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What Is Physiotherapy?

If you have a musculo-skeletal problem or injury, you might be given a referral to a physiotherapy clinic. If you have gone to one before, you know what to expect. If you are new to this service, you might ask, what is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is also known as physical therapy. That answers the question of what is physiotherapy for many people. However, if you have not had any dealings with this form of treatment, you need to know more.

A type of health care, physiotherapy concerns itself with providing physical healing methods for many different kinds of injuries and illnesses. Some of these techniques are done in a hands-on manner, by using massage or manipulation of the musculo-skeletal system. Knowing what is physiotherapy is crucial to getting this kind of help.

Education is a part of what is physiotherapy. A physiotherapist will teach a patient how to care for their injuries. He will teach exercises to do at home so that therapy can continue beyond the walls of the clinic or hospital. He will teach ways to overcome difficulties that cannot be cured.

Another part of what is physiotherapy is rehabilitation. Patients have injuries from sports, car accidents, or assault. These injuries can be treated through physiotherapy. Given the right treatments and an injury that will respond to treatment, much progress can be made. Full functioning may be regained. It may even be possible for them to go back to work rather than being laid up at home.

An answer to what is physiotherapy is what kinds of treatments physiotherapists use. Heat, ice, and ultrasound are used to relieve pain and stiffness. Massage, chiropractic, and other hands-on methods are important. All these methods tend to promote better health, both physical and psychological.

Equipment for helping patients regain their strength and mobility are a part of what is physiotherapy. This equipment may allow a person who is partially paralyzed to get the most exercise possible. This is crucial in maintaining the integrity of their spines and muscles.

What is physiotherapy? It is a carefully planned and executed treatment strategy. It is based upon assessments of the conditions that patients suffer. If all goes well, the patient will return to their original condition. If this is not possible, the goal is for the patient to reach a goal that is the best movement and lack of pain that is possible.

People who are referred to a clinic may ask, what is physiotherapy? However, they will be given quick answers to this question. After an initial evaluation, they will be scheduled for treatments like ultrasound or acupuncture. They will be assigned exercises to do at home. A good physiotherapist will begin treatment right away.

People, who ask what is physiotherapy, often do not consider the preventative side of the field. It is a part of the work of practitioners of physiotherapy to encourage exercises and postures that will help patients avoid physical injuries and conditions requiring their services. An excellent physiotherapist will have fewer return patients, but the flow of people needing physiotherapy continues.

Using Physiotherapy to Deal with Occupational Injury

There is less occupational injury going on in the last few years than before. This is partly because of the influence of physiotherapy on the workplace. Physiotherapy principles are being used to design better work places and work habits. They are also important in dealing with the occupational injury that does happen.

Occupational injury problems include back and neck problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder and knee dislocations, tennis elbow, and leg and ankle strains. Physiotherapy can be used to treat any of these conditions.

Back and neck problems are major examples of occupational injury. They happen because of improper lifting, lifting while turning, repetitive turning, or sitting improperly. Workman’s comp will probably take care of treatment if the occupational injury is more than a slight one.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often seen in offices. However, it may also occur in other jobs, such as on assembly lines. Tennis elbow can be an occupational injury as well, occurring any time one repetitively twists one’s wrists. This movement is often done in packing plants, for example, as workers twist products into containers.

Patients who have an occupational injury are often put on light duty. Some are even laid off. Physiotherapists can step in and help the patients recover their strength and health. Physiotherapy techniques may include exercises, massage, and ultrasound.

A physiotherapist will certainly give instructions about how to do home treatment. When the occupational injury is sufficiently healed, the patient will be given the go-ahead to return to work. If the patient was on light duty, he will be told when to go back to regular duty. If he was off work, he will be told when he can go onto light duty, and then the full daily routine.

Physiotherapy ideas can also be used to construct a better work environment. The work station in an office can be set up to accommodate the proper positioning of the body. This will ward off occupational injury caused by repetitive movements, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Occupational injury caused by awkward movements in the workplace can also be eliminated if the work environment is set up in an ergonomic fashion. Physiotherapists have much knowledge about the way the workplace should be constructed.

Physiotherapists know what equipment is best used to avoid occupational injury. Ergonomic keyboards are recommended and correct mouse placement is crucial. The physiotherapist will suggest that you use a touch pad instead of a mouse if at all possible.

Physiotherapists can be very helpful in preventing occupational injury in any other type of workplace. They may be called in to consult with employers and ergonomics specialists about what changes need to be made to make the work environment acceptable for their patients.

Work environments are safer than they once were. Ergonomics principles are used and in many cases are required by law to be used if requested by workers. Workers who are injured have good physiotherapy available to them. However, until there is no occupational injury, physiotherapy will continue to have value in the workplace.

Types of Physiotherapy That Help Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain plagues Americans to the extent that 80% will suffer from it at some time in their lives. It is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor. For many, the problem is more than a passing incident; they need physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy of different types can be used to treat lower back pain. Acupuncture is fast becoming an important method for the relief of such pain. The doctor has the patient lie face-down and inserts the acupuncture needles across the back. The doctor then finishes the procedure for lower back pain. Pain relief after a series of treatments usually lasts months.

Massage is also used for lower back pain. The massage used must be done by someone well-versed in the treatment of lower back pain. A massage done by an untrained person may do more harm than good.

These methods are called passive therapies, or modalities. They are done to the patient and not by the patient. There are other modalities that are commonly used. Heat and ice packs are a well-known form of passive physiotherapy. They can be used separately, or they can be used alternately by a person who is suffering from acute lower back pain.

A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) can be used as another modality for lower back pain. The patient will feel the sensation of the stimulator instead of his pain. If the TENS unit seems to work well for him, he will be sent home with one to use at his convenience.

Ultrasound is especially useful as a passive therapy for anyone with acute lower back pain. It delivers heat deep into the muscles of the lower back. This not only relieves pain. It can also speed healing.

Back exercises may be assigned by a physiotherapist. These exercises will help with lower back pain if one does them correctly and faithfully. The only exception is if the back is in an acute condition requiring emergency care or surgery.

The exercises that will help with lower back pain the most will be assigned and supervised by a physiotherapist. They may be done at home, but it will be necessary to follow instructions and check in frequently.

These exercises include ones for lower back pain that stretch or extend the back and ones that strengthen it. One is an exercise where one lies prone and moves as if swimming. This protects the back while giving the surrounding muscles a workout.

Lower back pain exercises called flexion exercises strengthen the midsection to provide support for the back. If the lower back pain is reduced when one sits, these exercises are important. One is a knee-to-chest exercise.

Aerobic exercise such as walking is excellent for reducing and preventing lower back pain as well. Massage and acupuncture can be counted on to relieve pain for most patients. Exercises can make the back stronger to both relieve and prevent lower back pain. Any physiotherapy that can help relieve lower back pain will help millions of people.

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Sports Injuries

When players have sports injuries, they turn to physiotherapy for rehabilitation. Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, offers help whether the player is having surgery to correct the damage or not.

One example of the many sports injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. This is an injury to the knee. It is one of the common sports injuries in people who play sports that challenge their knees, such as hockey, skating, skiing, basketball, and of course, football. It can limit the range of a player’s motion in that leg, and make the leg weak.

Surgery is sometimes done for these sports injuries, but physiotherapy is always a part of the treatment. The three major exercises done to start the healing process of ACL are heel slides, quad sets, and straight leg raises.

Heel slides are exercises for ACL sports injuries that are easy to understand, but may be painful to do at first. One simply lies on the bed or floor with the foot down. Then, one slides the foot slowly towards the buttocks until it hurts a little, and slides it back. This and the other exercises help prepare the knee for surgery or to heal without it.

Another of the sports injuries that physiotherapy is used for is tennis elbow. One might get tennis elbow from playing tennis, certainly, but it can also come about from any activity that involves twisting the wrist.

Sports injuries like tennis elbow are treated with a comprehensive plan of physiotherapy. Exercises are explained and assigned. Another common procedure for sports injuries is the use of ultrasound. Ultrasound is a way of applying heat deep into the muscle for pain relief.

Electrical stimulation can be used to keep pain from being felt through the nervous system. It is used for tennis elbow and many other sports injuries. Massage and manual therapy can also be used for physiotherapy.

Massage is one of the forms of soft tissue manipulation. However, soft tissue manipulation is to muscles what chiropractic is to bones. It deals not only with muscle, but with tendons and connective tissue as well. It is a specialized field of physiotherapy that has been used for people with sports injuries on many occasions.

As many children’s sports teams are becoming ever more competitive, sports injuries among youngsters is increasing. Often, a well-meaning parent will tell the child to shake it off and keep playing. It is even more important for children to get adequate physiotherapy than it is for adults. Children are just developing, and a problem in childhood can lead to lifelong pain.

Some sports injuries happen because something physically traumatic happens to your body. Someone runs into you as you run with the football towards the end zone, for example. Other times, it is simply a matter of the physical demands you put on your body.

Physiotherapy is instrumental in the healing of many sports injuries. Many professional sports teams have physiotherapists on their staffs. In fact, either ACL or tennis elbow can become permanent conditions without the use of physiotherapy procedures.