Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.
It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care. Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession dedicated to working with people to identify and maximize their ability to move and function throughout their lifespan. Physiotherapy is a technique act on the basis on biomechanics, kinetics and kinematics of our body. Whenever the mechanism of our body occurs imbalance or deform, then it is treated by physiotherapy.Today Physiotherapy stands out as a distinct and independent speciality.“Orthopaedic Surgeon should never pick up a knife unless he has a competent Physiotherapist”.
Physiotherapists treat people of all ages, helping them manage pain and using a number of methods to aid recovery.Although they're often thought of as just dealing with musculoskeletal problems, physiotherapists are trained healthcare professionals who work in many areas, including:Intensive care, Mental health, Neurology (including stroke), Long-term conditions, Breathing problems, Men's and women's health (including incontinence), Recovery after major surgery, Orthopedics and trauma, Sports, Workplace health, Pediatrics (children), Care of the elderly, Education and health promotion
Many physiotherapists work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. They can work from NHS hospitals, community based organizations, private hospitals and clinics, sports clubs, charities and workplaces.Physiotherapists help treat physical problems linked to a number of the body's systems, including: musculoskeletal – bones, joints and soft tissues, • neuromuscular – the brain and nervous system,cardiovascular – the heart and blood circulation, respiratory – the organs that help you breathe, such as the windpipe (trachea), voice box (larynx) and lungs
Physiotherapists help people who've been affected by injury, illness or disability. Some of the approaches they use include:
• movement and exercise – taking into account a person’s current level of health and their specific requirements
• manual therapy techniques – where the physiotherapist helps recovery by using their hands to relieve muscle pain and stiffness, and encourage blood flow to an injured part of the body
• aquatic therapy – a type of physiotherapy carried out in water
• other techniques – such as heat, cold and acupuncture to help ease pain
Physiotherapy is available through the NHS or privately. It can also sometimes be accessed through other routes, such as charities and the voluntary sector.
In some areas, self-referral schemes allow physiotherapy to be accessed directly. To find out whether self-referral is available in your area, speak to the reception staff at your GP surgery or ask at your local NHS hospital.
Back pain is a very common condition, affecting about 80% of people at some point in their lives. A physiotherapist demonstrates some simple back stretches to help prevent aches and pains.
If you have a health problem such as back pain, you can help ease the pain and prevent it re-occurring by:
• keeping active and mobile by exercising regularly
• maintaining good posture while standing, sitting and driving
• maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight if you're overweight
• lifting and handling objects safely
The aim of physiotherapy is to help restore movement and normal body function in cases of illness, injury and disability.
As well as treating specific problems, your physiotherapist may also suggest ways to improve your general wellbeing – for example, by taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight for your height and build.
Physiotherapists take a holistic approach, looking at the body as a whole rather than focusing on the individual factors of an injury or illness. The person being treated is directly involved in their own care.
For example, back pain can be caused by a number of different things, including:
• poor posture
• inherited spinal deformity
• bending or twisting awkwardly
• standing for long periods
• lifting or carrying objects incorrectly
A physiotherapist will look at your individual situation. As well as treating the problem, they may also suggest things you can do on a daily basis to help relieve pain and discomfort. They may also give you advice about how to prevent the injury re-occurring.
For example, if you have lower back pain, maintaining good posture and doing core stability exercises to strengthen your stomach and lower back muscles may help.
Physiotherapists use a wide range of treatment techniques and approaches. Some of these are described below.
Movement and exercise
Physiotherapists use therapeutic exercises designed to improve mobility and strengthen the affected area of the body. They need to be repeated regularly, usually daily, for a set number of weeks.
As well as specific exercises, gentle activities, such as walking or swimming, may be recommended if you're recovering from an operation or sports injury that affects your mobility.
For someone with a mobility problem caused by a condition such as a stroke, a physiotherapist may suggest specific exercises which target the affected area of the body.
For example, studies have shown that circuit class therapy is an effective method of rehabilitation after a stroke. Compared with other types of exercise, it can help improve a person's ability to walk further, longer and faster, as well as help with their balance.
There's also strong evidence to show that physical activity can help manage and prevent more than 20 different health conditions. For example, physically active adults have been shown to have a significantly lower risk (up to 50%) of developing major health conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Manual therapy uses 'hands on' treatment techniques to mobilize joints and soft tissues. It's suitable for most people and can be used to:
• relieve pain
• improve blood circulation
• help fluid drain more efficiently from parts of the body
• improve the movement of different parts of the body
There's also evidence to show that manual therapy is beneficial in treating some types of musculoskeletal conditions, such as long-term back pain(where the pain lasts for longer than six weeks).
The manual therapy can be used to treat persistent lower back pain.
In some cases, massage techniques may also be used as part of your treatment programmed. Evidence suggests that it can be useful for treating a range of health conditions, including helping to reduce some of the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment.
A study carried out in 2009 looked at the effects of therapeutic massage on the quality of life among people being treated for breast cancer.
The results showed that therapeutic massage had potential benefits for improving the effects of breast cancer treatment by reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It also had a positive effect on perceived quality of life.
Other techniques that can help to ease pain and promote healing are described below.
• Acupuncture – where fine needles are inserted into specific points of the body. It's sometimes used alongside other physiotherapy techniques to help reduce tissue inflammation and pain and promote recovery.
• Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – a TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that delivers an electric current to the affected area via two electrodes. The tingling sensation produced by the current can help block or suppress pain signals to your brain.
• Ultrasound – high-frequency sound waves can be used treat deep tissue injuries by stimulating blood circulation and cell activity. It's thought it can help reduce pain and muscle spasm, as well as speed up healing.
Scientific evidence to support the above treatments is currently limited. For example, there's not enough firm evidence to say for sure whether TENS is a reliable method of pain relief.
Some people have reported that TENS has been effective for them, but it seems to depend on the condition and the individual. It's not suitable for people with a pacemaker or other types of electrical implant.