Physiotherapy aids in restoring movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also to prevent chances of injury or illness in the future.
It takes a universal approach that involves the patient directly in their own care.
When is physiotherapy used?
Physiotherapy can be beneficial for people of all ages with a wide range of health conditions, including problems affecting the:
• Bones, joints and soft tissue – such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and sports injuries.
• Brain or nervous system – such as movement problems resulting from a stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s
• Heart and circulation – such as recovery after a heart attack
Physiotherapy can improve your physical activity while helping you to prevent further injuries.
Physiotherapy is provided by specially trained practitioners called physiotherapists.
Physiotherapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team in various areas of medicine and settings, including hospitals etc.
Some physiotherapists can also offer home visits.
What physiotherapists do
Physiotherapists consider the body as a whole, rather than just focusing on the individual aspects of an injury or illness.
Some of the main approaches used by physiotherapists include:
• Education and Advice – Physiotherapists can give general advice about things that can affect your daily lives, such as posture and correct lifting or carrying techniques to help prevent injuries.
• Movement and Exercise– Exercises may be recommended to improve your general health and mobility, and to strengthen specific parts of your body.
• Manual therapy – When the physiotherapist uses their hands to help relieve pain and stiffness, and to encourage better movement of the body.
There are other techniques that may sometimes be used, such as exercises carried out in water (hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy) or Acupuncture.
Other techniques can also be used by physiotherapists that may help to ease pain and promote healing include:
• Acupuncture –Fine needles are inserted into specific points of the body, with the aim of reducing pain and promoting recovery.
• Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – A small, battery-operated device is used to
deliver an electric current to the affected area, with the aim of relieving pain.
• Ultrasound – It involves high-frequency sound waves to treat deep tissue injuries by stimulating
blood circulation and cell activity, with the aim of reducing pain and spasms, as well as speeding up the