Friday, 20 July 2012

Methods for Treating Back Pain

Back pain is a common ailment, affecting most people at some time in their lives. The majority of cases will be short term but some will become chronic, requiring medical intervention. There are different methods of back pain treatment, which may bring pain relief and a return to normal life.

The main symptom of back pain is an aching located in the spine, shoulders or neck. Upper and lower back problems often respond well to chiropractic adjustment, although it does not address the immediate pain issues. This may lead to a slow recovery and frustration for the patient, who may then seek relief from a physician.

A doctor may prescribe medication, such as painkillers and muscle relaxants, to ease the discomfort of back pain. While this method will help in the short term, the medications can become habit forming and are not an option for extended treatment. Medications also treat symptoms and not the cause, which is why it is vital to see a doctor and have a complete battery of tests to pinpoint the source of the pain.

Lifestyle adjustments may be helpful in cases of chronic back pain. Poor posture can cause bone and muscles to move out of place, creating an environment for pain. People who work desk jobs are very prone to this issue, which can be avoided by using an ergonomic chair and getting up often to stretch. Sitting up straight will improve circulation and prevent too much stress being placed on the lower back.

Back exercises can strengthen muscles and alleviate pain, as well as stop pain from recurring. A doctor or chiropractor can recommend a regimen and many can be found on the Internet as well. It is best to start out slowly and add more exercises as the pain improves. Overdoing it may cause an injury and make the problem worse.

Another consideration is body weight. Obese people tend to suffer from back pain, due to their large body mass. The extra weight puts undue stress on bones and muscles, and may cause tissue damage. The best back pain treatment for an overweight person is frequent exercise. Reducing weight will remove the excess pressure on the spine and improve overall health.

If none of the above methods bring relief, surgery may have to be considered. This is a treatment of last resort, as it has a very long recuperation time. The patient will have to take time off from work and will not be able to participate in many activities while recovering. The long term result from surgery is usually positive, and it enables those with stubborn cases of back pain to resume their lives when other treatments have failed.

Anyone who is suffering with chronic back pain should see a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier treatment begins, the better chance of the condition being cured. Between simple exercise and surgery, there are many back pain treatments to choose from. No one should have to suffer with chronic back pain.

If you are suffering from back pain be sure to visit you local CBI Health Centres and see what they can do to treat your back pain.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Starting a Career in Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists, commonly referred to as physical therapists, diagnose and treat patients having difficulties with mobility or physical movement. Patients often visit the physiotherapist at the recommendation of their health care provider. After an initial assessment, therapists develop an individualized care plan, which indicates the patient’s diagnosis, treatment options and short and long term goals along with progress notes. Physical therapists often visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes. When able, patients also visit physical therapy clinics. Physiotherapist wages vary depending on years of experience and occupation location. On average, physiotherapists earn $25.00 to $38.00 an hour.

Occupation Description

A physical therapist uses years of professional medical training in treating patients of all ages who suffer limited movement because of illness, injury or the natural aging process. Working alongside other members of the health care team, therapists initially review the patient’s medical history and visit with the patient before performing a physical assessment. Therapists then assess patients by having them demonstrate the specific problem while evaluating muscle strength and range of movement along with any signs of discomfort.

The various treatment modalities include massage, heat, hydrotherapy and simple exercises. Massage, heat and other varied treatments encourage muscle relaxation and increase blood circulation in affected limbs. Exercises improve balance, extend range of motion and increase muscle strength. Physiotherapists might also recommend the use of braces, crutches or wheelchairs along with other assistive devices. After receiving training from the therapist concerning the use of these devices, patients gain increased independence and greater mobility.

Therapists treat patients having a wide range of physical difficulties including athletes suffering from sports injuries, elderly patients experiencing limited function after suffering from a stroke, or individuals with chronic syndromes that include cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.

General Requirements

Excellent communication skills are a must as therapists work directly with many members of the health care team, patients and their families. Physiotherapists also possess compassion, empathy and patience. Seeing many patients throughout the day, and sometimes in numerous locations means physical therapists must manage their time wisely. In working with patients who hope to attain function and mobility goals, therapists usually generate a positive attitude and the ability to stir confidence, courage and motivation.

Educational Requirements

Becoming a physiotherapist initially requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in the health sciences. Therapists generally need anatomy, physiology and biology along with chemistry and physics. Acceptance into a physiotherapy program evolves around grade point average and any previous experience. Some students work as a physical therapy assistant prior to schooling. Acceptance boards also review community service work and letters of recommendation from professional therapists and other health care providers.

After entering physiotherapist programs, students combine classroom lectures and studies with hands on clinical training during the course of their education. Students have the option of obtaining a master’s or a doctorate in physiotherapy and may specialize in cardio/respiratory, neurological or orthopedic care. Therapists also require state licensure, obtainable by paying the state fees and taking a board exam. Physiotherapists must also acquire the recommended number of continuing education hours annually and renew licensure every two years according to individual state requirements.