Physiotherapy (sometimes called physical therapy) is used to treat conditions that affect the body’s movement system. It is typically covered by statutory health insurance plans.
Physiotherapists use manual treatment techniques, exercises and modalities to increase strength, balance and mobility. This helps heal injuries and prevents them from recurring. They also teach patients how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Physiotherapists, or physical therapists as they are known in other parts of the world, work with patients to help them prevent and treat medical problems and injuries. Their services prevent and reduce impairments and activity limitations, including those caused by musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and pulmonary disorders.
During an evaluation, a physical therapist will assess your range of motion, strength, balance and endurance. Then they will develop a treatment plan which can include exercises, manual therapy, modalities (e.g. hot or cold) and assistive devices like crutches.
Different types of physiotherapy include speech treatment which improves your ability to speak and eat, vestibular and balance therapy which helps with dizziness or vertigo, and women’s health physiotherapy that concentrates on pelvic pain. Many statutory health insurers cover these costs.
The human body contains hundreds of joints, each of varying shapes and sizes (from the “hinge joint” in your elbow to a “ball and socket joint” in your hip or a “saddle joint” in your thumb). To help you work efficiently and comfortably, your joints depend on a combination of stability and mobility.
During joint mobilization, your physical therapist manually applies targeted pressures on the affected area in specific directions. This skilled movement helps improve the joint’s mobility and reduces pain.
Before applying this treatment, your therapist will evaluate whether a client is appropriate for it based on their condition and range of motion. For example, if a client has excessive flexibility or fused joints, this type of manual therapy is not recommended. Your therapist may instead implement other strategies to create a neuromuscular change.
Electrodes are placed on the body to treat pain in a specific area. The electrical impulses interrupt the transmission of pain signals to your brain. They also stimulate the release of endorphins, your natural painkillers, to help reduce pain.
Unlike many other methods of relieving pain, electrotherapy does not cause any pain or discomfort. The electrodes may cause a tingling sensation, but it does not hurt.
This process helps to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote your body’s natural healing processes. It is a drug-free alternative to relieve pain and can enhance muscle strength and flexibility. It can also aid in reducing swelling and improving balance issues.
Physiotherapy sessions help to treat ailments that can affect people’s mobility. These include injuries to bones, muscles and ligaments that can result in pain and disability. Those who undergo physiotherapy often see an improvement in their quality of life following their treatment.
Students enrolled in a physical therapy program are expected to interact with patients/clients and their families, allied health professionals, and other members of the community with compassion and empathy, while respecting their rights for privacy, dignity, modesty, autonomy and diversity. They also must embrace a person-centered approach to healthcare. Consequently, it’s important that PT educators incorporate experiential learning (EL) opportunities with children with participation restrictions into their clinical education programs. EL with children poses a number of unique challenges, however. The complexities of these challenges must be carefully considered when designing EL.