Exercises, massages, and other therapies based on physical stimuli may be a part of physical therapy, often known as physiotherapy (e.g. heat, cold, electrical currents, or ultrasound).
Physical therapy is intended to treat pain, improve mobility, or strengthen weak muscles. Showing patients what they can do on their own to enhance their health is also a crucial objective. You don’t have to receive therapy at a clinic or hospital; you can and should continue receiving it at home.
Physical therapy includes the following-
- activities to actively do specific movements,
- pressure (massage), directed passive motions that the therapist does for you, and
- treatments based on acupressure, ultrasound, electrical currents, or other physical stimuli.
These methods are used to treat both acute and chronic symptoms, as well as to avoid issues in the future or to recover from long-term illnesses, surgeries, or wounds.
The symptoms, precise medical issues, and factors like how long the patient has experienced discomfort, will determine the best physical therapy treatment. Additionally, their tastes and general health will be taken into consideration.
WHEN TO CONSIDER PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Physical therapy should be given for the following conditions-
- issues brought on by muscle, tendon, or joint injuries or signs of aging
- Pelvic floor issues like incontinence (leakage of urine) or pain
- arthritis rheumatoid
- disorders of the heart and blood vessels
- respiratory conditions (affecting the airways)
- illnesses of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s, stroke, or multiple sclerosis
- developmental issues in children, such as those that damage their bones or muscles
Physical therapy can also be used to aid those who require assistance or nursing care, for example, to strengthen muscles and prevent falls by practicing specific movements in a specific order.
WHAT DOES PHYSICAL THERAPY INVOLVE?
Physical therapy involves a lot of exercises that need the patient to do specific movements. Mobility (the capacity to move), coordination, and muscle strength are all improved by these workouts. After the physical therapist demonstrates how to perform the exercises, you can perform them on your own.
Typically, learning these movements takes up the majority of physical therapy sessions. The exercises will only be beneficial if you routinely perform them by yourself at home. Physical therapy frequently attempts to assist you in increasing the overall amount of physical activity in your daily life in addition to practicing specific exercises.
There are other situations when passive exercises are used. In other words, the therapist makes certain movements with certain portions of the patient’s body. A stiff or locked joint’s capacity to move may be improved, for example. If a patient, for example, is still unable to move their arm or leg independently, these guided movements can help prepare their body for active workouts.
There are various kinds of physical therapy treatments that rely on physical stimulation in addition to exercises, massage, and hand movements to relax muscles and connective tissue. These are a few of them:
- Lymphatic drainage by hand (massage to drain fluid from the tissues)
- Electrotherapy: Using a mild electric current to treat patients
- Heat therapy includes techniques like heated baths, warm mud packs (fango), heat lamps, and ultrasound.
- The use of cold air or cold packs are examples of cold treatment.
- Many of these therapies can also be combined.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF PHYSIOTHERAPY?
Depending on your medical condition and unique circumstances, the treatment may concentrate on a number of objectives, including:
- enhancing or regaining the body’s capacity for movement or regular function
- enhancing blood circulation and metabolism
- alleviating pain
- strengthening and coordination
- compensating for physical impairments, for as by strengthening the left arm in the case of paralysis of the right arm.
- preventing persistent issues
PHYSICAL THERAPY IS OFFERED BY WHOM?
Physical therapists with specialized training provide physical therapy (also known as physiotherapists). Other specialists can also perform some aspects of physical therapy, such as massages and treatments based on physical stimuli (such as heat therapy or electrotherapy). These include masseurs and hydrotherapists, who utilize water to treat medical issues.
Both outpatient and inpatient physical therapy can be provided, for example, in physical therapy clinics, hospitals, rehabilitative care facilities, and nursing homes.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY?
1] To decrease pain– In order to relieve pain and restore muscle and joint function, therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques like joint and soft tissue mobilization, or treatments like ultrasound, taping, or electrical stimulation may be used. These treatments can also stop the pain from coming back.
2] Reduce the rate of surgery– Surgery might not be required if physical therapy helps you manage pain or recover from an injury. Pre-surgical physical therapy may be helpful even if surgery is necessary. In many instances, you will recover more quickly from surgery if you are stronger and in better shape before the procedure. Additionally, health care expenses are decreased by avoiding surgery.
3] Increase mobiliity– Physical therapy can assist if you have problems standing, walking, or moving, regardless of your age. Exercises for flexibility and strength might help you regain your mobility. Physical therapists can assess for orthotic prescription and properly fit someone with a cane, crutches, or any other assistive equipment. Any activity that is vital to a person’s life can be practiced and modified to guarantee maximum performance and safety by creating a personalized individual care plan.
4] Recovery from stroke– After a stroke, it’s normal to experience some function and mobility loss. Physical therapy helps to balance and gait while strengthening weak areas of the body. Physical therapists can also help stroke patients move more easily in bed, increase their independence about the house, and lessen their dependence on others for everyday functions like dressing, bathing, and toileting.
5] Recovery from sports injuries– Physical therapists are aware of the ways in which various sports can raise your chance of suffering from particular injuries (such as stress fractures for distance runners). To ensure a safe return to your sport, they can create customized workout routines for your recovery or prevention.
6] Improvement in balance and coordination– You will undergo a fall risk assessment before starting physical therapy. Therapists will give you activities that cautiously and safely test your balance in order to simulate real-life scenarios if you have a high risk of falling. Your therapists can also provide you with walking aids and exercises to help you regain your coordination. Physical therapists can carry out particular exercises that can quickly restore appropriate vestibular functioning, lessen, and even eradicate vertigo or dizziness sensations when the balance issue is brought on by a vestibular system issue.
7] Manage vascular conditions– Exercise can effectively regulate blood sugar when included in a comprehensive diabetes management plan. Additionally, diabetics may experience issues with their legs’ and feet’ sensations. Physical therapists can assist in providing and instructing these patients on proper foot care to avoid future issues.
8] Biological aging– As people get older, they could get osteoporosis, arthritis, or find themselves in need of joint replacement. Physical therapists are professionals at assisting patients in their recovery from joint replacement surgery and in the conservative management of arthritic or osteoporotic disorders.
9] Cardio and pulmonary rehab– After a heart attack or operation, patients can finish cardiac rehabilitation, but if their everyday functioning is compromised, they can additionally get physical therapy. Through strengthening, conditioning, and breathing exercises, physical therapy can help individuals with pulmonary issues improve their quality of life and help them drain fluid from their lungs.
10] Women’s Health– Women’s health is unique because of issues including pregnancy and postpartum care. Physical therapists can provide specialist care for problems with women’s health. Bowel incontinence, breast cancer, constipation, fibromyalgia, lymphedema, male pelvic health, pelvic discomfort, and urinary incontinence are additional conditions for which physical therapy can offer specialist care.