What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a method of treatment that is often required if health issues make it difficult for individuals to perform daily tasks or movement in general. It allows the individual to increase their movement and range of motion, whilst also providing pain relief. Physiotherapy can also help to regain or enhance one’s physical function and health.

The main priority of physiotherapy is to help make it easier to engage in everyday activities and duties. Examples of this include walking and using the stairs. Physiotherapy is often required after various types of surgery in order to assist with recovery. Doctors tend to suggest physiotherapy if the patient has suffered long-term health issues, such as arthritis, or injuries.

What Conditions Can Physiotherapy Help With?

Physiotherapy can assist with recovery from injuries and various conditions. It is also used to prevent further injuries from occurring. Physiotherapists lessen soft tissue pain, which includes pain in the ligaments, muscles and tendons. They also help promote muscle strength and increase function, range of motion and flexibility.

Physiotherapists can also make sure that you are performing daily activities as you should be and also offer valuable advice on ways to perform activities in a beneficial manner.

Physiotherapy improves the lives of those with chronic heath conditions, such as arthritis, spinal stenosis and Parkinson’s disease. There are many conditions that can benefit from physiotherapy, such as heart problems, lung problems, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, whiplash, asthma and stroke.

Additionally, physiotherapists are able to assist children who have health issues, like cerebral palsy, or injuries. While the physiotherapist will assist with endurance, strength, range of motion and mobility in the same manner as with an adult, they will also consider the special developmental and growth needs of the child.

Physiotherapy for children often takes place in a specialized facility for children or in school. It is necessary to discuss physiotherapy for your child with your doctor and child’s school in order to find out if your child can receive physiotherapy treatment or evaluation.

What Happens When You Meet A Physiotherapist

Firstly, the physiotherapist will conduct an examination. Then he will discuss important details such as your symptoms and the types of activities that you engage in on a daily or frequent basis. He will then come up with a personalized treatment plan that suits your specific needs. The goal will be to help you regain full joint movement, increase or restore flexibility, endurance, balance, coordination and strength.

It is common for physiotherapists to find ways to lessen swelling or pain. Many physiotherapists combine other treatments to help speed up and enhance healing, such as with manual therapy. Other techniques that are often used with physiotherapy include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, water and hot or cold alternatives.

Many physiotherapists will educate their patients on ways in which they can speed up the recovery process and stop further injuries or pain from occurring. Exercise is often suggested as well. Common types of exercises to use with physiotherapy include weight lifting, stretching, walking and core exercises. It is common for physiotherapists to educate their patients on specific exercises and techniques to use in the comfort of their own home.

Physiotherapy treatments can cause swelling or soreness. It is common for this to occur, though you can always discuss these issues with your physiotherapist if they are bothering you.

How Do I Find A Physiotherapist?

As with any types of health care treatments, it is always best to find an experienced and educated practitioner. You will want a physiotherapist who has experience with your specific health issues as well. It is common for physiotherapists to be certified in particular areas such as neurology, orthopedics or sports, which is ideal for patients who require specialized treatment and care.

Other types of care that physiotherapists specialize in include wound care, back pain, neck pain, cancer-related issues, treatment for the elderly, treatment for children and cardiac rehabilitation.

There are some things you might want to consider before choosing a physiotherapist. Asking around is a great way to find a reputable and well-known physiotherapist. You may want to ask your doctor for a suggestion or referral. Another important issue to find out is whether or not your insurance company will cover the costs of physiotherapy.

Methods Of Physiotherapy

There are three main types of physiotherapy that are commonly used. These include exercise, manual therapy and education. Specialized treatments are not as common but may be suggested in addition to typical types of treatment.

Physiotherapy – Exercise

Physiotherapy almost always involves some type of exercise that is created to help with your health condition, illness or injury. It is also used to prevent future problems from occurring. Exercise typically involves activities to engage in aside from regular day-to-day activities. They are used to increase your strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination.

In some cases, exercise may involve teaching you new ways in which to engage in your daily activities in order to increase health benefits. Some times the recommended exercise is very simple, such as parking further away from the store so that you can walk a bit more. Other forms of exercise include core stability exercises, weight lifting, aerobics, stretching and walking.

Physiotherapy – Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of hands for healing. It aims to reduce pain, promote relaxation and enhance flexibility. The main types of manual therapy include manipulation, massage and mobilization.

Manipulation occurs when controlled pressure is put on the joints. It is often performed by hand or with a particular device. The force that is applied onto the joint can vary in strength to best suit the patients needs.

Massage involves the application of pressure onto the body’s soft tissues and muscles. It can increase relaxation and circulation, whilst reducing soft tissue and muscle pain. Mobilization involves various pulling, pushing and twisting movements of the joints and bones. It can get rid of tissue tightness and promote healthy alignment and overall flexibility.

Physiotherapy – Education

It is very common for physiotherapists to educate and train their patients on various important issues. They will teach you how to:

  • Perform your everyday tasks in the safest and most beneficial manner

  • Protect your joints

  • Prevent reinjury

  • Use devices such as wheelchairs or crutches, if applicable

  • Perform home-based exercises to assist your injury

  • Foster a safe home environment for those with vision, strength or balance issues

Physiotherapy – Specialized Treatments

The following list includes some of the specialized treatments that may be suggested for use in addition to physiotherapy.

  • Wound care

  • Cancer care

  • Vestibular rehabilitation

  • Pelvic health

  • Decongestive lymphatic drainage

Where Can I Find A Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists can work in all sorts of locations, such as hospitals, private practice, health and rehabilitation centers. It is advisable to ask other healthcare professionals in your area to find out who is the best physiotherapist to help you or your child receive the best treatment possible.

Ryan Groelz

Ryan Groelz

Dr. Ryan Groelz, DC is a chiropractor at Rock Creek Spine & Rehabilitation Center. Located at 413 Summit Boulevard #101, Broomfield, CO 80021. 303-499-6565