From arthritis to back pain after a car accident, physiotherapists treat a wide range of conditions. A physiotherapist can help you manage your illness, disability or injury through manual therapy, exercise, movement and advice.
Here are 10 physiotherapy treatments physiotherapists commonly use:
1. The assessment: Before you can begin, your physical therapist will do an evaluation. You may not think of this as a typical treatment, but it's an integral part of creating a physiotherapy plan to get to the root of the problem.
2. Manual therapy: This is a modality that physiotherapists use for many injuries. This hands-on approach refers to many things, including therapeutic massage and assisted stretching and exercise.
3. Ultrasound: Physiotherapists use ultrasound for connective tissue injuries. Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate heat deep in the body, loosening up tissues so they’re better prepared for exercise or manual therapy.
4. Ice: Best for injuries with swelling and inflammation, ice treatment constricts blood vessels, which can reduce and even prevent inflammation after a soft tissue injury.
5. Heat: Best for injuries involving muscular spasms and tightness, heat therapy can increase mobility and decrease pain following soft tissue injuries.
6. Traction: This is a physiotherapy modality that’s often used for disc herniation. If you’re experiencing back pain, traction involves separating your vertebrae to reduce the compression on disc cartilage.
7. Range-of-motion exercises: You’ll do some assisted exercises and exercise at home. Physiotherapists will recommend exercise after virtually any injury. Your physiotherapist will show you strengthening exercises based on your condition and current health.
8. Functional electrical stimulation: If you’re trying to restore muscular strength, your physiotherapist may recommend electrical stimulation, also called ESTIM. The physical therapist will apply an electrical stimulus to causes contractions of the muscles, hopefully restoring movement and function.
9. Laser: Your physiotherapist may use a low-level laser for muscular or connective tissue injuries to reduce inflammation, pain and muscle fatigue.
10. Kinesio taping: This flexible, colourful tape is applied to the skin to stabilize muscles and joints while you undergo physiotherapy treatment. It will stay in place while you’re doing range-of-motion exercises. If you have a disability, injury or illness, your physiotherapist can help you customize a safe and effective treatment plan.
Talk to your family physician if you'd like more information on physiotherapy treatments.
Visit HealthChoicesFirst.com for more videos and resources on family health.