Physiotherapy: Health Promotion and Prevention
Physiotherapy is the Health Sciences discipline whose objective is the promotion and prevention of health by means of therapeutic exercise, physical means and manual therapy, always from a biopsychosocial approach and through the application of scientific principles.
It is in continuous development, incorporating new advances and articulating with other disciplines.
ARISTOTHELS “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and therefore, the whole cannot be known by the sum of its parts”.
A global view of health, a culture of health
We must also understand health as something more than the absence of illness; it implies physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social integrity. In other words, we talk about health from the biopsychosocial model and this means relating the individual and what happens to him/her to his/her environment.
This global vision is enriching the conventional concept of health that was based on the scientific paradigm: materialistic, localist or reductionist. Classically, in order to study health in depth, the person was divided into body and mind and the body, in turn, into different structures (digestive system, nervous system, etc.). But the key is that they are all related to each other, forming a whole; hence the word holism, from the Greek holos, which means whole, total.
The symptom or illness tells us about what is happening in our life, not only in our physical body. The symptom is a wake-up call about what is happening, it should not only be treated as a symptom, but also to go deeper into the cause or root cause of the problem. Without ever losing sight of the clinical reasoning, we must address the pain or dysfunction in a holistic way: posture, physical exercise, diet, night’s rest, etc. and also actively, on the part of the patient.
This brings us to two other characteristics of the classic health paradigm that we need to transform:
Considering the patient as a passive subject (hence its name), who waits for a pill or technique from the health staff to cure him/her instead of changing certain unhealthy habits; as well as always talking about illness, instead of a sick person; this means that we often fall into the error of trying to treat different people in the same way.
For all these reasons, physiotherapy is committed to a change of model that sees the individual in a global and integral way, in a personalised and lasting way to guarantee their wellbeing. This globality can only be completed with a great team of health professionals with whom we can humbly face human complexity: doctors, optometrists, podiatrists, speech therapists, psychologists, orthodontists… with whom I feel honoured to be able to collaborate to help people.
Health prevention and self-management
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 43% of the habits we freely choose every day are responsible for our health. And the first objective we must have to take care of our health is prevention. The body has the formidable capacity to adapt to everything that happens to it: an ankle fracture that changes the footprint, a scoliosis, a loss of mobility, but it is like a glass of water that fills up drop by drop and one day, a drop overflows it, that is to say, the body loses its capacity to adapt and collapses. This is the case, for example, of people who have hardly ever had lower back pain, but one day, they bend down to get something and when they get up, they get stuck. It is not that this gesture was the only cause, but rather the sum of many things and harmful habits that led to the body not being able to assume this gesture. All of this means that we must take responsibility for our own health, that is, in the self-management of our health, with the choices we make on a daily basis: diet, night’s rest, management of our emotions…
In addition to helping the patient at a specific moment to solve a dysfunction or pain, physiotherapy is designed to provide the patient with the necessary tools to manage, as far as possible, this pain or incapacity: home exercises, postural habits, etc.
Of course, this self-management of health by individuals does not exempt the state, states or bodies responsible for looking after the health of society, while also guaranteeing the individual’s capacity to make decisions.
A Holistic View
Their description during the patient interview reveals much of the information about the injury.
THE KEY: is to find the reason for the injury, the cause. What is the chain of injury that has caused it.
Always based on an accurate, personalised and innovative diagnosis.