What Physiotherapy Treatment Entails
Physiotherapy refers to treatment that seeks to restore and maintain a patient’s mobility, body functions, and well-being. It comes in handy for patients who need to recover from injuries or those who need physical rehabilitation. Sportspeople also need physiotherapy occasionally to remain fit or to expedite an injury’s healing process.
What Does a Physiotherapist Do?
Like many other medical processes, physiotherapy has evolved over the years. Despite the changes, though, a physiotherapist’s role has always remained constant. Their primary role is to improve the quality of a patient’s life by using different treatment procedures to alleviate pain and restore function. In permanent injury cases, a physician’s role boils down to lessening the effects of any dysfunction.
Physiotherapy, in recent times, emphasizes on innovative ideas to make a patient’s life bearable. More often than not, this means initiating appropriate physiotherapy intervention measures for patients struggling with mobility issues. It doesn’t end there. A physiotherapist can also assess and evaluate physical disability challenges caused by stroke and neurological orders.
Note that physiotherapy is hardly ever a stand-alone solution for a mobility challenge. In simple words, a physiotherapist must collaborate and cooperate with multidisciplinary teams to provide adequate patient care and comfort. Such teams include doctors, surgeons, nurses, and even health records officers who help maintain and update patient records.
What Type of Treatment is Physiotherapy?
There are several different forms of treatment that fall under the umbrella term of physiotherapy. The principal ones include massage therapy, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, and exercises.
- Massage – It is the most common physiotherapy treatment. It is generally ideal for all patients. However, the form and firmness of a massage physiotherapy treatment vary from one patient to another. The process involves specific patterns and sequences of hand movements designed to ease tension in muscles. Massage may also be done precisely to improve blood circulation or reduce joint pain in a bid to increase mobility and flexibility.
- Hydrotherapy – It usually takes place in specialized pools. It can also be carried out in normal swimming pools as long as a pool is shallow and reasonably warm to guarantee a patient’s comfort and safety. During a hydrotherapy session, a physiotherapist will encourage their patient to work out. The workout session, coupled with water pressure, will boost and improve blood circulation to allow free movement of joints and muscles.
- Electrotherapy – It involves the use of regulated electric shocks to increase nerve activity. Dosage is usually low with minimal pain. The method is highly effective in decreasing muscle pain and facilitating muscle regeneration and repair. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation stand out as the two main types of electrotherapy. Physiotherapists use lasers and ultrasound to facilitate the healing process in cases where doctors recommend electrotherapy.
- Exercise and Movement –It is as common as massage. It also stands out as a fundamental physiotherapy aspect, especially in improving the range of joint movements. Physiotherapists usually use different exercises and stretch to reduce stiffness and improve flexibility.
How Is Physiotherapy Done?
It all depends on what a patient is suffering from. Generally, there isn’t one physiotherapy solution that can step in to cure all conditions that other physiotherapy can’t. In simple words, each physiotherapy solution is different. The objective, though always remains the same – to reduce pain, improve mobility, and make a patient’s life easy. Here’s how different physiotherapy treatments are done.
- Movement and exercise – These include exercises designed to improve motion and strength in specific body parts. Activities here include walking, jogging, stretching, and lifting.
- Manual therapy is a physiotherapy technique where therapists use their hands in different patterns to manipulate, mobilize, and relax body tissues. The method comes to relieve pain and stiffness, help fluid drain more freely and efficiently from other parts of the body, promote relaxation, improve blood circulation.
Manual therapy can also be used to treat specific problems like back pain. It gets even better because manual therapy can also be useful for a wide range of conditions that don’t affect joints, muscles, and bones. For example, massage can improve people’s quality of life with chronic long-term conditions by reducing anxiety levels and improving sleep quality. Better yet, manual therapy has been shown to improve pulmonary function, oxygen saturation and inspiratory muscle strength as well as reduce fatigue, dyspnea, and respiratory rate, particularly in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
What is the Importance of Physiotherapy?
People suffer pains and aches for different reasons. It could be due to an illness, an accident, or even a consequence of prolonged poor posture and general bad habits. Whatever the case, physiotherapy steps in to treat the conditions caused by all these factors.
Note that some conditions that call for physiotherapy usually come along with severe pain. In other cases, the inability to move freely become a reality. Either way, physiotherapy steps in to alleviate pain or make it bearable. As such, it is safe to conclude that physiotherapy is a lifesaving medical procedure.
Keep in mind that physiotherapy is an ideal solution because it provides drug-free solutions for many physical problems people face.
Common Physiotherapy Treatments
The most common physiotherapy treatments are already listed above. It is worth noting, though, that there are other physiotherapy treatments that are effective but not so common. They include:
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
- Range of Motion Exercises
- Kinesio Taping
There is no doubt that physiotherapy works. That is precisely why The World Health Organization recommends it. But like many other medical procedures, physiotherapy calls for patience and cooperation between the patient, their loved ones, and the physiotherapist.
Remember, too, that you’ll need other professionals to ensure physiotherapy works for you or your loved ones. This shouldn’t worry you so much, mainly because physiotherapists, nurses, and specialized doctors like chiropractors usually cooperate well.
Lastly, pain is and should always be a concern for both the patient and the physiotherapist. This means you have to communicate anytime you feel a physiotherapy process worsening your condition rather than improve it. This will go a long way to help the physiotherapist monitor your recovery process.