The world of medicine is full of ‘alternative’ treatments that claim to be the answer to many ills and problems. Some of these are genuinely helpful, but others give those that work a bad name. We should emphasise here that physiotherapy – which is the subject of this article – is not one of the alternative medicines, yet it is often mistaken for one. Physiotherapy is in fact an umbrella term for numerous treatment methods used to treat a variety of problems.
Let’s look at what physiotherapy is, who the likely patients are, and whether it may help you deal with a pain issue.
Who Uses Physiotherapy?
If you ever broke a bone in your leg or arm you would have experienced physiotherapy afterwards. It’s the period of often intense and frustrating exercise routines that you need to go through to build up the muscle that has deteriorated whilst you were wearing a cast. This can take some time.
Sportsmen and women also use physiotherapy in the form of massage and similar to ensure their limbs are suitably toned for performance. The sheer number of problems physiotherapy is used to treat means a list is going to take up too much room here. However, we will say that physiotherapy is not just for people with broken bones, but has far reaching effects beyond that. Let’s have a quick look at the different types of physiotherapy.
What are the Different Types of Physiotherapy?
There are many types of physiotherapy that professionals tend to specialise in, so let’s talk about the main ones, starting with musculoskeletal or orthopaedic physiotherapy. This is the treatment you may have undergone to restore your muscle strength and it involves a combination of exercise and hands-on work such as joint manipulation.
Orthopaedic physiotherapy is also used to treat sprains and muscle damage, as well as being useful for arthritis, posture related problems and reduced mobility. Specialists in this area may take jobs in general medical practice or may also become sports physios for a team or league.
Neurological physiotherapy is a form that is intended to stimulate the brain in various ways, and treats damage to the nervous system. It is used successfully on stroke patients, those with spinal cord and brain injuries, plus MS and Parkinson’s disease. This is a highly specialised form of physiotherapy that is valued in the medical community.
Cardiothoracic physiotherapy is a form used in the treatment of illnesses such as asthma, emphysema and various respiratory diseases.
These are the three main areas of physiotherapy and there are also specialist sub-types that may be brought into play. It should be noted that a physiotherapist will not only use joint manipulation and massage alongside exercise routines, but they also have access to modern electrotherapy techniques that can be used to treat many problems the other techniques are unable to deal with.
Should You Have Physiotherapy?
If you are reading this it is perhaps because you think you may need physiotherapy. You might have suffered a sports injury or perhaps strained a muscle or joint. It could be you have back pain – possibly from poor posture – or suffer from any of the illnesses above and more listed in those informative links.
Your first step should be to make an appointment with your doctor and talk to them about your problem. Ask for a referral to a physiotherapist and they will follow it through. Taking drugs to combat pain is a temporary measure, and one that does not do any good to your body. Physiotherapy has helped many people with pain issues of different kinds, so talk to your doctor now for more information.