What Is Physiotherapy?
Suffering from back or knee pain? Or perhaps you’re struggling with sore muscles and frequent injuries? Physiotherapy can help! This discipline is widely used for its ability to increase joint flexibility and range of motion. It not only relieves pain but also speeds up healing and improves physical performance.
Let’s see how physiotherapy works and why it’s so good for health:
Physiotherapy at a Glance
Physiotherapy aims to restore a person’s range of motion. It treats not just the symptoms but also the root cause of pain. This practice is used for rehab, injury prevention, and overall fitness and quality of life. Its goal is to help people restore and maximise their joint and muscle function, strength, mobility, and overall health.
Currently, there are over 20 different techniques used in physiotherapy. These include massage, muscle stretching, joint manipulation, and exercise. Physical therapists may also recommend preventive measures and expert advice.
What Is Physiotherapy Used for?
Physiotherapy treatment can boost your health and well-being. A skilled physiotherapist will educate patients on how to prevent injuries, improve and maintain physical performance, and cope with disabilities. They will also prescribe the most appropriate measures for managing acute and chronic conditions. Areas of practice can include:
- Occupational health
- Women’s health
- Manual therapy
- Cardiothoracic conditions
- Cancer treatment and palliative care
- Pain management
A physiotherapist can specialise in one or more of these areas. Some have the skills and knowledge needed to work with older patients. Some will address health issues concerning birth, pregnancy, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Others help improve quality of life in patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions.
These services are provided in hospitals, private clinics, gyms, sports clubs, and wellness centers. In general, physiotherapists work with other health professionals to offer a multi-directional approach to pain management and rehab.
Physiotherapy can help you recover from stroke or heart attack, prevent back pain, or boost your sports performance. Athletes use these services to recover faster from training and maximise muscle function. Physiotherapy is particularly helpful for:
- Arthritis pain
- Biomechanical problems
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Sports injuries
- Chronic back pain
- Muscle strains
The treatment is customised according to your needs. It can include mobility aids, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, strength exercises, or joint manipulation. These services appeal to people of ages and walks of life. From babies and teens to seniors, anyone can benefit from physical therapy.
The Benefits of Physiotherapy
This discipline has been around since 460 BC. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was the first practitioner of physical therapy. His manuscripts mention hydrotherapy, manual therapy, massage, and other techniques. Today, this practice is used worldwide to treat injuries and diseases that impact a person’s quality of life. Its health benefits are confirmed by science.
In clinical trials, patients who received physiotherapy following total knee replacement experienced improvements in physical function. Other studies show that physiotherapy is critical for rehabilitation in stroke sufferers. This practice has been also found to reduce pulmonary infection and mortality rates in intensive care unit patients.
According to a study conducted at the University of Western Ontario, physiotherapy combined with medication worked just as well as arthroscopic surgery in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. The patients reported improvements in joint flexibility and strength.
If you suffer from back pain, physiotherapy should be your first choice. This form of treatment can help improve your posture, increase your mobility, and reduce pain.
The therapist will also recommend strengthening and flexibility exercises to relieve discomfort and prevent future back problems. They will show you how to manage back pain at home, how to exercise safely, and what type of workstation to use.
Patients with back problems are advised to strengthen their cor, engage in low impact aerobics, and maintain proper posture. These measure help with both prevention and treatment.
Physiotherapy is popular among athletes. It’s not uncommon for basketball players, tennis players, or swimmers to have their own physiotherapists. Key benefits include:
- Increased energy and stamina
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Stress relief
- Reduced injury risk
- Faster recovery from training and injuries
- Improved joint and muscle flexibility
This area of physiotherapy is known as sports physiotherapy. It is crucial for athletes and active individuals who want to recover quickly from sports injuries. It also prepares your body for the demands of exercise, helps you train smarter, and allows the return to sports in the shortest time possible.
Seniors can benefit from physiotherapy too. This discipline encompasses exercises that may help prevent falls and bone loss. As you age, your bone density decreases. This puts you at risk for osteoporosis, balance problems, and falling.
The exercises used in physiotherapy strengthen your bones and joints while increasing your range of motion. Ask your physiotherapist to teach you how to safely get up if you do have a fall, how to make your home safer, and how to stay active until late in life. Keeping on the move will allow you to live independently and reduce the need for medications.
These are just a few areas where physiotherapy can help. This form of treatment can improve your quality of life. Its benefits go beyond pain relief. The key is to choose a skilled physiotherapist and follow his advice.