Thursday 18, August 2022

Physiotherapy may a unique treatment for pain relief

News Desk: Saira Khatun, a 60-year-old housewife, had finger pain and found no cure for the disease even after visiting quite a number of doctors including orthopaedic ones.

After suffering for one year she came to Dhaka and consulted a physiotherapist. She received physiotherapy for 15 days.

“I am very happy now and doing everything once I found difficult to do,” Saira said.

Like her, 55-year-old mother have been suffering from Osteoarthritis for 12 to 15 years that severely affected the bones in her waist and two knee joints two years back, leaving her nearly immobile.

Her condition improved staggeringly last year after receiving treatment and physiotherapy at SP Hospital in Mohammadpur for nearly two months. But after suffering a brain stroke in January, she is now bed-ridden yet again, he said.

“We’re now considering taking her back to that hospital for post-stroke rehabilitation treatment to boost her recovery,” said Tanjir.

Agrani Specialized Centre’s Owner and physiotherapist Dr Md Shahadat Hossain told that 40-50 per cent of people worldwide suffer from many kinds of body aches at least once in their life cycle.

Such pain appears due to diseases and bad posture during daily works, said Shahadat Hossain.

After 40 years, people suffer from various problems like bone loss or joint pain. Now we are also getting many child patients with such problems. This is because of bad posture, he said.

Physiotherapy is a modern medical science and there is no alternative. But its importance is yet to be realized due to patients’ lack of knowledge and ignorance. At the same time, medical professionals are also reluctant to refer their patients to physiotherapists, he added.

Bangladesh Physiotherapy Association’s President Dr Sonjit Kumar Chakrovorty said the number of physiotherapists is not adequate in Bangladesh.

As many as 2,400 physiotherapists are their association members and around 3,500 are working across the country, he told The Business Post.

The people involved in the sector said there is no accurate statistics on the physiotherapy sector market.

Around 10,000 approved and unapproved centres may be operating across the country.

It is a unique medical system that treats patients with a variety of conditions who suffer from arthritis, pain, paralysis, disability and risk of disability through examination, monitoring and diagnosis.

BPA’s Organizing Secretary Dr KM Amran Hossain said Bangabandhu started the Bachelor of Physiotherapy Course in 1973 for the treatment of war-wounded freedom fighters after the War of Liberation. Later, it was stopped in 1975 and the course was reopened in 1996.

The physiotherapy graduation programmes are conducted by nine institutes including the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) and the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP).

The five-year graduation course is completed with a four-year academic course and one-year internship. The Bangladesh Rehabilitation Council Act was passed in 2018 to manage and control the activities of these professionals, he said.

There are also diploma courses on physiotherapy. Students work as associates with physiotherapists. This requires a three-year diploma course from the state medical faculty, the organising secretary said.

He alleged that 90-95 per cent physiotherapy centres had not been authorized. There are no graduates on physiotherapy.

While talking about the investment in physiotherapy centre or hospital and market size, they also said it costs at least Tk 15-20 lakh to open an ideal centre or hospital including manpower, space and machine set-up.

Patient fee ranges from Tk 350-1, 500 per session. A physiotherapist has a minimum income of Tk 30,000-40,000 per month, said the association leaders.

About the market size, BPA President and SP Hospital owner Dr S Chakrovorty told, “When I started in 2001, there were 4 to 5 people in this market. We used to earn around Tk 20,000-50,000 per month. At that time 100 to 150 people were undergoing physiotherapy in different places including CRP.”

From a rough calculation, this physiotherapy expert said there are around one lakh physiotherapy sessions every day in the country.

“If we charge, on average, Tk 500 per session, then it is around Tk 5 crore per day while it stands at Tk 150 crore a month and in a year it is around Tk 1,800 crore. It is supposed to be bigger than that.

A physiotherapist can do a maximum of 15-16 physiotherapy sessions per day. For one lakh physiotherapy sessions, we needs about 6,500 physiotherapists every day, Chakrovorty said.

Physiotherapist Dr Sapia Akhter said women usually have back pain, knee pain, ankle pain, neck pain and frozen shoulder problems.

“My 15-year experience has seen women coming to us with multiple problems. The big reason is that women do not go to doctor for minor problems.”

Everyone should go to a doctor. It should be teamwork. If doctors, after investigation, send patients to physiotherapists, if need be, it is better for patients. The patients will suffer less, she said.

Chakrovorty said at least one male and one female physiotherapist is required at each hospital, and thana and upazila level health complexes.


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