Posted by: Bob Fisher | April 15, 2013

A Physiotherapist’s Tips for Travellers


... A podcast with Physiotherapist Jordan Katz

To listen to this podcast, click on the link below:

Chatting with Jordan

The science and art of physiotherapy

As a distinct form of healthcare, the diversity of the practice of physiotherapy may not be well understood by the general public. Physiotherapists are indeed primary health care professionals whose focus is not just on the treatment of disease but also on preventive health care.

Physiotherapists also work in a multiple specialized fields such as the corollary disciplines of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary; Geriatric Care; and Sports Medicine — to mention just three.

And as you will hear us discuss in this podcast, Jordan Katz has played many roles including that of Sports Physiotherapist. This specialized field of physiotherapy deals with athletic injuries, treatment, rehabilitation, but also education.

And as a primary healthcare educator (not all teachers are in classrooms), Jordan’s approach is always to educate his patients in order to prevent loss of mobility (and numerous other physical conditons) before they occur. And he does this by emphasizing fitness, raising patients’ awareness of anatomy and physiology in ways appropriate to them, and by maximizing an individual’s range of movement and functional ability regardless of their age or stage in life.

And physiotherapists like Jordan have as a priority habilitation — and this includes rehabilitation when necessary. The end goal is always to optimize quality of life. And very successful physiotherapists do this by interacting with and educating their patients as to their bodies and their distinct personal histories.

As a healthcare science, physiotherapy has far-reaching effects including physical, emotional, psychological, and social well-being. This is fundamental to the principle of interconnectedness and interdependence of the science.

As you can see from the human evolution image at the bottom of this page, and our discussion in this podcast, human beings evolved in a unique way which was the best of times and the worst of times (to borrow a phrase from Dickens). When we stood up — and became Homo erectus — everything changed. Our vision and brains changed; we experienced new horizons and new opportunities. But our new “postures” put inevitable strains and stresses on our anatomy; a classic example of no pain, no gain.

This transitional turning point for our species was especially significant because we then began to migrate — in fact to travel. And there was no turning back. But nonetheless we have never ceased to imagine.

“The human race is governed by its imagination.”  — Napoléon Bonaparte

In the 21st century however, our bodies are susceptible to new stresses that would have been difficult to predict a hundred years ago. The fact, for example, that many of us are far less mobile in our professional lives than in previous times — especially when so many of us are seated in front of computers all day long — has led to conditions such as repetitive stress injury. And because our bodies were not “designed” to sit for long periods of time, this has also led to other conditions such as back and neck pain.

For very experienced physiotherapists, their profession is also an art in that through the experiential practice of physiotherapy they acquire an intuitive sense. And although physiotherapy is always based on the Scientific Method, the experiential knowledge that many physiotherapists accumulate can play an important role in diagnosis.

The management plan

If you have incurred an injury, your physiotherapist becomes a a critical member of your healthcare team. However, as I have suggested, the proverbial “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” principle (and the common sense it implies) is part and parcel to lifelong healthcare management — from birth to old age.

And developing a carefully planned and individualized management plan and strategies for each patient is also fundamental to the science and art of physiotherapy.

The TENS machine

Some members of the team

Jordan and a student of physiotherapy

Onward and upward

Jordan’s sense of humour

Resources

1. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association

2. The Physiosite.com

3. College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (of which Jordan is a member)

4. Australian and Western Physiotherapy Association (of which Jordan is a member)

5. Curtin University in Australia where Jordan studied

 

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