Physiotherapy refers to the treatment of injuries, disorders or diseases of physical deformity through various methods of exercise, muscle manipulation, and massages. Many people think that this type of therapy is only effective in sports related back injuries, but that is not the case with all. Physiotherapists provide treatments for a large number of physical issues arising from illness, disease, aging or injury. With their treatment procedures, they aim at improving a patient’s quality of life by alleviating pain and restoring function. Whether you are suffering from a permanent disease or a short-lived injury, you can lessen its effects with the help of a physiotherapist.
What does a Physiotherapist Do?
Basically, physiotherapists are licensed professionals that are registered experts working in a variety of clinical environments, including hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centres, community healthcare centres, fitness centres, schools, sports clubs, etc. These professionals either work with other healthcare experts, while some manage single-handedly provide a fine approach to recovery and rehabilitation.
In physiotherapy, the expert will assess your physical condition, diagnose any problems, and make an elaborate treatment plan for you. Alternatively, they may also train a patient to walk, or give them support with crutches, wheelchairs or walking frames. They educate a patient and their family, or even entire communities at large, to prevent an injury and convince them to lead a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, physiotherapists also plan and implement community fitness programs, and even issue certificates for sick leaves if required by the patient. A physiotherapist is capable of treating all types of people in different ages, including children, premature babies, athletes, elderly, patients undergoing rehabilitation, and people suffering from stroke, heart disease or any other surgery.
Different Types of Physiotherapy
A physiotherapist can offer effective treatment for a variety of conditions, and it can be effective in reducing the recovery time after any surgery. They also specialise in a variety of areas, including paediatrics, sports, medicine, women’s health, etc. They may have specialisation in a number of practices including:
- Musculoskeletal Therapy: Also known as orthopaedic therapy, this type of physiotherapy is used for treating conditions like sprains, strains, back pain, bursitis, arthritis, incontinence, workplace injuries, sports injuries, posture problems, reduced mobility, and more. Rehabilitation after a surgery is also a part of this category.
- Cardiothoracic Therapy: This type of physiotherapy is related to the treatment of conditions like asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other disorders related to the cardio and respiratory systems.
- Neurological Therapy: This category deals with treating disorders related to the nervous system, such as stroke, brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and others. It also covers the rehabilitation process after a brain surgery.
Each patient’s administration method is customised to fit their specific requirements. A physiotherapist may choose from any of these methods:
- Manual administration, which include joint manipulation, spinal mobilisation, stretching, and manual resistance training.
- Exercise programs, which include posture re-training, muscle strengthening, and cardiovascular training and stretching.
- Electrotherapy technique, which include laser therapy, ultrasound, diathermy, and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation).
In certain cases, injuries may be caused due to other underlying conditions. For instance, constant pain in the back may be the result of bad posture, over-weight, wrong technique while exercising or playing a sport, repetitive work activities, etc. If that’s the case with you, the physiotherapist will plan out the correct treatment to address the pain. This kind of holistic approach will reduce any injury risk in future too.
As mentioned earlier, physiotherapists are academically trained in universities and attain their license accordingly. Whether you reach them directly or as a reference from another doctor, they may recommend you a physiotherapy course to treat your condition or injury and get you running again.