Most people don’t see a doctor until they feel pain and discomfort in their body. They do not know that we can avoid the suffering and deterioration of the organism with specific prevention actions.

The salutogenic model focuses on this.

Salutogenic model and prevention

The salutogenic model is based on studies by Aaron Antonovsky in the surviving women of the concentration camps.

They, despite having suffered extreme conditions of stress and suffering, were able to recover and improve.

The sociologist detected that there are two basic components to achieve this recovery: resources and a sense of coherence.

How does the salutogenic model influence the maintenance of health?

The means of recovery are linked to the terms or characteristics that people possess or that can be found in the environment; they can be knowledge, money, clothes, food, intelligence, etc.

We should identify them and then make use of them from the better way.

Appropriate and focused use of these resources helps create a sense of coherence of the individual, that is, the orientation he/she has towards life, a feeling of confidence in believing that everything will improve and go well.


Some researchers define it as a strategy to face the stress, to solve problems or overcome tragic events.

This would explain the health and well-being that some people achieve, and that allows them to achieve a higher quality of life.

Positive thinking, positive health

We must emphasize that health is related with psychosocial and physical factors, which can promote the well-being of people and pain reduction.

Among the healthy factors are the following:

  • Personal satisfaction
  • Altruistic actions
  • Recognition of self-control
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Autonomy
  • Valuable interpersonal relationships

Positive thoughts lead to healthy emotions (self-esteem, security, pride, love, fulfillment, etc.) and, in the end, they build the pillars of positive health.

Prevention and health

The salutogenic model proposes to provide people with knowledge and tools that allow them to take advantage of their own resources, enhance their quality of life and create healthy habits.

One of these primary tools is prevention.


It is an advantageous instrument to promote health.

It focuses on communities and individuals to make them aware of the importance of their positive actions in anticipating a pathological case.

‘Better safe than sorry’ popular wisdom says and, in the case of health, it is totally true.

Each person, through the use of available resources, can avoid conditions that lead to physical or mental illness.

What are the risk conditions?

They are the conditions that we must monitor every day or with the recommended frequency.

We can adopt the following prevention actions and habits:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Doing exercise
  • Getting medical tests to detect hypertension, obesity, glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride or parasite levels.
  • Giving up habits like smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Developing a sense of coherence aimed at well-being.

According to the information provided by World  Health Organization, chronic diseases include a 63% of annual deaths in all the world.

These diseases develop slowly and gradually, but their treatment and correction are possible with early detection.

These diseases include the following:

  • Cardiovascular diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart attack acute myocardial or stroke.
  • Chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma.
  • Diabetes.
  • Oncological diseases such as cancer.

Why should we wait for an extreme case or a severe pain?

We can detect most diseases with properly diagnoses. It is easier to prevent and has less associated costs.

Types of prevention

There are three levels of prevention depending on when it is detects the state of the disease.

Primary prevention

It aims to prevent the onset of the disease by controlling the risk factors , so it is carried out in healthy individuals.


Some examples are vaccination campaigns, feeding campaigns, physical exercise or the reduction of domestic accidents.

Secondary prevention

It is focused on stopping or slowing down the process of a disease that has already begun.

The actions it includes are early detection, diagnosis and the treatment.

In this phase, the treatments are more efficient.

The campaigns to detect the cancer are an example of secondary prevention

Tertiary prevention

In this case, the person is already sick and prevention is carried out in order to delay or reduce the sequelae and complications of affectation.

It is intended to improve people’s quality of life.

Some examples are the therapy with children with Down syndrome or post-infarction rehabilitation.

Physiotherapy as a key element of prevention

The common thing is that we visit the physiotherapy clinic when we suffer an injury or we feel severe pain, but in rare situations, we consider it as a useful prevention tool.

Of course, physiotherapy is really important in the treatment of injured patients, but it also has a preventive competence, it is a sanitary branch.

  • It serves to prevent injuries.
  • It spreads postural corrections and it stimulates fitness with exercises that prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
  • It promotes the reeducation of the body against repetitive movements.
  • It stimulates the learning and practice of rehabilitation movements to increase muscle tone and posture.
  • It teaches people how to do usual activities to avoid injury.

Physiotherapy in seniors

Nowadays, most people want to grow old healthy. For this, geriatric physiotherapy has a lot to offer.

It is dedicated to working with patients over 65 years of age in prevention of injuries or in the improvement of pathologies related to age such as loss of joint function, balance, or muscle mass.


The ailments that can occur with age have a solution.

Sometimes a personalized exercise program is enough and it is supervised by the physiotherapist.

They will help us maintain our autonomy and independence with physical and psychological benefits.

The premises of the salutogenic model have a highly potential beneficial for health and to reduce pain;

It is introduced gradually, and it includes prevention methods as well such as physiotherapy that will make us have a better state of health throughout our life.

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