Physical Therapy Research Paper

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  • Topic: Muscle, Muscular system, Physical exercise
  • Pages : 8 (3228 words )
  • Download(s) : 588
  • Published : February 28, 2013
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Why is Aquatic Therapy Better than ‘Land’ Therapy?
As humans we are designed to move continuously. We naturally climb trees, run and play, go up mountains, swim, and perform numerous other movements. With all of this movement we have become experts on injuring ourselves as well. During a lifetime of movement serious injuries requiring physical therapy can be expected. There are many different types of therapy and recovery programs for many of these injuries. Physical therapy can be divided into 2 groups; aquatic and traditional "in office" or "land" therapy. Aquatic therapy is an effective and popular type of therapy that is often prescribed for ligament sprains, muscle strains, arthritis and cerebral palsy. In this paper I will explain each of these 3 injuries and why it is often more effective and beneficial to use aquatic therapy in place of “in office” or “land” physical therapy. Aquatic physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative health care for musculo-skeletal pain and/or disorders. Musculo-skeletal disorders affect the body's muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves, and can be as simple as tennis elbow or as painful as fibromyalgia. Injuries or other physical ailments requiring physical therapy are first given an initial examination and diagnosis. A physical therapy regiment is prescribed to treat and restore of muscle and joint function and fitness levels. The length and extent of treatment depends on the severity of the injury or disorder. Water treatments were first used for medical purposes in the early 19th century in Austria by Vincent Priessnitz. Priessnitz discovered water treatments from observing how wounded deer would bathe a damaged limb in running stream water quite often and it seemed to help the pain go away and the injury to slowly heal. After doing some research and experiments copying how the deer had bathed its wound Priessnitz decided to open a spa. This spa used his therapy which was not only cold water but also hard work and barefoot walks on grass. The diet and sleep regime were quite strict. His “sponge washing” was not accepted by local doctors of medicine, and so they complained and called him an impostor with no medical background. Soon after, Bavarian monk Father Sebastian Kniepp claimed that water could cure disease by improving the elimination of toxic waste from the body. Father Sebastian Kniepp was a believer in water therapy when he cured himself of a fatal lung condition by plunging into ice cold water every day for many months. He got the idea from Priessnitz who believed that bacteria disliked cold more than heat. The United States caught on to the idea of spa therapy shortly afterwards with the prevailing idea that it worked wonders on defects of the mind and body. Aquatic therapy transitioned from a preventative role to a rehabilitative role during the polio epidemic of the 1940s and 1950s with the influence of Sister Kenny, who included water activity in the treatment of her polio patients. Sister Kenny was not a nun, but rather a largely self-taught nurse who earned the title of "Sister," based on the British title for a chief nurse. Sister Kenny's method of treating polio was called ‘the Kenny Treatment’. This treatment involved using moist, hot compresses to ease muscle spasm pain, eliminating immobilization during the acute phase of the disease, and gently exercising the paralyzed muscles. According to a 1943 article in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, "The Kenny Treatment for Infantile Paralysis: A Comparison of Results with Those of Older Methods of Treatment," by Robert Bingham, MD, "Patients receiving the Kenny treatment are more comfortable, have better general health and nutrition, are more receptive to muscle training, have a superior morale, require a shorter period of bed rest and hospital care, and seem to have less residual paralysis and deformity than patients treated by older conventional methods. The Kenny treatment is the method of choice...
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