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Physiotherapy and women’s health: How it helps women to deal with various health problems

Dr Nilesh Makwana, a consulting physiotherapist, explains how physiotherapy can benefit women.

Pain is one of the most common and perplexing concerns of every other modern Indian woman. Sometimes they know where the pain is originating back, knees, shoulders other times it is just general fatigue that extends into a dull ache throughout the body that makes them lethargic and weary. The reason for this could be many, hormonal changes that their body has to get adjusted to every month, pregnancy, menopause and more. In today s day and age number of women falling prey to heart diseases and stroke is alarming. Of course, corrective lifestyle and right diet can help one overcome health challenges but physiotherapy along with conventional medicine (if one needs to be on pills to treat a disorder or ailment) can also help. Here are few myths and facts about physiotherapy that you need to know.

When it comes to physiotherapy not many think of it as a supportive therapy to just get rid of various aches and pains, but experts argue that physiotherapy when chosen to improve one s health quotient can do wonders for a woman. Here Dr Nilesh Makwana, Director & consulting physiotherapist, Muscle N Mind Physiotherapy Centre, Mumbai explains how physiotherapy can benefit women.

Physiotherapy is modern healthcare sciences which help in alleviating many problems pertaining to females. Many will be surprised that physiotherapist works with many female related disorders, says Dr Makwana. Some of the health problems pertaining to women that physiotherapy can help to overcome are:

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  • Urinary incontinence
  • Pelvic Muscle overuse or under use
  • Sexual Dysfunction in females
  • Menstruation-related disorders
  • Pre and Post pregnancy physiotherapy (Preventing complications, or exercises in complications)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • PCOD
  • Other obesity-related ailments like back and knee pain

So, how does physiotherapy help a woman?

A physiotherapist assesses and checks for the related issues that a woman might be suffering from after getting a nod from her gynaecologist. After that, a physiotherapist will do a detailed assessment related to a particular problem which includes various tests for instance muscle strength, bone strength and other parameters. After the tests are done, the physiotherapist will discuss the possible outcome with the patient and draw a detailed exercise program. These exercise programs usually consist of exercises and moves like kegals, pilates, core and aerobics workouts. A physiotherapist might also have to do a pre and post-exercise analysis to see if the patient is benefiting from the program and getting the desired results. These exercises planned might be done thrice or twice a week depending on the ailment one is suffering from or the severity of the problem. Here is how physiotherapy can help to ease back pain and other discomforts during pregnancy.

Why would you ask women to take up physiotherapy for better health over normal exercise?

Physiotherapy is also a form of exercise. For the modern women who are pressed for time and unable to do exercise, opting for physiotherapy is a good idea. In fact, in many countries this therapy is considered equivalent to prescribed medicine. The exercises designed for the specific ailments form the core of the treatment for any condition. These exercises or moves help to regulate the hormones and help in the following ways:

  • It helps in the production of irisin: Irisin is also known as exercise hormone and works in two ways first by activating genes that turn bad fat into good fat and second by regulating undifferentiated stem cells to become bone-building cells instead of being stored as fat. The more you sweat during an exercise session more your body produces irisin.
  • It helps in the production of estrogen: It s a most important female sex hormone which plays a major role in breast development, menstrual regulation, bone health and cholesterol management. If estrogen is released in proper amounts causes it keeps a woman in good health, but in excess, it can cause grave dangers like breast cancer. Normally, after the age of 35 years, the female is estrogen dominant, exercises reverse this process, which leads to lower risk for cancer. Here are few signs that signal the onset of menopause.
  • It regulates the production of testosterone: This is a male sex hormone, but it also secretes in females in small quantity. Testosterone helps in muscle mass building and also improves sex drives. Exercises help to regulate this hormone, which helps in increasing muscle mass and decreasing belly fat.
  • It improves production of Human growth hormone (HGH): Human growth hormone is responsible for body s basic function like bone and muscle strength. This hormone is secreted periodically, especially during sleep, but some exercise routines like high intensity with heavyweights have shown the increase in production. With physiotherapy, one can give a jolt to the sluggish cells that slow down in producing HGH.

Physiotherapy exercise training like endurance, strength and flexibility training helps in reducing body weight and fat. When body weight and fat are at its minimal level and muscle mass is at its peak, the load on the joints are minimized resulting in longevity of the joints. However one should know that all the systems in the body are affected when you exercise, either acutely or chronically. This is doing it in proper form and guidance is very important especially when females are concerned. Because knee and back pain if any needs to be ruled out before progressing to any form of exercises.

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