Three Common Physiotherapy Treatments

When someone suffers an injury or a debilitating illness, especially one that affects mobility, doctors often recommend the patient see a physiotherapist, sometimes called a physical therapist. Here are three physiotherapy treatments these clinical paraprofessionals use to help people get moving again:

Hydrotherapy

There is perhaps no better exercise for people with mobility issues than swimming, or hydrotherapy as it is often called in a clinical setting. This is because when the human body is suspended in water, you "weigh less" and the buoyancy removes the majority of the stress on your joints. You can work out without the resistance that occurs when you are on land. For example, "running" while in the water won't stress your feet, knees, and hips as it would if you were really running on pavement or a treadmill. You can still get in your cardio and stretch your muscles without doing damage. Additionally, swimming is relaxing, reduces stress, and is fun.

Electrotherapy

Electrotherapy, which is the medical use of electrical energy or currents, is often used to treat injuries. Here are a few of the methods commonly used:

  • Ultrasound—This treatment uses mechanical vibrations from ultrasound waves to expedite the body's own healing.
  • Pulsed Shortwave Therapy—This treatment uses a magnetic and electrical field to reduce inflammation and repair the body's soft tissues.
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)—This is a treatment method that uses electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves to either cause the body to release natural pain killers or to confuse the nerve impulses that cause pain. This can be extremely useful in managing pain without pain medications, many of which can lead to addiction, have dangerous side effects, or may be contraindicated for some patients.

Biofeedback

It is not uncommon after an injury or a traumatic event, such as a stroke, for the patient to have substantial nerve damage. A bodily process that is normally automated, or done without conscious thought, may not work anymore. Biofeedback therapy uses electronic monitoring to help someone re-learn how to move in a specific way.

For example, a stroke patient who has lost mobility in his hands will have a monitor placed on his forearm. He will then be instructed to try to make a fist. By watching a monitor that shows which muscles are moving and responding as he repeatedly tries to move, he can gradually regain voluntary control over the muscles needed to make a fist.

For more information about physiotherapy treatments, contact clinics like ReActive Physiotherapy.

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