Physiotherapy, a boon for ParalympicsThe brainchild of the “father of sports for people with a disability”, Sir. Ludwig Guttman, the Paralympics are a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical disabilities.
The Winter and Summer Paralympic Games are conducted immediately after the scheduled Olympic Games. According to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the fundamental philosophy guiding the Paralympics is that these world-class athletes should have the same opportunities offered to non-disabled athletes.
The IPC has established 10 disability categories, including physical, visual, and intellectual impairment. Athletes with one of these disabilities can compete in the Paralympics; though not every sport can allow for every disability category. Physical Impairment alone includes eight sections: Impaired muscle power, Impaired passive range of movement, Loss of limb or limb deficiency, Leg-length difference, Short stature, Hypertonia and Ataxia and Athetosis.
Specialists opine that it is not an easy task to differentiate between able-bodied and disabled physiotherapy. For example: The fact that an amputee has suffered an Achilles injury, or even an ankle sprain in one leg – while the other is missing – does not make a major difference. However, the only point of change can be witnessed in say, an athlete suffering from cerebral palsy. He or she may display tonal changes in their muscles due to the condition. Physiotherapists have to be a whole lot more subtle when attempting treatment in such cases.
Hydrotherapy and circuit training are regular features of various physiotherapy programmes. These treatment methods have helped disabled athletes rise above their circumstances and shine in the Paralympics.
Ultimately, individual physiotherapists and physio teams too would have to review protocols well in advance of the forthcoming Paralympics 2016, to be held in Rio. This will go far in revealing areas that need urgent attention, and or change, to enable physically challenged athletes to perform their utmost. The aim of physiotherapy in these instances is to contribute to the overall physical needs of sportspersons, so that they can achieve their goals without any hindrance.
Thames River Physiotherapy offers treatments and therapies of various kinds. Many of these are tailored to specifically address sports injuries in both amateur and elite professionals in different games. We use a wide range of techniques to help accelerate recovery. Apart from this, we provide running assessment and coaching, biomechanics assessment, Pilates and sports massage as preventive treatment programs.
For details visit: http://www.thamesphysio.co.uk
Call: 0203 7593 608 or 07738 519620