Sustainability isn’t an option but a necessity these days due to the ever-increasing global warming and climate change. This has encouraged physiotherapy to adopt sustainable measures and work towards a better, healthier and safer future. Physiotherapy clinics hence focus on improving patients’ health and achieving the goal of carbon neutrality and decarbonization at the same time. But, does it really promote a sustainable healthcare system? Let’s find out.
What is Sustainable Healthcare System?
Sustainable healthcare is a system that improves the health of the current generation while taking care of the environment and the future generation as well. It prioritizes the health of both the current as well as future generations.
The climate crisis is real. And an environmentally friendly healthcare system can help the world by NOT contributing to the crisis any further. It’s an attempt to treat individuals without causing any adversity to the environment in the future.
How does Physical Therapy adopt Sustainability?
Here’s what lays the foundation of a sustainable healthcare system:
- Therapeutic prescriptions and diagnosis and providing proper care to the individual without harming the environment
- Update on whether a treatment is sustainable based on its carbon footprint
Physical therapy meets both objectives, thereby establishing a sustainable system.
Reduced carbon footprint
Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the surroundings due to activity. Physiotherapy isn’t dependent on energy-consuming tools or equipment that generally contribute to the carbon footprint. It is more about patient communication, movement tests, physical examinations and palpations.
Patient self-care and empowerment
The basic infrastructure of a hospital emits a huge carbon footprint from sources such as:
- Medical diagnostics
- Surgical procedures
- Hospital stays, especially after surgery
That means, the longer you stay in a hospital the more harm it causes to the environment. Physiotherapy shortens your hospital stays.
Pre-operative physiotherapy boosts your recovery after surgery. Thus, it encourages shorter hospital stays, thereby reducing a patient’s overall carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly pain management
Physiotherapy helps you manage pain without taking a toll on the environment. NSAIDs are the most common medications prescribed to manage pain. But, once excreted from the human body, it travels through the water cycle of the planet and pollutes the water bodies.
Physiotherapy, on the contrary, manages pain through the use of therapeutic exercises and other natural treatments such as kinesiology taping, cognitive behavioural therapy, massage therapy, etc.
Safe healthcare pathways
Environmental physiotherapy acts as a carbon sink where it absorbs carbon dioxide from the surroundings. It improves your, limb strength, gait (movement patterns) and balance, thereby reducing your dependence on orthopedic services. You can find relief from a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions with natural physiotherapy treatments.
The world is becoming more sustainable every day. From clothing to diet, we tend to adopt a lifestyle that poses no threat to the environment. Why should healthcare be left behind? Physiotherapy is the healthcare system that works towards a sustainable future. It reduces your stays at hospitals and uses therapeutic exercises to bring you long-term relief.
May 23, 2023
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