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Physiotherapy- When, Why and How explained

Physiotherapy can be defined as a treatment method that focuses on the science of movement and helps people to restore, maintain and maximize their physical strength, motion and overall well-being by addressing the underlying physical issues.

Physiotherapists are trained health care professionals who have in-depth knowledge of how organ systems of the body function and specialize in hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose, and treat specific symptoms of illness, injury and disability.

When and why is Physiotherapy needed?

Physiotherapy can help people with a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions and orthopedic problems like back pain, neck pain, frozen shoulder, knee pain, ligament injuries. They also help in relieving pain for most of the muscle and joint related injuries, post-fracture or post-surgical conditions and help the patient get back to normalcy.

Physiotherapy helps in also treating neurological conditions like brain stroke, paraplegia, peripheral nerve injuries. In the geriatric population, it helps them manage and go about conditions like Parkinson's, balance training to prevent the risk of falls, while in gynaecological conditions, physiotherapy helps to ease the mother during her labour. In case of prolonged bed rest, they help in maintaining lung function and preventing infections like pneumonia and bedsores.

Some of the clinical areas where physiotherapy practises are also applicable are paediatrics and sports medicine.

In all the above-mentioned specialities once the disability sets in, due to the nature of a particular ailment, daily activities like moving around without support, walking, driving, doing household chores become a big challenge. It is under such circumstances when a designed active treatment plan of care that the patient is helped with.

Types of Physiotherapy treatments:

There are different procedures employed for every patient. This depends on the physical ailment, severity, age of the patient and more such factors. Some of the common procedures used are,

1. Exercise therapy

It involves the use of therapeutic exercise in a planned and systematic way to improve strength, reduce pain and enhance the performance of body movements which aim to restore full-fledged physical function.

2. Electrotherapy

It is the use of electrical current on specific areas of the body to treat pain and muscle weakness. This is done in the form of ultrasound, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), Interferential Therapy (IFT), Short Wave Diathermy (SWD) & muscle stimulation.

3. Manual Therapy

Manual therapy involves the use of hand techniques such as joint mobilisations, joint manipulations, spinal manipulation, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisations(IASTM).

4. Muscle/Joint Kinesio & Rigid tapping

Neurodynamics is to treat musculoskeletal pain. It is also used for gait training, muscle stretching, ergonomic education and injury prevention.

Benefits of Physiotherapy:

Regular physiotherapy benefits people of all ages who suffer from any variety of ailments or injuries. From car accidents to sports injuries, lower back pain, post-surgery stiffness and musculoskeletal conditions, physiotherapy empowers you to strengthen your body to your pre-injury fitness level.

Say Goodbye to pain:

Pain comes in many forms and is usually the main reason to see a physiotherapist. Aches and pains can be the result of a motor vehicle injury, a sprained ankle from basketball practice, carpal tunnel syndrome from a poorly set up workstation, or chronic lower back pain that started long before you can even remember. It doesn't matter how bad the pain is, if it affects your performance at work, at the gym, on the field or at home, you need to do something about it. Physiotherapy can help you manage, mitigate or even eliminate the pain so that you can get back to enjoying your physical activities.

Enjoy a Personalised Approach:

The beauty of physiotherapy is that, like other therapies, your path to recovery is completely tailored to your needs. Your physiotherapist will make an assessment of your pain and your physical capabilities and develop a personalized recovery program that can be adjusted at any time. Physiotherapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the simple fact that we are all so different, and even two people with the same injury may have a separate physiotherapy recovery program based on their age and ability.

Prevent future Injury:

Physiotherapists treat people of all fitness levels, from professional athletes to people who haven't been to the gym in years. Depending on your injury, your physiotherapist will take the time to show you how to properly move your body in order to avoid stress on your joints and maximize the benefits of a workout, thereby preventing future sprain, strain or break.

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