Morbidity and mortality rates are growing day by day around the globe. Smoking has turned out as a preventable cause. Millions of people die across the globe due to smoke-related diseases. Heart diseases, stroke, cancers, and many respiratory illnesses are common among cigarette smokers. Let’s have a read how physiotherapy can help smokers and other health inequalities.
Closely following caffeine and alcohol, smoking is one of the most types of addiction. Tobacco leaves are enriched with nicotine – a highly addictive drug, one of the major elements in cigarettes. Mood and concentration are changed to such an extent that people find enjoyable – reduces stress and anxiety. These changes occur when noradrenaline and dopamine levels alter in the brain. Once you quit smoking, again the levels of noradrenaline and dopamine will alter. Consequently, the individuals feel low in modes, concentration levels drop and individuals crave a cigarette to relieve these symptoms.
Physiological Effects of Smoking
Our respiratory tract contains cilia – small, hair-like structures. It aids in keeping the airways clear of mucus. Cilia can get paralyzed for several hours after individuals inhale smoke (single cigarette). Hence, frequent exposures to smoke can obstruct cilia. If this happens and the constant stream of the mucus gets hard for cilia to clear out, ultimately inhaled carcinogens are enabled to remain in contact with respiratory tracts for prolonged periods.
Factually, cigarette smoke also weakens alveolar macrophages while noxious agents in tobacco smoke irritate the mucus lining of the respiratory airways. It will result in the mass production of mucus and can also obstruct the airways. You often hear “Smoke Cough”. It is an attempt to dislodge the excess stationary mucus.
Oxygen flow is readily disturbed due to cigarette smoke within the bodies in a manner that the carbon monoxide attaches to the hemoglobin molecule. It prevents oxygen transportation through RBCs. Additionally, the cyanide impedes tissue’s ability to take up and utilize oxygen. Factually, tissue malfunction because without this steady oxygen flow.
Health inequality refers to differences in health statuses. It may also refer to differences in the supply of health elements amid diverse population groups.
The health is mainly determined by factors by:
- Approach to health care and other services
Different socioeconomic groups underlie significant inequalities in health. Like, lower socio-economic groups population die early and carry chronic ill health. Socio-economic groups are determined by an individual’s occupation, income, and educational background. Inequalities in health outcomes are indicated by:
- Healthy life expectancy at birth
- Low birth weight
- Premature mortality
- Mental well-being
Poverty is the major cause of health inequalities among different geographical regions, genders, and ethnic groups. Poor health risks are much higher in an individual’s socioeconomic status.
Physiotherapy Tackle Health Inequalities Concerning to Smoking
- The patient’s needs are well addressed in a general, patient-centered way by the skilled physiotherapists.
- For the sake of improving health inequalities, physiotherapists play their role in a significant manner. They promote a healthy lifestyle, provide education, and counseling clinically and cost-effectively.
- Public health improvements are addressed by Physiotherapists in all their interactions by following manners:
- They provide clients with up to date lifestyle advice and signposting to appropriate local services at the appropriate stage.
- They provide prevention classes and meanwhile highlight the disadvantages of smoking. Physiotherapists also work closely with patients with cardiac/ pulmonary conditions.
- Physiotherapists work within local organizations and companies to advise on how to improve the health and wellbeing of the workforce.
- Public resources should be distributed as per the needs and aiming forward to a reduction in inequalities. Additional intensive support, especially for the vulnerable groups is an essential service to be considered. Avoid stigma, discrimination, price, and accessibility barriers.
Smoking Cessation Intervention and Unique roles of Physiotherapist and Physiotherapist Assistants
Physiotherapists are committed to optimal function and health-related quality of life. They consider it essential that their quest toward evidence-based practice must be focused on priorities lying consistently with epidemiologic data highlighting the greatest need. To enhance treatment outcomes and advance prevention, a major role in tobacco cessation by physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants is indicated by the myriad effects of smoking on cardiopulmonary, vascular, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and integumentary impairments.
Physiotherapist improves immediate health and prevents secondary complications of chronic disease while managing tobacco cessation intervention. The healthy life expectancy of smokers is decreased by 44% in comparison to individuals who never used tobacco. Higher smoking rates are noticed in people with disabilities than those without disabilities. Practice patterns of physiotherapists are playing a leading role in cessation counseling. Client visits are personalized; frequent follow-ups are made. These enable physiotherapists as building rapport and tailoring advice to each patient. They also deliver ongoing support throughout someone’s cessation efforts.
Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants Can Follow Strategies For Tobacco Use Management
It is recommended by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that all smokers (patient) should be offered choices to promote cessation, such as nicotine replacement therapy, social support, and skills training, encompassing nutritional counseling and physical acidity is an essential part of this formula.
Physiotherapists work professionally, firstly they recognize that cessation is indeed part of our role as health care providers. Next, they go for counseling and also observe patients’ moves and habits during physical activities.
Smoking is not a good thing – but unfortunately is favorite. If you have a smoker in your house, take him out to a doctor, psychologist, or a physiotherapist. You are now well-known how physiotherapists can help you in smoking cessation. Break the smoker chain and feel proud of being a social person – working for the welfare of society. If you are a physiotherapist and never wandered that you can play such a role – try experimenting. Breathe in a smoke-free environment and save hundreds of people suffering from disabilities. Play a positive role being a physiotherapist – WE JUST DON’T TREAT DISABILITIES BUT ALSO PREVENT THEM.