What is physiotherapy? benefits of physiotherapy

November 9, 2016

Physiotherapy deals with restoring and maintaining functional movement, reducing pain and promoting health in individuals. Physiotherapists are extensively trained in therapies including massage, joint mobilization, and manipulation, as well as muscle stretching which are achieved using a wide variety of techniques. Additionally, physiotherapists may also make use of different modalities to reduce pain and inflammation including hot packs, ice, TENS, E-stim, ultrasound and laser treatment. Acupuncture and trigger point therapy is also widely practised by physiotherapists.

Physiotherapy can make a difference in an individual’s ability to live an active, healthy lifestyle. For many seniors, disabled or chronically ill people, physiotherapy is the key to restoring and maintaining a level of physical function that permits independent living.

Some major benefits of physiotherapy are:

  1. Helps in recovery from orthopaedic issues – Sports injuries, fractures, spinal pain are some of the most common types of issues which are treated by physiotherapists. Treatment may involve therapeutic exercise to improve strength, the range of motion and endurance. Physiotherapy also helps to correct postural and muscle imbalance. Stretching and trigger point therapy is also given to reduce stiffness and to relieve pain.
  2. Helps improve symptoms of neurological disorders – Patients with neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury can benefit greatly with physiotherapy treatment. Interventions focus on muscle re-education and control, rehabilitation of fine and gross motor skills, improving daily function, regaining strength and flexibility, learning how to perform safe transfers, restoring and improving gait and training in the use of mobility aids.
  3. Helps reduce spasticity and deformity – For children suffering from cerebral palsy, physiotherapy significantly helps in improving postural control, teaching children how to use assistive devices and doing all that is necessary to maximize the child’s functional independence.
  4. Helps improve symptoms of cardiopulmonary disorders – Cardiopulmonary conditions respond well to physiotherapy intervention. Patients who have difficulty performing their activities of daily living, or who have shortness of breath and decreased endurance, can achieve the markedly improved quality of life through guided exercise and resistance training. The intervention also helps clear secretions in the lungs through manual therapy and exercise. For those patients who have had cardiopulmonary surgery, physiotherapy is initiated early to prevent the patient from losing strength and function.
  5. Helps improve symptoms of hemophilia – Physiotherapy and exercise play a large part in maintaining a strong and supple body, which is vital to anyone with hemophilia. A physiotherapist will be able to provide information on how to improve joint mobility and muscle health and give bleed preventative advice and treatment after an acute bleeding episode. After a joint or muscle bleed, the affected area should be rested and physiotherapy treatment should begin after bleeding has been fully controlled. Regular physiotherapy assessment can play a part in reducing the effects of bleeding into joints, which may lead to permanent damage and the need for surgery.

Physiotherapy works to strengthen and heal the body. The techniques are useful after injury or illness to rebuild weakened tissue. Physiotherapy treatment can be at the clinic or even in the comfort of your home. It is recommended to opt for physiotherapy if you or a loved is experiencing any of the above-mentioned issues.