Sedentary lifestyle spurs demand for physiotherapists

Changing lifestyle, decreased physical exercise and limited muscular activity have all contributed to an increase in the demand for physiotherapy, making it a much sought-after specialisation, doctors say.

Speaking to Deccan Herald on World Physiotherapy Day, on Monday, Dr Ajit Benedict Royan, vice president, Hosmat Hospital, said that unlike the earlier times when there was a lot of muscular activity, people now lead a sedentary lifestyle.

“For instance, women would be involved in activities such as grinding the batter, pounding flour with heavy stones and clothes would be washed by hand. Now, machines do all the work and there is only minimal function for muscles, which makes them weak,” he explained.

Physiotherapy is essential to treat neck and back pain in the initial stages, it is also a must after joint replacements and insertion of screws, said Dr Royan. “This will also determine the range of movement post injuries and surgeries,” he added.

As part of the day’s observation, M S Ramaiah College and Hospital had organised a dash. The event saw over 160 participants. Dr Naresh Shetty, medical director, M S Ramaiah Hospital, said that as an allied medical course, physiotherapy has great relevance today. 

“In the present day scenario, where life expectancy has gone up, rehabilitation is playing a crucial role,” he said. The increase in the number of hospitals has also caused an increase in the demand for specialists, he added.

“Sports rehabilitation is one of the areas of medicine that is growing at a fast pace. Be it prevention of injuries or management, physiotherapy plays a crucial role,” Dr Shetty said. 

Besides, he added that, in cases such as congenital heart diseases, cerebral palsy, spastic children and those who have undergone surgeries, physiotherapy makes a big difference.Dr K S Ravindranath, Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University for Health Sciences said that the speciality was considered an important one.

“There has been an increased demand for the course. Also, a few colleges have asked for additional seats for the course,” he added.

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