What is Physiotherapy?
Physical therapy or physiotherapy is a branch of rehabilitative medicine aimed at helping patients maintain, recover or improve their physical abilities. Physiotherapy is not alternative therapy; it is a clinical health science.
Physiotherapy is science-based, committed to extending, applying, evaluating and reviewing the evidence that underpins and informs its practice and delivery. The exercise of clinical judgement and informed interpretation is at its core.
Physiotherapy uses a variety of techniques to help your muscles and joints work to their full potential. It can help repair damage by speeding up the healing process, and help reduce pain and stiffness.
What is a Physiotherapist?
A physical therapist or physiotherapist is an expert in the examination and treatment of people with cardiothoracic, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscular diseases; focusing on conditions and problems that undermine patients’ abilities to move and function effectively. Physiotherapists study medical science subjects, including anatomy, neuroscience, and physiology in order to acquire the health education needed for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation of patients with physical problems.
A physiotherapist seeks to identify and maximise quality of life and movement potential through prevention, intervention (treatment), promotion, habilitation, and rehabilitation.
Promotion means the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health.
Habilitation means making somebody fit or capable of doing something.
Rehabilitation means making somebody fit or capable of doing something they can no longer do properly or at all, but used to be able to – i.e. restoring an ability or a series of abilities.
Physiotherapists care for patients whose movements may be undermined by aging, disease, environmental factors, or sporting hazards. They use their training and skills to treat a wide range of physical problems linked to different systems in the body, including:
- Neuromuscular systems – concerned with both nerves and muscles. Nerves include the brain, spine, and nerves throughout the body. Neuromuscular refers to neuromuscular junction – where nerves and muscle fibres meet, and also includes neuromuscular transmission – the transfer of information, impulses, from the nerve to the muscle.
- Musculoskeletal systems – an organ system that gives us the ability to move using our muscles and bones (muscular and skeletal systems). The musculoskeletal system gives us form, movement, and stability. The musculoskeletal system includes our bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue.
- Cardiovascular systems – include the heart and the circulatory systems. The circulatory system carries nutrients and oxygen via blood vessels to the tissues of the body and removes waste and carbon dioxide from them.
- Respiratory systems – include organs that are involved in breathing, such as the lungs, bronchi, trachea, larynx, throat, and nose.
What Does a Physiotherapy Session Involve?
Before any action is taken, your physiotherapist will assess your condition, diagnose the problem, and help you understand what’s wrong. The physiotherapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that takes into account your lifestyle, leisure activities, and general health.
A physiotherapy session involves the physiotherapist taking you through a thorough professional and physical assessment followed by a diagnosis of your specific problem. He/she will help you understand what causes the problem and related injuries as part of the educational approach to integrating the treatment with your lifestyle.
After the assessment, a variety of treatment techniques and exercises will be applied for the purpose of assisting your return to mobility and full function.
The average physiotherapy session varies from 30 minutes to 1 hour, with most patients receiving a structured series of exercise and stretches to do at home to complement their treatment in the clinic.
How Can You Benefit from Physiotherapy?
Whether you have injured yourself while working out in the health club, doing normal activities at home, at work or on the sporting field, physiotherapists will help you recover in a speedy, complicated-free treatment to get you back to your normal activities. Physiotherapists focus on the assessment, maintenance and restoration of the physical function and performance of the body, and minimising the chance of re-injury. Getting you back to your fitness regime quickly is what physiotherapists aim for.