If you have a serious injury or have an illness that makes it difficult for you to perform your daily activities – physiotherapy is most likely the only solution that can improve your health. This type of therapy is one of the oldest medical treatments used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese.
At the time, it gave a lot of good results, and today they have been amplified precisely because of the advancement of technology. What exactly is physiotherapy and what is its role in modern medicine?
The Purpose Of Physiotherapy
The purpose of physical therapy is to reduce pain and improve the overall quality of life by applying various forms of energy. It can be movement, heat, electricity, light, mechanical energy, magnetic energy, water, etc. Physiotherapy is practised by trained physical therapists, who have completed accredited schools to have this job.
The modern form of physical therapy involves one-on-one contact with the patient. This means that when you schedule therapy, your therapist will be with you for an hour or two – from the diagnosis of the problem, through the therapeutic activity itself, to your healing.
What Is Physiotherapy For?
This therapy can help a person in the following ways:
- eliminates pain
- improves the quality of life by increasing mobility
- significantly affects the circulation of the body
- increases flexibility and balance
- rehabilitates the body after surgery and injuries
- speeds up metabolism
- helps with wound healing and sports injuries
The physiatrist is involved in the diagnosis, but other doctors can also help if your illness is related or due to other health issues. That’s why you can find an internist, rheumatologist, neurologist, orthopedist, etc. When your diagnosis is made, your doctor may prescribe you to go to the physiotherapist.
A physiotherapist will determine the right type of physiotherapy especially for you. It’s made according to your specific condition. It does not have to be exclusively one kind, but can be done in combination.
Physiotherapy In Sports
In recent decades, access to the sport has changed significantly. By increasing the demands of the sport, athletes challenge their bodies much more, both during competition and the training.
All this leads to a great overload of the athlete’s body, especially his locomotor system, which is then more susceptible to injury and damage. Possible injuries impede the athlete in sports activities, and this imposes the need for recovery as quickly as possible. All this indicates the importance of sports medicine, especially physiotherapy. It finds its role not only in the field of treatment and rehabilitation but also in the field of prevention.
Causes Of Injury In Athletes
The causes of injury as a result of poor training processes are:
- maladaptation of the sport’s load to the athlete’s age, gender and strength
- inappropriate training content
- poor training conditions
- lack of care for sports shoes
- lack of concern about the nutrition of athletes and the rhythm of training and relaxation
- irregular and incomplete medical examinations, etc.
One of the common causes of athletic injuries is the lack of rest and poor fitness. Fatigue slows movement and reflexes, making the athlete slower and weaker.
Rehabilitation Of Sports Injury
When the athlete is suffering an injury, the physiotherapist must respond immediately to minimize its consequences. Most sports injuries are accompanied by bleeding at the focal point of injury and hematoma formation. The main task of the physical therapist at that moment is to take actions aimed at reducing and controlling the hematoma.
The basic principles of injury management are used for this purpose. Following these first treatment procedures, aimed at reducing pain and swelling – functional rehabilitation, based on kinesitherapy, is initiated. It is aiming to return athletes to sports fields as quickly and safely as possible.
What Are The Types Of Physical Therapy?
Today, many physiotherapies can help with a wide variety of health conditions. According to Physio Inq Penrith, they are determined by the type of disease or an injury. They do not have to be invasive but they are progressing at the pace that suits the patient. Often, many branches of physiotherapy also feature exercises that help overcome conditions such as pain or sports injuries.
Kinesitherapy is a well-known and most used form of physiotherapy, because of the many benefits it offers. It is a movement therapy where the patient makes certain moves through the exercises or is assisted by a therapist. The movements are carefully designed and systematized to focus on specific muscles that do not function well.
It develops muscle and gives strength to the entire locomotor system of a person with targeted movements. The type of movement involves resistance exercises, assisted or unsupported. All the exercises are done in the presence or with the help of a physical therapist.
Electrotherapy is referred to the use of a given voltage to treat a diseased or injured part of the body. This widens the blood vessels accelerating circulation and lymph, which helps to reduce swelling and build-up of water in the body. It reduces inflammatory processes in the body. Besides, electrotherapy temporarily reduces pain because of rapid circulation.
It has also been shown to affect accelerating the process of wound and injury healing. It is commonly used for various sprains, sports injuries, arthritis and arthrosis. It also helps with neck pain, lumbar back pain, as well as muscle, circulation and nerve problems.
Magnetotherapy has proven to be extremely effective in diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthrosis, fractures, sports injuries, rheumatic diseases, etc. It functions by centring a magnetic field on the diseased place on the body, which effectively acts on pain. Magnetotherapy can also be performed in patients who have metal parts in their body. This usually happens after hip or knee surgery. Such medical conditions are not contraindicated. However, certain rules must be followed, especially referring to the age of the patient.
Laser therapy implies attaching small plastic probes that emit laser beams to a painful place. This procedure is not painful and there are no data on contraindications. The only thing you can feel is a slight burning sensation or heat on the treated part of the body.
But this is one of the signs that treatment is working. It is commonly used for conditions such as pain in the lumbar spine, neck and muscles, arthritis, and inflammation of bones and tissues. It is also effective in case of sprains and twists.
This is a type of physical therapy related to heat treatment. It can be done with healing mud, water, sand, laser high-frequency radiation and I.R. heat lamps. The purpose of this treatment is to stimulate the body and dilate blood vessels. The temperature that warms the body is usually between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius, and the duration of the treatment is about twenty minutes. The therapy is applied for arthritis, arthrosis, fractures, and similar conditions.
Sono-therapy or ultrasound is a fairly common way of treating people suffering from neck and lumbar spine pain, muscle pain, neuralgia, etc. Sono-therapy is performed by applying a liquid gel to the treated part of the body. Then, an ultrasound head is brought in, rubbing gently over the diseased part of the body.
Unlike most physiotherapies that have the effect of expanding blood vessels, cryotherapy has the opposite effect. Namely, it serves to cause narrowing of the blood vessels, which is why it is most commonly emptied in acute conditions and inflammation to reduce swelling and pain.
The specificity of cryotherapy is that it is most commonly used in fractures and injuries. Therefore, in most cases, it is emptied among athletes, because it quickly stops bleeding, reduces swelling and prevents hematoma. This is especially recommended after heavy and high-intensity training and sports injuries.