The types of physiotherapy treatments vary and depends on your particular muscular or skeletal condition. Often, physiotherapy treatments are specifically made for one person and may not be the same for another with the same condition. Treatments are “tailor-made” for your particular problems and goals.
Cold therapy is effective in minimizing pain and swelling, especially in acute (immediate) injuries. It may also be used just after deep kneading massage (DKM). Examples of cold therapy are ice pack application and ice massage.
Applying heat can help improve your blood flow especially at the site of injury,
thus, speeding up healing. In addition, it can help soften tight tissues and relieves pain. There are several heating modalities and devices available including
Electrical stimulation is used to prevent muscle atrophy (wasting) in people with paralysis and assist in gaining some degree of muscle strength, such as after a knee surgery. In electrical stimulation, electrodes are placed on the surface of the skin, which can cause muscles to shorten.
Range of motion exercises are often prescribed to increase or maintain flexibility of your joints and to reduce stiffness. There several types of range of motion exercises often prescribed including the following:
Certain conditions can make your muscles to become weak. Strengthening exercises is an important part of physiotherapy rehabilitation to prepare you for your return to your original performance level or highest possible function.
Soft tissue mobilization or therapeutic massage may be a part of your physiotherapy treatment to relax your tight muscles, relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Graston Technique , myofascial release , Gua sha
The following are other physiotherapy treatments. More information will be provided in future topics.
Manual therapy (sometimes called bodywork) is a general term for treatment performed mostly with the hands. The goals of manual therapy include relaxation, decreased pain, and increased flexibility.
Pressure is applied to the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Manual pressure technique can help relax muscles, increase circulation, and ease pain in the soft tissues.
Mobilization. Slow, measured movements are used to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint and help with flexibility and alignment.
Manipulation. Pressure is applied to a joint. It can be done with the hands or a special device. The careful, controlled force used on the joint can range from gentle to strong and from slow to rapid.
Physical therapy almost always includes education and training in areas such as:
In some locations, physical therapists are specially trained to be involved in other types of treatment, including:
Vestibular rehabilitation, which helps your inner ear respond to changes in your body position. This is helpful if you have problems with vertigo, or a feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning or tilting when there is actually no movement. Rehabilitation (rehab) can help you get used to the problem so you know when to expect it. And rehab can train your body to know how to react.
Wound care. Wounds that are very severe or don’t heal well, often because of poor blood flow to the area, can require extensive care. This may include special cleaning and bandaging on a regular and long-term basis. Sometimes oxygen treatment or electrical stimulation is part of the treatment.
Pelvic health. Physical therapists can provide instruction in exercises to help control urinary incontinence or to relieve pelvic pain.
Oncology (cancer care), to help if cancer or treatment for cancer causes you to have problems with movement.
Decongestive lymphatic drainage, which is a special form of massage to help reduce swelling when the lymphatic system is not properly draining fluids from your tissues.
Cold and ice, to relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions such as arthritis. Ice can be used for up to 20 minutes at a time. In some cases, ice may be used several times a day. Some therapists also use cooling lotions or sprays.
Heat, to help relax and heal your muscles and soft tissues by increasing blood circulation. This can be especially helpful if a joint is stiff from osteoarthritis or from being immobilized. Heat can also relax the muscles before exercise. But heat can also increase swelling in an injured area if it is used too soon.
Ultrasound therapy, which uses high-pitched sound waves to ease muscle spasms and relax and warm muscles before exercise, to help relieve pain and inflammation, and to promote healing.
Electrical stimulation. In general, this is the use of electrical current to create an effect in the body. Electrical stimulation is sometimes used at low levels to reduce the feeling of pain. It can also be used to cause muscles to contract (tense). And it is being studied as a way to help with healing of wounds and broken bones.
Hydrotherapy (water therapy), which is a term from the past that means the use of water to treat a disease or to mainPhysical therapy and recovery from injury
Physical therapy can help you recover from an injury and avoid future injury. Your physical therapist can help you reduce pain in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments), build muscle strength, and improve flexibility, function, and range of motion. He or she can also evaluate how you do an activity and make suggestions for doing the activity in a way that is less likely to result in an injury.
Physical therapy can help you live more easily with chronic or ongoing health conditions such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease. Your physical therapist will work with you to establish your goals. Then he or she will create a program of educational, range-of-motion, strengthening, and endurance activities to meet your needs.
Physical therapists also work with children who have major injuries or health conditions, such as cerebral palsy. They address the usual issues of range of motion, strength, endurance, and mobility. Also, the therapist considers the child’s special growth and developmental needs.
Treatment is often provided in the school or in a facility just for children. The way physical therapy and other services are delivered in the schools varies among the states. Talk to your child’s doctor, school, or your local health department if you think your child may qualify for evaluation or treatment services.