Friday, July 9, 2010


The beginning of this week was spent in the Physiotherapy department of Sweekar. The staff there was so gregarious and knowledgeable. They did everything they possibly could to make sure I had the most enriching and informative experience in that department, and they definitely succeeded. I took a lot of pictures of the machines as well as the patients and here they are!

This is the electrical stimulator. It is used on patients who have Bells Palsy. Bells Palsy is when you are not able to move half of your face. This machine sends an electrical current through the patient's face that stimulates the muscle and nerves and allows them to move. Bells Palsy is caused by exposure to extreme cold and ear infections. After the electric treatment is complete. The doctors do the AEIOU test, in which they ask the patients to say these letters to stimulate the muscles in their mouth. They also ask the patients to raise their eyebrows, in order to detect improvement. Like most of the cases in physiotherapy, improvement is visible after some time.

This is the finger ladder. Patients put their fingers on this ladder and slowly work their way up the ladder. This enhances the shoulder muscles as the patient must stretch to reach the top of the ladder.

The shoulder wheel. Patients put their hands on this and rotate it, which stimulates and strengthens their shoulders.

Patients put their hands on the pegs and push and pull them. This machine enhances arm strength and stretches the muscles.

Patients with cerebral palsy or paralysis mainly use this. This allows them to walk in a straight line. There is also a mirror at the end so they can watch and correct themselves while walking.

The different splints used to correct injuries.

A treadmill, trampoline, and some stationary bikes.

This is the SWD (Short Wave Diathermy Machine). It is basically a heating pad, and the intensity of the heat can be changed. The heat penetrates into the deep muscle tissue and relaxes and relieves the pain in different areas.

This is the Ultra Sound machine. I was surprised to see that there was an Ultra sound in Physiotherapy because they are commonly used for pregnancies and babies. But apparently, the gel and ultrasound also soothes muscles. I saw a variety of patients using this technique on their back, ankles, and shoulders.

This is the TENS (Trans Cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator). It pinpoints small areas and provides relief from muscle pain. There is a pad placed on the affected area, and electricity is sent through the pain in the form of an X. The center of the X (the damaged area) receives all of the electricity and this electricity removes the lactic acid and other fluids that cause the pain. These fluids then leave the body through the lymph nodes.

I was able to obtain exposure to so many different disorders during my time in Physiotherapy because there were so many patients. I was there for a two hour span and saw approximately 30-40 patients. It was so chaotic and busy but I felt so lucky and happy to be able to see so many different people. Here are a few of the cases I had the opportunity to see

1.)Periodical Shoulder Disease. This is basically inflammation of the shoulder joints. The doctor stretches the shoulder out while patient shows visible signs of pain. However, these stretching exercises do help in the long run as most patients regained the strength in their shoulders and also felt a relief from the pain.

2.)Lower Knee Weakness- Weakness in the knee joints. The doctor pushes the knee back and pulls it forward several times to ease the pain. He also moves the knees in a circular motion and does a variety of different stretches to help relieve the pain.

3.)Radial Palsy-Unable to raise wrists and fingers. Pads are placed on the upper arm and wrist and electricity is sent down the arm in order to stimulate the wrist and fingers. Slight movement was seen in the wrist and the fingers during the treatment. There are two types of electrical stimulation: Galvonic, which is for specific areas and is the type of treatment used for Bell’s Palsy and SF which is used for larger areas in cases like back aches and Radial Palsy.

Overall, my time spent in the Physiotherapy department was so interesting. I learned a lot about different physical disabilities and the treatment used. It was wonderful to interact with the doctors and patients and it really was a great experience.

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