Special Budget Should be Allocated to Physical Therapy Sevices in Hospitals : PPTA

Pakistan Physical Therapy Association Chairman Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad along with Federal General Secretary Dr.Aamir Saeed and President PPTA Punjab Dr. Shazia spoke about the importance of inclusion of physical therapists in the hospital healthcare system. Dr. Ashfaq said that special budget should be allocated to Physical Therapy departments across Pakistan to enhance the quality and provision of Physical Therapy services in hospitals. Dr. Shazia was of the view that a proper service structure should be implemented to safeguard the interests of physical therapists working in the government sector. The government needs to understand that Physical Therapy is an integral part of Healthcare system. Dr.Aamir Saeed urged the government that Physical Therapy council should be formed as soon as possible.


Chairman PPTA Congratulates the Winning Panel in KPK

KPK Zindabad! Pakistan Paindabad 🙂 Alhamdulillah: As per our committment, our 2nd task has been completed in the form of well organized and fair election at KPk. Dr. Abid Minhas sb, you have done wonderful job as Chief Election Commissioner inspite of the fact that your sister’s mother-in-law was not feeling well but you and your team fullfilled the committment with BODs and community. I congratulate winning panel ( young active panel) and equal appreciation to united panel. Dr Asif Ali Khan and Dr Rafiq Ahmad, you are the real heroes of KPK as huge turn out of voters was not possible without you and your team members. Being Chairman, BODs, i on the behalf of all BODs, endorse the result declared by chief election commissioner. I am extremely thankful to all respected BODs and fedral cabinet along with senior physical therapists of KPK and FATA for their unity, trust and cooperation for PPTA. Baluchistan and KPK have made sure to make PPTA the only representative association of whole country. We are also considering issues of FATA, Gilgit and Baltistan in our upcoming meeting of BODs very soon. Now our 3rd and 4th tasks are to hold elections in Punjab and Sindh within 45 days followed by Fedral elections In sha Allah.

Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad


PPTA Pakistan


Cabinet Division Approves Pakistan Physical Therapy Council Draft

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the Federal Cabinet at PM Office in Islamabad today.
The Cabinet accorded in-principle approval for establishment of Pakistan Physical Therapy Council and Pakistan Allied Health Professionals and Paramedics Council. The Cabinet further directed to present the draft legislation before Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases.

PPTA officials’ meeting with the minister was very positive and he has assured his full cooperation for the purpose . The only constraint could be shortage of time and conduction of another national assembly session after the approval of the budget . He personally gave instruction to his staff to take care of this matter on priority and directed Dr. Abid Minhas, PT to coordinate directly to his staff.

We wish and pray that the circumstances turn in our favour and? request the whole community to remain on board and contribute to the process according to their resources as



CDC: Physical Therapy, Other Non-Drug, Non-Opioid Approaches Should be First-Line Treatment for Chronic Pain


In its final version of guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) minces no words about the importance of physical therapy and other nondrug/nonopioid approaches, and delivers a clear message that physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) have known for some time: there are better, safer ways to treat chronic pain than the use of opioids.

Nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain,” the CDC states in its first recommendation. “The contextual evidence review found that many nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, psychological therapies such as [cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT], and certain interventional procedures can ameliorate chronic pain.”

The CDC guidelines were created in response to growing rates of opioid use disorder and opioid overdose, a problem fueled by ever-increasing rates of opioid prescriptions written by primary care providers—approximately 259 million prescriptions written in 2012 alone. In its introduction to the guideline, CDC cites from 1 study that among 15- 64-year-olds who received opioids for noncancer pain, 1 in 550 died from an opioid-related overdose at a median of 2.6 years from their first prescription.

A draft version of the guidelines were published in late 2015 as part of a CDC call for comments. APTA responded with strong support for the recommendations, writing that approaches such as physical therapy “have been underutilized, and, therefore, can serve as a primary strategy to reducing prescription pain medication abuse and improving the lives of individuals with chronic pain.”

Other stakeholders were less enthusiastic. According to a report from National Public Radio, some critics questioned the CDC recommendation against using opioids as a first-line treatment for chronic pain.

In that NPR report, Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, responded by pointing to weak evidence supporting the benefits of opioids for chronic pain and growing evidence pointing to the risks. “We have decided that because of that, and the uncertain benefits of opioids, that continuing to prescribe them for chronic pain is not warranted,” Houry said. “On the other end, nonopioids, there is evidence for their benefits.”

In addition to the statement around first-line treatment, the CDC guideline includes recommendations that address the importance of establishing treatment goals, discussing risks of opioids with patients, choosing appropriate dosage and release factors, and conducting thorough follow-up assessments once a patient has been prescribed an opioid. The guidelines are not intended to apply to opioid use related to patients with cancer, palliative, or end-of-life care.

News of the CDC guidelines spread quickly, with major media outlets including Newsweek,USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal, and others reporting on the recommendations that arrive amidst increased national attention on the epidemic of opioid abuse and heroin use across the country. APTA is participating in a White House initiative to address the problem through, among other things, increased public awareness.

Those APTA public awareness efforts includea page on, the association’s website for consumers looking for information on physical therapy, with information on the risks of opioids and physical therapy’s role in the treatment of pain.

In addition to the guideline, CDC also released a checklist and fact sheet that outline the basics of the larger document. Both stress that nonopioid therapies should be “tried and optimized” before considering an opioid prescription as well as during reassessment of a patient who has received a prescription for opioids.


Mind-controlled prosthetic arm moves individual fingers

Physicians and biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, report what they believe is the first successful effort to wiggle fingers individually and independently of each other using a mind-controlled artificial arm to control the movement.


The proof-of-concept, described online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Neural Engineering, represents a potential advance in technologies to restore refined hand function to those who have lost arms to injury or disease, researchers said in a news release. The young man on whom the experiment was performed was not missing an arm or hand, but he was outfitted with a device that essentially took advantage of a brain-mapping procedure to bypass control of his own arm and hand.

“We believe this is the first time a person using a mind-controlled prosthesis has immediately performed individual digit movements without extensive training,” senior author Nathan Crone, MD, professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins, said in the release. “This technology goes beyond available prostheses, in which the artificial digits, or fingers, moved as a single unit to make a grabbing motion, like one used to grip a tennis ball.”

For the experiment, the research team recruited a young man with epilepsy who already was scheduled to undergo brain mapping at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s epilepsy monitoring unit to pinpoint the origin of his seizures. While the brain recordings were made using electrodes surgically implanted for clinical reasons, researchers could then use the signals to control a modular prosthetic limb developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

First, the patient’s neurosurgeon placed an array of 128 electrode sensors — all on a single rectangular sheet of film the size of a credit card — on the part of the man’s brain that normally controls hand and arm movements. Each sensor measured a circle of brain tissue 1 millimeter in diameter.


An illustration showing the electrode array on the subject’s brain, including a representation of what part of the brain controls each finger. (Photo courtesy of Guy Hotson)

Before connecting the prosthesis, the researchers mapped and tracked the specific parts of the patient’s brain responsible for moving each finger. Then they programmed the prosthesis to move the corresponding finger.

The computer program the Johns Hopkins team developed had the man move individual fingers on command and recorded which parts of the brain lit up when each sensor detected an electric signal.

In addition to collecting data on the parts of brain involved in motor movement, the researchers measured electrical brain activity involved in tactile sensation. To do this, the subject was outfitted with a glove with small, vibrating buzzers in the fingertips, which went off individually in each finger. The researchers measured the resulting electrical activity in the brain for each finger connection.

After the motor and sensory data were collected, the researchers programmed the prosthetic arm to move corresponding fingers based on which part of the brain was active. The researchers turned on the prosthetic arm, which was wired to the patient through the brain electrodes, and asked the subject to think about individually moving thumb, index, middle, ring and pinkie fingers. The electrical activity generated in the brain moved the fingers, according to the release.

“The electrodes used to measure brain activity in this study gave us better resolution of a large region of cortex than anything we’ve used before and allowed for more precise spatial mapping in the brain,” study lead author Guy Hotson, graduate student, said in the release. “This precision is what allowed us to separate the control of individual fingers.”

Initially, the mind-controlled limb had an accuracy of 76%. Once the researchers coupled the ring and pinkie fingers together, the accuracy increased to 88%.

“The part of the brain that controls the pinkie and ring fingers overlaps, and most people move the two fingers together,” Crone said in the release. “It makes sense that coupling these two fingers improved the accuracy.”

The researchers said no pre-training was required for the subject to gain this level of control, and the experiment took less than two hours.

Crone said application of this technology to those actuallymissing limbs is still some years away and will be costly, requiring extensive mapping and computer programming. According to the Amputee Coalition, more than 100,000 people living in the U.S. have amputated hands or arms, and most could potentially benefit from such technology.

Additional authors on the study include David McMullen, Matthew Fifer, William Anderson and Nitish Thakor of Johns Hopkins Medicine and Matthew Johannes, Kapil Katyal, Matthew Para, Robert Armiger and Brock Wester of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

This study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.