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How Does Physiotherapy Work and Why It’s Helpful

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Physiotherapy combines anatomy, neurology, and physiology to treat injuries and restore body functions that were disrupted primarily due to cardiovascular issues. Unlike other medicinal branches and treatment methods that use surgery, antibiotics, and drugs to treat injuries and heal an individual, physiotherapy mainly comprises physical activities, exercises, and movements in specific directions to promote well-being. This guide will further elaborate on the various aspects of physiotherapy and its benefits. 

How does physiotherapy work?

Ideally, physiotherapy can be deemed the science of bodily movements and relevant functions. Depending on the type of injury and the patient’s condition, a physiotherapist uses specific tools and exercises to heal their body part. Typically, physiotherapy works on musculoskeletal areas that are injured due to sports or other high-intensity activities. 

Physiotherapy is also used as a treatment method post-surgery, especially if the patient needs to recover fast. Before your physiotherapy will prescribe you the ideal exercises for recovery, they will determine your physical health condition and decipher how your body works. This provides a holistic and safe approach that promotes overall well-being. 

In general, physiotherapy covers six main types of techniques, which are:

  • Manual therapy. A set of movement exercises used to relieve pain in tissues and joints. As the name suggests, this practice is handled manually. 
  • Movement and exercise. The patient performs a set of physical exercises that strengthen balance, improve coordination, and enhance movement. 
  • Traction. When the vertebral discs are heavy with pressure, the patient’s spine is stretched to release the stress. 
  • Ultrasound. A device is used to send warmth and heat inside the body that heals the internal organs and promotes blood circulation. 
  • Hydrotherapy. The patient exercises and moves inside the water to keep their joints intact while achieving the benefits of cardiovascular activity. 
  • Dry needling. The skin is pierced with a set of needles that relieve pain at specific points. 

Benefits of physiotherapy

Here is how physiotherapy can be helpful to improve your overall well-being:

  • Reduces pain. Physiotherapy incorporates numerous treatment options and exercises that relieve pain and help manage injuries, especially the ones that are sports-related. Ultrasound, joint mobilisation, and electrical stimulation are some of the techniques used in physiotherapy to reduce pain. Undergoing treatment on a consistent basis can also prevent the pain from occurring in the future. More importantly, you can avoid undergoing surgery as the right type of treatment can heal the affected area. In extreme cases, your doctor may still advise you to undergo surgery. Even if they do, you can undergo pre-surgery physiotherapy treatment that prepares you for faster recovery in the future.
  • Improves strength and balance. One of the most prominent effects of undergoing physiotherapy is the improvement in strength, coordination, and balance of your body. Depending on your fall risk, you will be prescribed therapy sessions to improve coordination, which, in turn, will enhance your balance. Canada hosts several competent physiotherapists who specialize in using assistive devices to improve coordination and walking in patients. If you live in Canada and want to get screened for your fall risk, consult counselling Vancouver services for adequate treatment. The techniques used to improve balance and strength are paired with treatment options to alleviate signs of vertigo and dizziness as well.
  • Controls diabetes. Diabetes and blood sugar levels can be controlled by increasing your level of physical activity. However, if the effects have worsened, and you are unable to manage diabetes, take help from a physiotherapist to design a management plan. In some cases, individuals diagnosed with diabetes often face issues with foot sensations, which can also be treated with physiotherapy exercises. Furthermore, the management plan may include a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercises that help in reducing weight and toning your body as well. Over time, your insulin levels will improve, thereby combatting the ill effects of diabetes. 
  • Alleviates the symptoms of arthritis. Several age-related issues such as osteoporosis and arthritis can also be effectively treated using physiotherapy using bone and joint-strengthening exercises. Right from diagnosing the type of issue to providing optimum treatment, physiotherapists can help reduce signs of arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. Based on your profile, your exercises will be tailored to support your joints and bones while providing strength. Whether you prefer to get treated alone or collectively in a group, your physiotherapist will likely arrange your sessions accordingly. Certain treatment options also include customized diet plans to provide optimum nutrition and make the treatment more effective. 

In general, physiotherapy helps improve your overall well-being and makes you stronger. It not only alleviates current symptoms but also prevents pain and injuries from occurring in the long run. Since physiotherapy is effective and safe for people of all ages, you should definitely consider this treatment option. 

Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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