PT Vol.8, Issue 6, May-Jun'17:In conversation with Padmashri DEEPA MALIK an incredible journey from paralysis to Paralympics

True bravery is doing what is right even when it's not popular.

In Walt Disney’s 1995 animated film Pocahontas, Grandmother Willow says “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one”. The path to success is full of challenges, hurdles and obstacles. But in the end, taking the right path will pay off, regardless of how much harder you had to work on that path.In this issue, we present the story of one such self-motivated being, who didn’t succumb to her destiny and went against the stereotype to choose the right path and live a life that she desired for herself and not what her fate had thrust upon her. When told as a 29-year-old that her choice was between paralysis and death, anyone else would have had a heartbreak. But for Deepa Malik, life has never been able to pose a challenge that could dim her spirit. She has never been daunted by adversity. We are privileged and honoured to present an exclusive interview with Padmashri Deepa Malik whose life is a case history of triumphs against all odds, a portrayal of indomitable will and insurmountable spirit.

It is said that women juggle different roles with ease. This could not have been more appropriate in the case of Deepa Malik, who wears multitude of hats as a wife, a mother, a motor rally driver, a swimmer, a sports bike racer, an entrepreneur, a prominent disability activist, a motivational speaker and a paralympian. All this, in spite of being a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair since surgeries to remove a tumour, 18 years ago. When asked about her disability, Deepa Malik smiles and says, “Just like people use spectacles for their weak eyes, I use a wheelchair for my weak legs. That’s all. Nothing more than that. With my willpower and dedication, I can achieve as much as any other physically fit athlete can aspire for. Even more than that!!” I am tempted to say that she may be confined to a wheelchair, but her heart takes her to places where our legs don't. In her own words, she often says “I am not wheelchair bound, I am wheelchair liberated.”

It’s astonishing to note that she started her sports career at the age of 36 when others would think of retirement. She says, “It’s never too late to start a good thing.” When asked about her passion for adventure sports, she says that it is my way of raising awareness among the society that physically challenged people can achieve self-dependence through driving. It would develop the spirit of self reliance among them.Interestingly, Deepa Malik is quite earnest in her appreciation for physiotherapy in her life, be it her post surgical rehab or her career as a sports person and athlete over the last decade. She acknowledges and emphasizes the tremendous role played by all her physios right from the early childhood to the most recent ones she has worked with in her getting back to the rhythm. As Physiotherapists, you all deal with people with disability. The next time you see someone with disability lose hope, share Deepa Malik’s inspirational journey and motivate them to reach their highest potential. After all there is “ability” hidden within every “disability”. We are sure Deepa’s story would give you valuable insights into the mind and psyche of a champion athlete who created history despite being limited by her physical ability.


COVER FEATURE: In conversation with Padmashri DEEPA MALIK an incredible journey from paralysis to Paralympics

On 12thSeptember, 2016, the oldest athlete of Indian contingent - 45 years old Deepa Malik, scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete to win a medal in the Paralympic games. A silver medal in the shot put in the 2016 Rio Summer Paralympics. At an age when most women are having mid-life crises, she was holding a medal in her hand. Deepa was diagnosed with spine tumor when she was just 5. It took around 3 years of treatment and aggressive physiotherapy to recover from that. In... Read More

TECHVANTAGE: Neuroprosthetics: Recovering from injury using the power of your mind

Neuroprosthetics, also known as brain-computer interfaces, are devices that help people with motor or sensory disabilities to regain control of their senses and movements by creating a connection between the brain and a computer. In other words, this technology enables people to move, hear, see, and touch using the power of thought alone. How do neuroprosthetics work? We take a look at five major breakthroughs in this field to see how far we have come - and how much farther we can go - using ... Read More

SNAPSHOT: Neck pain an occupational hazard case of the celebrity chef Wylie Dufresne- By Karena Wu

I have been practicing physiotherapy in New York City for over 17 years. I have treated a wide range of clients in the city to include international royalty, Broadway, TV and movie stars, professional athletes, and celebrity chefs. I decided to write about neck pain which is a common complaint in many people. This case came due to the hazards of filming a TV show, when a friend’s work requirements changed due to his elevation in the media. Chef Wylie Dufresne, of the former WD-50 molecu... Read More

QUINTESSENTIAL: The latest in Tendon Rehabilitation- By Parivesh Kumar

Lower limb tendon disorders are a major problem for participants in competitive and recreational sports. It does affect our aging population secondary to degeneration or sedentary life style. Physiotherapists manage tendinopathy on day today basis and many of these clinicians use primitive stretching and ultrasound therapy along with other electrotherapy modalities. Do we need to do more or anything different?

Tendinopathy rarely improves long term with only passive treatments such ... Read More

SPOTLIGHT: The Magic Needle- Dry needling- Modern mantra for pain relief- By Dr. B. Viplav Sathyanarayana

We often wake up early in the morning with a stiff neck, painful back, or sometimes sore muscles. However, the demands of our everyday life do not allow us to focus on such pains and we often end up ignoring them. Be it personal, professional or household activities our daily chores are tuned in such a way that we end up abusing our muscles rather than using them wisely. Eventually such use and abuse of the muscles end up developing long standing MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINTS (MTrPs) gradually de... Read More

SPECIAL ARTICLE: Importance of physiotherapy in HEMOPHILIA- By-Subin Chungath

Physiotherapy is an integral part of the rehabilitation of hemophilic patients. Dr. Peter Jones in his book “Living with Hemophilia” has quoted “Keep active: keep well! Physical activity promotes powerful muscles which protect the major joints.” Physiotherapy in haemophilia is a very relevant thought in our present scenario. Surveys show that about 1 instance in every 10,000 male births worldwide is having haemophilia. According to haemophilic society of India around 7... Read More

CURRENT AFFAIRS: The latest physiotherapy and rehabilitation research from prestigious universities and journals across the globe.

Delaying ACL Surgery in favor of Exercise Therapy may produce better outcomes in patients with 'Prognostic Factors'- Researchers analyzed Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Scores (KOOS) of 118 young adults who experienced an ACL tear, comparing baseline with 5-year KOOS. Some participants received early ACL reconstruction surgery followed by exercise therapy; others received delayed surgery with a period of exercise therapy prior to the surgery; a third group received exercise therapy on... Read More

CONTEST: Story Writing Competition- Results

We had announced a “STORY WRITING COMPETITION” in VOl.8, issue 5, March-April-2017 where participants were supposed to write an innovative story & give a creative title keeping the given picture in mind. The result of the competition are published below along with the story by the first winner.


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AQUA CORNER: Aquatic approach in SPORTS Injuries Rehabilitation- By Dr.Prachi shah Arora

A growing number of PTs are incorporating aquatics into physical therapy interventions, helping a wider range of patients and clients. Increasing interest in aquatic physical therapy can be attributed in part to its evolution from the limited confines of spas and “Hubbard tanks,” to the larger venues of swimming pools. These larger exercising areas accommodate a greater variety of exercises, including those that require sustained propulsive movements. Aquatic immersion has profoun... Read More

REPORTAGE: Marketing Mantra –A Nationwide series of seminars on marketing in physiotherapy

1) Chennai- 22nd April -2017, 2) Hyderabad- 23rd April- 2017, 3) Karamsad- 26th April-2017, 4) Cochin- 21st May-2017, 5) Bangalore- 4th June-2017, 6) Coimbatore- 16th June-2017

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BEST OF WEB: In this section we bring to you interesting websites of clinical and academic relevance to physiotherapy.

1)  Get Inspired. Get Motivated.- This site provides one of the largest collection of motivational and inspiring quotes designed with a beautiful background by subject as well as by the greatest people that lived on the planet.

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1) Fascia in sport and movement- By Robert Schleip- FASCIA in sport and movement provides sports coaches, movement teacher, physical and manual therapist, with the latest research on fascia in an accessible format.

2) Marketing your complementary therapy Practice- By Steven Harold- This book is for newly qualified and well established therapists in all branches of complimentary therapy.

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