Posted by: dlip | January 11, 2008

Physiotherapy & Therapists

How physiotherapy works

Having a stroke can have a serious impact on movement, sensation, balance and co-ordination and the aim of physiotherapy is to help regain as many of these abilities as possible. The severity of the stroke will dictate how much recovery is possible, but physiotherapy works to maximise potential recovery.

Normally a stroke affects one side of the body and the affected side will often feel weak and heavy, which makes it more difficult for the person to move.

In order to compensate for the weaker side, the stronger side becomes dominant and overactive to compensate for the weaker side. This means that a person who has had a stroke will tend to rely heavily on the stronger side of their body.

A physiotherapist will assess the alignment and activity of various body parts, and the physiotherapy treatment will focus on getting the side affected by the stroke to move more effectively.

Every person who has had a stroke has different degrees of difficulty in the activities of daily living. Physiotherapy will address the particular problems at the time of treatment. Generally the aim will be to help with mobility and balance.

If the stroke is severe, this could mean helping with getting from bed to chair or on and off the toilet. If the stroke is mild and the person young and previously fit, this could mean help with running and jumping, and returning to sport

The recovery of movement is most marked in the first 3 months following a stroke but it is our experience that progress can still be made many years after a stroke. The degree of recovery depends on many factors, the most important being the severity of damage caused to the brain by the stroke.

Individual assessment and treatment is the best way to plan physiotherapy to help with specific problems.




  1. The world of Physiotherapists & Therapy as experienced by Dalip
    Therapists, because of their continuous dealing with the pain of loss and pain of recovery tend to dwell on the seamier side of life, having lost sight of the joy of laughing and lighter moments of living.
    Physiotherapy in one word if it were to be described, is a ‘bore’. It is repetitive, lacks creativity and imagination in any which way. But make no mistake I am not denigrating the science. It is the only portal to recovery.
    I believe, from what I’ve been told, the science and intent of physiotherapy is the rejuvenation of muscles that have atrophied due to the stroke or non-use of muscles or several series of muscles and those that have forgotten that there are no free lunches.
    This by a group of grim-faced people who keep reminding you that the pain and frustration you are undergoing is for your own damn good. They also have a tendency to play ‘God’. It takes a hell of a lot of patience and perseverance and persistence on the part of the individual (i.e. the patient) but, as already mentioned, it is the only route to recovery. In my case I realized it a bit late and lost valuable time. Now I realize they are in fact a blessed tribe.
    It is a grim affair. By and large one has only fleeting glimpses of humour, if you can find them, like when you are told, “you must learn to sit on your wown”. It is up to the individual to discover these islands of mirth in an otherwise grey and monotonous expanse.

  2. Tips for physiotherapists
    From the point of view of the client, while I may not be a qualified person by way of education or experience to comment on the subject yet, I feel, that having been at the receiving end of the stick for a considerable while I am well qualified to make valuable pointers to those qualified physiotherapists who are interested and are willing to learn:
    Physiotherapy, you must realize is like any other business and not merely a mere science.
    To that extent, it must create and maintain markets in which to ply its trade. This should be translated into the physiotherapist’s personal ability to deal with clients on a one to one basis. To that extent it is of great importance to develop, what in management terms is called, soft skills. If this were to be explained in greater detail it would mean an individual’s ability for verbal communication and creating a meaningful positive rapport with the customer/client. It must be remembered i.e that the importance of first impression cannot be overestimated. It is what gets the business off on the right footing and would affect adversely or otherwise the quantity of business both in terms of quantum and quantity.
    Starting off with an opening offline – what did you have for breakfast, is not unfortunately the best opening gambit.
    It’s also crude invasion of personal space and ultimately it’s none of your business. Or so the patient feels.
    Instead there are a number of other things which would not touch upon raw nerves. There are surely thousands of other things you could possibly talk about.

    Setting standards for performance
    There’s a marked tendency with physiotherapists to overdo the positive strokes for motivating the client to higher levels of performance. Unfortunately this tends to be counter productive since in the process they lower the bar to such an extent that anything and everything the client does – becomes worthy of praise and applause. Genuine effort and good performance as a result does not get its reward and subsequently leads to demotivation.

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