It can be prescribed as a standalone treatment program or used in combination with other treatments. Physiotherapy is often recommended to aid in the recovery process after certain surgeries, injuries, and long-term health conditions like arthritis.
A physiotherapist will examine your symptoms and daily activities to develop a customized treatment plan that focuses on reducing pain and swelling. The specific procedures used will depend on your physical ailment and may involve a combination of education, manual therapy, exercises, and techniques. Some commonly used procedures include:
The following are some of the techniques that a physiotherapist may use:
- Stretching exercises: Conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, surgery, and aging can lead to stiffness and inflammation in muscles and joints, which can limit movement. Physiotherapists help patients stretch specific areas of their body to restore flexibility and improve joint and muscle mobility.
- Core strengthening and stability exercises: Patients may be prescribed exercises that target their pelvis and lower back, which helps improve their overall body support.
- Heat and ice therapy: Applying heat or cold to muscles can stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling. Heat can help reduce joint pain and loosen muscles in the lower back and neck, while cold is often used for ankle sprains.
- Ultrasound therapy: An ultrasound machine sends high-frequency sound waves through the body to stimulate deep tissues. The vibrations produced by sound waves help improve blood flow and speed up the healing process. Ultrasound therapy can also enhance bone adhesiveness and metabolism after a fracture.
- Electrical stimulation therapy: Electrical current is passed through the area requiring treatment, which helps relieve pain, stimulate muscles and nerves, and expand blood vessels.