporosis and heart problems, among other conditions. If there is a total lack of exercise, these risk factors become even more pronounced.

Physiotherapy for spinal cord injury involves exercising and stimulating the nerves and muscles below the level of the damage. This will allow patients with spinal cord injury to stay in good physical condition where they can. That way, if a cure becomes available, they will not be too weakened to benefit from it.

Every exercise the physiotherapy personnel go through with the spinal cord injury patient should be video-taped. This allows work to go on at home with an example of each exercise. Range-of-motion exercises are done by a caregiver, who moves the limbs so that they will not become set in one position.

For spinal cord injury patients who are not quadriplegics, there is physiotherapy using mats. These mats are raised off the floor, and can be operated by a hand crank or a power system. The physiotherapist will give exercises where the patient lies on the side, back, or stomach and works out or sits up and works out.

There are many restorative therapies in physiotherapy for spinal cord injury patients. These include electrical stimulation, biofeedback, vibrational therapy, laser therapy and other stimulation activities. Aqua therapy is also a physiotherapy method that is conducive to progress in spinal cord injury patients.

With all these therapies, spinal cord injury patients can sometimes restore themselves to earlier functioning. Other times, they can simply keep their bodies from deteriorating as they wait for a cure.

Spinal cord injury research is being conducted constantly. Physiotherapy is one of the fields that are being explored. One study is putting spinal cord injury patients in harnesses over treadmills stimulating walking. They are trying to find a way to help people walk again who had given up hope of doing so.

Physiotherapy gives hope for spinal cord injury patients. It allows them to have the most normal functioning that they are currently able to have. Perhaps when a cure comes outcomes will be even better. However, physiotherapy will probably always be needed for spinal cord injury patients.

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What Happens After Physiotherapy?

What Happens After Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can be a long, hard road. It takes willpower and endurance to keep at it. The mere act of keeping appointments can be grueling at times. One may feel like celebrating when it is all over; but what comes after physiotherapy?

The physiotherapist will leave you with words of advice to follow after your physiology is over. One important thing to keep in mind is that any exercises you are doing should be remembered for relapses.

For example, if you have a problem with a vertebra in your neck, physical therapy can often help. After physiotherapy, though, the neck might start getting stiff and painful again. Remembering and doing the physical therapy exercises may stop the condition from getting any worse, and may in fact alleviate it completely.

You will also be instructed on the proper use of heat packs and ice packs. It will be a refresher course for you, but you will be on your own, so you need to pay attention. You will be told to go to the doctor at the first sign of relapse after physiotherapy.

Prevention will be an important concern after physiotherapy. The last thing you need is to have to go through the process again. You can take certain steps to avoid physical injuries that would require you to go back.

Aerobic exercise is very beneficial both during and after physiotherapy. It strengthens the muscles, increases oxygen to the muscles, and helps you lose weight. Aerobic exercises you can do include walking, running, swimming, or bicycling. Any exercise that gets you breathing heavily and your heart rate up will do.

In injuries like low back pain, weight loss can be a factor. It can mean less stress on your bones and muscles. Therefore, diet can play an important role in prevention after physiotherapy. It does not have to be an elaborate diet; just a simple diet that limits foods, especially the carbohydrates and fats.

Other preventative features of life after physiotherapy involve the workplace. One needs to learn the proper movements to get the job done. If it seems that it is impossible, it is a legal right to call for an ergonomics study. Another thing to consider is to make sure you use all the ergonomic equipment that is already available in your office or workplace. There may be ergonomic keyboards in a storage room, if you would only ask.

One also needs to learn one’s limitations. No more trying to lift a two-hundred pound object by yourself. After physiotherapy one knows what can happen when one does not take care of one’s body properly. It only makes sense to stay away from anything that can harm you in the way you were hurt before.

Life after physiotherapy may be a more cautious affair than is was before. One may have to think before acting. No matter what one does, it is possible that a return to physiotherapy will take place. The best thing to do is to do your best to make all the right moves after physiotherapy.

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The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Amputee Rehabilitation

The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Amputee Rehabilitation

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Losing a limb is a devastating blow for anyone.
It requires a team of professionals to make the adjustment to life without the limb. A physician, a prosthetist, nurses, and a psychologist are all needed. Add to that list a physiotherapy service, which will help with amputee rehabilitation.

The benefits of physiotherapy for amputee rehabilitation are numerous. For one, amputees will need help in overcoming phantom pains. These are pains where the limb used to be. The sensation really is in the nerve that would lead to that limb if it were still there. Physiotherapy can use its own techniques to treat this pain.

Most amputees will be getting a prosthetic limb. Some feel that it should be enough to learn how to put it on. It is not an automatic thing to get used to a prosthetic limb. Many patients have them for years without ever having normal functioning with them. This is one reason amputee rehabilitation is so important.

Physiotherapy can benefit amputee rehabilitation by gradually getting the patient accustomed to using a prosthetic limb. The physiotherapy plan for this will be based upon the needs and abilities of the patient.

The patient will probably need help during amputee rehabilitation to learn balance all over again. This is especially true is the affected limb is a foot or leg. However, having an arm that is of a different weight than the other may be unbalancing as well. Physiotherapy can help with these problems too.

One thing people going through amputee rehabilitation need to realize is that gait is a good deal of the battle. If one walks correctly, people will not even be able to detect one’s limp, even with a prosthetic leg. This skill can be learned from physiotherapists.

If a patient has waited a long while before seeking physiotherapy after surgery, a problem may arise. Certain muscles may become overdeveloped and others weakened. This happens because, without proper amputee rehabilitation, the patient relies on one set of muscles to the exclusion of others. A proper plan of physiotherapy can address this issue.

People who have lost a limb will need an individualized exercise program. Physiotherapy can provide such a program during amputee rehabilitation. This will take into account the different movements needed by amputees to perform normal exercises.

Manual therapies, such as massage, are a part of amputee rehabilitation with physiotherapy. This can relieve much pain and tension in the muscles that are overworked in getting used to their new situation. Other treatments can be used. Some of them are heat, acupuncture, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.

There is a need for physiotherapy in amputee rehabilitation that no other discipline can fill. It is a basic kind of help that anyone who has lost a limb can use. Some amputees decline treatment because they do not think it is necessary. Others feel overwhelmed by their loss. If there is a way to convince amputees to get physiotherapy to help them with their rehabilitation, they will find recovery a much smoother path.

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Why Down Syndrome Physiotherapy Should Be Started Early

Why Down Syndrome Physiotherapy Should Be Started Early

There is a great need for immediate intervention for children with Down syndrome. Physiotherapy does not fix the problem; development will still be slowed. However, it can address problems that are unique to Down syndrome children.

Early Down syndrome physiotherapy focuses on four problems that are common for these children. One is called hypotonia. This means that the child’s muscles lack tone. That is why, when you lay a Down syndrome child in his crib, he will flop out like a rag doll. Hypotonia needs to be treated because it affects the ability of the child to learn motor skills or to support himself correctly.

Another problem that can be helped by Down syndrome physiotherapy is laxity of the ligaments. The ligaments are so loose that they do not support the bones adequately. In infancy, it can be seen in the way they lie down with their legs splayed apart. In later years, their ankles and other joints will be loose enough to cause support problems.

Down syndrome physiotherapy is essential in helping these children overcome muscular weakness. If they are not exercised to correct the problem, they will develop behaviors that will make up for their lack of strength. Some of these behaviors may be harmful. For example, they may lock their knees to make up for having weak legs.

One problem these children face is in their body shape. Their arms and legs are generally shorter compared to their trunks than in most people. This leads to all kinds of problems sitting and climbing. Just reaching the table to eat can be a chore. Down syndrome physiotherapy can help with this problem.

In early intervention Down syndrome physiotherapy, the emphasis is on overcoming weakness and learning gross motor skills. Rolling over, sitting, crawling, and walking will all happen eventually, anyway. However, with Down syndrome physiotherapy, they can take place with solid physical foundations.

There is a concern with Down syndrome physiotherapy of parents notifying the doctors of problems that might require the help of a physiotherapist. A parent may be at a loss as to what is to be considered worthy of attention. After all, they already know that their child is not like other children who do not have Down syndrome.

If parents see a Down syndrome child having trouble holding up her neck, it is essential to call it to the attention of the doctor so that physiotherapy can be ordered to strengthen neck muscles. This is one example of many where a physiotherapist might help.

Once Down syndrome physiotherapy is started, it is best to keep up a life-long program to maintain health. Prevention of age-related problems with bones, ligaments, and muscles is becoming increasingly important. This is because people with Down syndrome are living to older ages. In fact there are more Down syndrome people over the age of 60 than ever before. Physiotherapy can help them live quality lives.

Down syndrome physiotherapy is often ignored until much damage has been done. The children are left with weaknesses, odd behaviors, and disfigurements that need not have happened. If Down syndrome physiotherapy is started early enough, the child will have a much healthier life.

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What Are Physiotherapy Costs and Will Insurance Pay?

What Are Physiotherapy Costs and Will Insurance Pay?

If you are referred to a physiotherapy clinic for an injury or condition, you might be wondering about the physiotherapy costs. More than that, it is important to find out if insurance will pay for treatment and procedures. These are questions to answer before going to the clinic for help.

The simple answer is that no one can pinpoint the exact amount of treatment a person will need, so overall physiotherapy costs are just an estimate. It is possible for an experienced and skilled physiotherapist to make a fairly accurate approximation of how long treatment will take.

There will usually be a flat clinic or office visit fee. This covers only the basic services of the team. If one does not provide adequate notice of cancellation, a fee can be assessed to recoup the fee that would have been taken in for that time slot. Yet, these are just the beginning of the fees. Physiotherapy costs go far beyond the basic fee.

Physiotherapy costs can vary greatly for different treatment sessions. This is because the same procedures are not always performed. Some cost more than others. To get an accounting of the prices for the different methods used, contact the billing department of the clinic or hospital. There should be a list of each type of treatment.

Since many insurance companies give patients a choice of doctors and physiotherapists, it is wise to discuss fees upfront. Physiotherapy costs may affect you even if you have insurance. This is especially true if your physiotherapist has a preference for many short visits instead of fewer longer ones. This will have a bearing on your deductible.

Then, all one has to do is to keep asking at each session what the next session’s procedures will likely be. This way, physiotherapy costs will come as little surprise to one. The only question is what kind of payment arrangements will be made. If the patient has no insurance, all physiotherapy costs will be due in full at the time of service.

Clinics often help arrange the payment of physiotherapy costs by contacting workman’s comp or insurance companies for one. This makes it possible for the clinic to collect their fees easily. It also takes the burden of phone calls and paperwork off the patient.

Physiotherapy costs may amount to the price of a deductible and a small co-pay for each visit. The number of visits varies, but there is an average to go on. One or two times a week will usually suffice for four to eight weeks. However, a chronic condition may need much more work.

Physiotherapy costs can be financially crippling, or small change. It depends upon the existence of insurance or the ability of the patient to pay out of pocket. Insurance covers most physiotherapy costs, but if there is any doubt, do not be afraid to ask. Physiotherapy is there to make you feel better, not to make you worry about how much it costs. Anything you can do to keep the focus on recovery will help you.

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How to Make the Most of a Physiotherapy Assessment

How to Make the Most of a Physiotherapy Assessment

The first step in recovering from several painful and incapacitating conditions is a physiotherapy assessment. One can sit back and let the physiotherapist do all the work. However, more accurate and positive results will come of the physiotherapy assessment if the patient becomes involved.

When you go in to the physiotherapy appointment, your doctor should have given the physiotherapist some idea of your condition. The physiotherapy assessment will begin when the therapist takes a medical history. This is standard procedure for any type of health related problem. It is wise to be thorough in explaining past problems and conditions that seem to run in the family.

This can have a bearing on your treatment. It might even point to some disease or disorder that no one suspected that you had. A thorough physiotherapy assessment could possibly lead to treatment by a physician for an unexpected illness. You might find out that, while physiotherapy is bad for very few people, it is not what you need the most.

Then, the therapist will ask questions about your present condition. She will want to know when the pain, stiffness, or other problems started. She will ask you just how much it hurts, having you grade your pain on a scale of one to ten. One means no pain and ten means the worst pain you can imagine. The physiotherapy assessment will go on with your hypotheses of what caused it all.

The accuracy of your physiotherapy assessment rests on the precision with which you answer these questions. Telling the therapist that the pain is at a level of four when you know it is more like a level of eight will lead her to treat your pain less aggressively. It will be as if you had no physiotherapy assessment at all.

However, if you are able to correctly measure your degree of pain, you will help the therapist understand your problem. When the therapist knows when the problem began and has an idea of what caused it, the physiotherapy assessment will reflect that information.

Then, the therapist will watch you move. For a person who does not wish to be seen as weak, it may be a challenge to walk and do other movements as the person does them when no one is watching. In other words, a person with a sore and stiff neck may try to move it normally in order not to seem like an invalid.

You will be put through a series of movements that may seem cruel to you. It is a part of a good physiotherapy assessment to show all the movements done as best you can do them. If you can barely do them, that tells your physiotherapist a great deal of information.

It is best that the physiotherapy assessment covers all these pains and conditions. The way to make the most of a physiotherapy assessment is to be as honest and accurate as possible. It is only then that you will get the best care.

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How to Start a Physiotherapy Career

How to Start a Physiotherapy Career

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If one wants to help others with physical problems, one might want to start a physiotherapy career. By doing so, one could learn to evaluate physical problems, create plans for patients, and see to carrying out those plans. A physiotherapy career can be professionally rewarding.

The average physiotherapist is between 25 and 54, earns $50,000 to $60,000, and works in a full-time salaried position. Many of these started out with a BA degree, but the trend is towards hiring MA degree or doctoral degree holders who are beginning a physiotherapy career.

If one is considering a physiotherapy career, the degree one gets in important. A physiotherapy aide can get an entry-level degree at a university, community college, or technical school. This is a two-year degree. After graduation, the physiotherapy aide will perform many jobs in the treatment of patients, under the direction of the physiotherapist.

To begin a physiotherapy career as a professional, one needs to get either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. With the master’s degree programs, one may have to enter the program at the same time one starts college. At other places, one simply takes about three years of school after the bachelor’s degree. Doctoral degrees have similar requirements.

Before one gets into a physiotherapy degree program, one needs to meet specific requirements. Coursework in various life sciences like biology, anatomy are needed. Also important are courses in fields like psychology and social science.

To choose a school to prepare one for a physiotherapy degree, it is wise to consider whether that school offers clinical experiences as a part of the training. It is also important to be aware of the degrees that are available to earn, and the length of the course of study.

The final step before getting that first job to start a physiotherapy career is accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is tasked with ensuring that physiotherapists are fit for the licensing exam. At that point, the licensure exam must be taken and passed. Employers are impressed with high licensure scores. Once the test is complete, you are ready to start your physiotherapy career.

Once the career is started, there will be several things to consider. One is that many states expect one to get routine updates on one’s education. This can be done through workshops and continuing education courses. You will not be able to keep your license without keeping up on the latest knowledge throughout your physiotherapy career.

Also, you may want to consider a specialty. There are physiotherapy career specialties in geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, neurological disorders, and sports medicine, to name a few. By choosing a specialty, you make yourself more valuable, thus earning yourself a higher salary and often more respect. Besides this, you can choose a field that is the most important to you.

You can begin your physiotherapy career by researching schools and finding which ones have the best programs for you. If you do become a physiotherapy professional, you will find both financial and personal rewards await you.

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Statistics of People Currently Under Physiotherapy Treatment

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Over the past few decades, the statistics of people currently under physiotherapy treatment has reached a staggering number.
Not only in the United States are millions of people undergoing some form of physical therapy treatment, but also in other countries as well. Physiotherapy is one of the largest growing professions in the medical field as more and more individuals are finding the benefits of this type of physical therapy.

Physiotherapy treats a variety of injuries, ailments, illnesses, diseases and conditions and more specialized physiotherapists are emerging in the field of medicine. Statistics on people currently under physiotherapy treatment range from infants with illnesses such as Cystic Fibrosis to construction workers with back injuries. Many people are beginning to realize the benefits of physiotherapy and the statistics of people currently under physiotherapy treatment is going up every year. Physiotherapy has become a healthier approach to the traditional treatment of using pain killers to alleviate pain that is often experienced when someone has a chronic illness or is injured. Not only is physiotherapy more effective in treating people with chronic pain, but the benefits of not becoming addicted to painkillers far outweigh trips to a physiotherapy center.

Physiotherapists can help people with arthritis regain the use of their hands by easing the swelling in their joints thought therapy, massage and movement exercises that help them improve their quality of life. Many people with arthritis are seeking physiotherapy as an alternate, or in addition to, pain medication. The results people with arthritis are achieving in improving their condition through the use of physiotherapy is astounding.

One of the most debilitating conditions a person can suffer is a stroke. A stroke can impair movement, affect speech and leave a person immobile. The psychological effects of a stroke are almost as bad, if not worse, than the actual stroke. A person becomes frustrated when he or she is no longer to get their body to do the things it once so easily did. Physiotherapists are instrumental in helping people who have had a stroke regain their speech, mobility and lifestyle. Through exercise, manipulation and patient care, many people who have suffered this dreadful condition are able to regain their speech and movement and once again, lead useful, happy and productive lives.

Years ago, the medical community scoffed at the idea of physiotherapy. It was considered “quack” medicine and not very well respected. In recent years, the medical community has come to realize the tremendous benefits physiotherapy has on individuals suffering from painful conditions, disabilities, sports injuries, and even people who suffer from diseases such as cancer. Many hospitals now release their patients into the care of a licensed physiotherapist once they are out of danger after an operation or a series of treatments so they can be fully recovered prior to returning to their everyday lives.

The statistics on people currently under physiotherapy treatment in the United States alone has more than tripled in the past five years, according to the Donaldson Clinic, a treatment facility that provides physiotherapy to patients on many different levels. The statistics have been rising each year due to the tremendous impact physiotherapy has made in improving the lives of those suffering from illness, injury or disease.

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The Busy Field of Geriatric Physiotherapy

The Busy Field of Geriatric Physiotherapy


Clinics that specialize in geriatric physiotherapy never run low on work.
The elderly have diseases and disorders in greater numbers than any other age group. Their care is difficult, but rewarding.

Geriatric physiotherapy became a specialty of physical therapy study in 1989. Since then, physiotherapists have worked to understand the problems of the aging. There is a long list of problems dealt with in geriatric physiotherapy.

Alzheimer’s, arthritis, balance disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, incontinence, joint replacement, pulmonary disease, stroke, and osteoporosis are only a few of the problems covered by geriatric physiotherapy. Physiotherapists have a whole range of therapies for these ailments.

The types of problems faced in geriatric physiotherapy are grouped into three different categories. One category is the problems that happen because the patient simply does not use their limbs or does not exercise. These problems can be addressed by reconditioning through range-of-motion exercises and other exercises.

Another category geriatric physiotherapy deals with is cardiovascular disease, like heart disease and stroke. The physiotherapy professional has an array of tools at her disposal to work with these conditions. Exercise, aqua therapy, electrical stimulation, and more can be used.

The third category is skeletal problems. Geriatric physiotherapy helps people who have these disorders, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. These problems require special attention as osteoporosis makes patients frailer, and osteoarthritis is very painful.

Because falls are such a problem, the osteoporosis therapy is crucial. Along with that, geriatric physiotherapy is responsible for preventing many falls because of work with balance and gait. Some clinics focus entirely on balance issues for the elderly.

Much of the work of geriatric physiotherapy is not aimed at returning patients to their earlier states of health. The most important goals are to be able to function at their best abilities. Doing everyday tasks and living an unconfined life are valuable assets.

At the same time, geriatric physiotherapy can have a profound affect on a person’s ability to enjoy physical activities. Golf is an activity that many seniors enjoy. It can be a very hazardous sport for the elderly if they are not in condition to play. It does have many health benefits, too.

Geriatric physiotherapy can focus on physical training to get an older adult in shape to play sports like golf. This strengthens them in many ways. The fact that it allows them to play golf will make them even healthier, both physically and psychologically. Since depression is a growing problem among the elderly, any help they can get in this area is needed.

Another role of geriatric physiotherapy is to help with rehabilitation after knee or hip replacement surgeries. People who have these operations are likely to walk differently. It affects their abilities to do daily chores, and their quality of life. Physiotherapists can help.

Some people turn to physiotherapy as a means of better functioning. Others are referred to physiotherapy clinics by their doctors for specific problems. Still others end up in geriatric physiotherapy care in hospitals or nursing homes after accidents or illnesses. All of these people can be helped.

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