A special issue on Physiotherapy in Geriatrics

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.- Mark Twain

Even though Mark Twain was very positive in his outlook to have made this statement, we all know that old age is not free from the difficulties which ageing brings along with it. Be it physical, emotional or psychological wear and tear, the role of a physiotherapist in various conditions affecting the elderly and subsequent rehabilitation strategies, remains pivotal amongst the multidisciplinary health care management team. It gives me great pleasure to introduce the First issue of the Second Volume of PHYSIOTIMES on the Role of Physiotherapy in various conditions in the ageing population. Geriatric Physiotherapy was defined as a medical specialty in 1989 and covers a broad area of concerns regarding people as they continue the process of aging, although it commonly focuses on older adults. Among the specific diseases and conditions that might affect older adults which can be improved with physical therapy are arthritis, osteoarthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, amputations, urinary and fecal incontinence, cardiac and pulmonary diseases and metabolic disorders. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia’s, coordination and balance disorders, joint replacements, hip fractures, functional limitations related to mobility, orthopedic or sports injuries can also be improved through geriatric physiotherapy.

A number of goals are accomplished to help the elderly enjoy a better quality of life with the use of treatments such as electrotherapeutic modalities, exercises, educational information, and screening programs to reduce pain, improve sensation, joint proprioception, increase overall fitness through exercise programs, suggest assistive devices to promote independence, recommend adaptations to make the person’s home accessible and safe, prevent further decline in functional abilities through education, energy conservation techniques, joint protection, increase, restore or maintain range of motion, physical strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and endurance, teach positioning, transfers, and walking skills to promote maximum function and independence within the person’s capability. I am sure this special issue on Geriatric Physiotherapy would evoke further interest of the therapists in pursuing the care of the elderly and impart their services helping them live a longer, healthier life. As you are aware, PHYSIOTIMES has completed its first volume with May’10 issue. I thank all our readers, advertisers, well-wishers, editorial advisory board members, as well as the in-house editing team and the staff members for their continued support in the first year and look forward to similar encouragement in this year as well. 

COVER STORY : The Phenomenon Of Ageing: A Physiotherapist's Perspective - DR. NARINDER KAUR MULTANI

We are all ageing – everyday of our life. Sri A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was 75 years old when he completed his tenure of The President of India. Every one of us started to age before we were born and we continue to do so throughout our entire life. Ageing of the population is an established phenomenon in the developed countries and also in many developing countries. Life expectancy has increased sharply this century, and is expected to increase further with advancement in healthcare, science... Read More

REVIEW ARTICLE: Towards Healthy Ageing: Implications For Physical Therapists - DR. SAGAR NAIK

With the continuing growth of elderly population in the modernized societies, it has become a matter of increasing urgency to look for ways to maintain and improve the functional abilities of ageing people, to help them cope independently in the community and ultimately, to raise the quality of their lives. The health of older people should not and cannot be examined simply from the vantage-point of disease prevalence or the absence of illness. Roman writer Martial wrote in his Epigrammata &l... Read More

REVIEW ARTICLE: Dizzinness In The Elderly: A Physiotherapist'S Perspective On The Rehabilitation Strategies - DR. HUTOXI WRITER

Dizziness is a common complaint in the elderly people and presents the doctor with a difficult dilemma. The evaluation of the dizzy people may sometimes present an interesting diagnostic exercise but at other times may create enough frustration to cause dizziness in the physician and the physiotherapist. This article discusses current ideas about physiotherapy for dizziness and imbalance, also called "vestibular rehabilitation", or more generally, "balance rehabilitation".... Read More

GUEST COLUMN: Is The Patient'S Diagnosis Lymphedema Or Lipedema? - HAROLD MERRIMAN,PT

The importance of the lymphatic system in preserving life and in particular the condition of lymphedema is becoming better known among practicing physiotherapists worldwide.  Lymphedema schools preparing clinicians to treat lymphedema and other related conditions such as lipedema first developed in Europe, and now lymphedema schools and clinics have spread throughout the rest of the world.  For example, in North America there are a number of lymphedema schools that teach certificati... Read More

GUEST COLUMN: Staying In Tip Top Condition: Promoting The Uptake And Maintenance Of Physical Activity In Older Adults - SUSAN W. MUIR

Physiological changes associated with the normal aging process produce a decrease in function even in the absence of disease.  The body’s adaptive capacity to exercise and increased physical activity  is fairly well preserved through at least the seventh decade.1  Strategies to maintain physical activity in the already active older adult and to initiate activities in those who are sedentary have been well established to modify and reduce age related changes to body system... Read More

GUEST COLUMN: Your Own Body Weight Based Exercise Training For Elderly Individuals - DR. JUNICHIRO YAMAUCHI

1. Aging and Muscle - It is well known that aging is associated with impairment of various biological functions, such as a decrease in muscle mass, strength, cellular protein synthesis, bone mineral density and hormonal secretion, or increase in adipose tissue.  The deterioration of skeletal muscle function is one of the primary consequences of aging.  Muscular strength or power in human is usually dependent on the growth process or aging.  It is generally known that the peak o... Read More

SPECIAL ARTICLE: Falls Rehabilitation In The Elderly - DR. NARESH VEKARIYA

Everybody falls. Regardless of age, falling is a ubiquitous event experienced by all throughout life. Most falls, especially in children and young adults, are of minor consequence, are readily forgotten, and have no impact on subsequent function. Falls in the elderly, by contrast, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality - the consequences often extending far beyond minor injury to significant loss of functional independence and even death.

Even a minor fall can lead significant... Read More

PHYSIO YOGA: Ageing Gracefully- The Physio Yoga Way - DR.NILIMA PATEL

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. Aging is not synonymous with disease. Ageing in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change.

In the 1970s, the American Medical Association's Committee on Aging concluded a 10-year study by declaring that it had not found a single physical or mental condition that could be dir... Read More

PHYSIO SPEAKS: Reflection Of A Vetern On Physiotherapy & Her Life - PROF. D.H.DASTOOR

1) You did physiotherapy at a time when it was at a nascent stage globally. So what made you choose this field as a career option?

I was told by my father, who had a doctor friend who suggested this. As PT didn’t have much standing in those days, so my family suggested taking a graduate degree first. So I did BSc with Zoology & chemistry, after inter science. After going and seeing KEM hospital, Mumbai, which started in 1953 as the first and only school of physiothera... Read More

HEALING HANDS: Manual Therapy For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee Joint - PROF. UMASHANKAR MOHANTY

Introduction: Osteoarthritis (pronounced as: oss-tee-oh-arth-rye-tis)  is one of the most common musculoskeletal problem in the geriatric population. It is a degenerative joint disease and is one of the most common forms of arthritis. The disease happens due to the cartilage breakdown in joints(Fig.1). The breach in cartilage exposes the bone resulting in redundant friction between the exposed bony surfaces of the joint. As the degeneration progresses the person complains of joint pain o... Read More

FEATURE ARTICLE: Hyperkyphosis: Postural Impairments In The Elderly - DR. BHAVNA MHATRE

The normal  angle  of thoracic kyphosis in younger population range between 20 to 40 degrees . Boyle J J & et  al in their study of men and women, reported mean angle of thoracic kyphosis by Cobb angle on lateral thoracic spine images as 26 degrees in persons in their twenties, 53 deg in those in 60 to 70 years of age, 66 deg in those older than 75 years of age. Thus  it  can be seen that this angle of thoracic kyphosis tends to increase with age. A non-invasive a... Read More

DIRECTOR'S DESK: Twilight Years: The Best Is Yet To Be - MUKESH NAYAK

“Everyone wants to live long but no one wants to grow old.”

Old age is looked upon as an inescapable, unwelcome, grief-ridden phase of life that we all are duty-bound to live, marking time until our ultimate exit from life itself. The fear of old age intensifies as each day passes. Earlier, when life was simpler and values counted for more, those who reached a mature old age held an enviable place in the society. They could really relax and enjoy their twilight years, se... Read More

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