Physical therapy or physiotherapy is a form of treatment which makes it possible for people to overcome the effects and symptoms of their injuries through special types of physical treatments.
Thus, if you are about to undergo the physiotherapy treatment, the following lines will help you, providing some basic information regarding the process. Due to the fact that athletes most commonly suffer from injuries which need this form of treatment, the lines below may be of great importance to them.
What is Physiotherapy?
Basically, physiotherapy uses massage and other forms of tissue manipulation in order to promote healing and recovery from injuries, restoring one's former range of movement and usability of certain body parts. This process is a serious, detailed one and it needs to be carried out by trained professionals. Therefore, physiotherapy is usually available only in hospitals, private practices, workplaces or some community facilities. Additionally, your GP may perform physical therapy once you have undergone a surgery.
Physiotherapy is useful for injuries affecting the muscles, joints or the heart, lungs and the vascular system. Nevertheless, individuals who suffer from neurological or mental conditions, as well as some chronic illnesses, all can find relief through this form of medical treatment.
Some of the techniques involved in physiotherapy are massage and tissue manipulation, promoting increased blood circulation to the injured areas and, thereby, healing, exposure to heat or electricity, as well as light, water and cold, depending on the type of health problems the patient is facing, performing specially designed exercises and providing long-term support for patients who are suffering from chronic medical conditions.
All these physiotherapy techniques, when combined, contribute to one's recovery, stimulating him/her to use the affected body part, avoiding neglect and worsening of the situation through stiffening or loss of muscle and function.
So, people who had a stroke, those with heart issues and problems related to respiratory health, as well as individuals who have been injured during sports, all can benefit from physiotherapy. Additionally, people who have undergone surgeries, experiencing a decrease in their motor functions subsequently, can also manage to overcome their problems through this form of therapy.
Furthermore, people with joint and bone problems, those who are suffering from certain heart and lung conditions like COPD or cystic fibrosis, and individuals with neurological conditions like cerebral palsy, Parkinson's or MS, all can benefit from physiotherapy too, along with children affected by muscular dystrophy.
Finally, elderly people who suffer from conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis can find relief in physiotherapy too, especially if they are recovering from surgeries such as hip replacement.
How Is It Performed?
Of course, before any form of physiotherapy can take place, the patient needs to be properly diagnosed. Thus, a physical examination is the first step of every physiotherapy, helping the doctor assess your condition, developing the treatment strategy afterwards.
Depending on the condition in question, the physical treatment may consist of exercise programs such as water exercising and group exercising, massages and joint manipulation serving the purpose of increasing the mobility of muscles and joints, reducing stiffness, inflammation and pain and muscle re-education in cases of some more severe muscular complications.
In some cases, physiotherapy may involve the application of hot and cold compresses and packs in order to remove pain, swelling or inflammations, promoting a quicker recovery and tissue regeneration, helping one restore his/her physical mobility and previously lost functions.
During the treatment of respiratory problems, physiotherapy may take the form of airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises. Furthermore, in cases of presence of some other physical problems, physical therapy may help people getting accustomed to wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other forms of such aids.
Finally, throughout the program, the patient's progress will be monitored by the therapist, who will modify and adjust the therapy according to the needs to the one undergoing it. This promotes recovery and healing, taking these to an even higher level, making physiotherapy even more effective.
In some cases, the physiotherapist may work together with other health experts, receiving a second opinion on the condition of the patient, managing to overcome certain treatment problems, if these occur. Moreover, once the physiotherapy is over, the patient may be told to visit the therapist every once in a while, making sure that the recovery procedure is taking its ideal course.
All in all, people involved in sports can benefit from physiotherapy greatly, due to the fact that these patients are more prone to suffering from physical injuries than all other people. Many sport organizations have their own physiotherapist, making sure that injuries of the above mentioned types are addressed adequately and treated timely.
Athletes need to give their maximum, regardless of the discipline they take part in. This form of physical pressure and exertion may often result in injuries of various forms. When this happens, the best possible treatment an athlete can receive is the one through physical therapy.