Physiotherapy is a therapeutic method used for individuals who have suffered from both minor and major injuries or illness. Statistics show that more than nine million people per year use physiotherapy. This type of therapy is more common and popular terminology is physical therapy, and is often used in place of surgery. The therapy focuses on the person regaining their strength in various parts of their body, mostly in the legs, hands, but it can include any part of the body that needs rehabilitation. Most need assistance in helping with their balance and learning how to walk.
Physiotherapy or physical therapy helps the person gain back normal body functioning of hand movement, walking, and balancing. It helps them gain control over their body and its’ functions. In the beginning stages, the therapist will assist the patient with their needs and what type of therapy works best for that person’s particular needs and situation. This overall goal helps the patient adapt quicker to life, return to normal life, and helps them feel better about themselves.
Types of Conditions
One of the most common conditions physical therapy addresses is the results of a stroke.
Strokes happen when an artery becomes blocked in the brain due to a blood clot in the brain or somewhere else in the body. It prevents blood from flowing to the brain properly. When a stroke occurs, brain tissue is damaged or dies, which causes a loss of function in the body, and of course, it can cause death too. When many people suffer a stroke, damage to one side of their body occurs. This nerve and tissue damage results in a lack of movement and control of one side of their body.
Oftentimes, the person loses their ability to walk, talk or loses the loss of mobility with their arms. Physiotherapy is the main treatment most stroke victims will go through for rehabilitation purposes. This process includes teaching the person the ability of the person to use their limbs again and and focuses on their speech, if needed. The amount and extent of physical therapy depends on the extent of the damage, their health, and their age.
Therefore, the quicker a person is treated after having a stroke, the better their chances are to recover. Another reason that can cause the need for Physiotherapy is injuries from car accidents. Car accidents can cause mild to serious injuries to the body. Some injuries don’t manifest itself until weeks later, and can be worse than initial diagnosed. Even though most minor injuries like back or neck strain can necessitate physical therapy.
The therapy sessions usually start at the hospital or a healthcare facility, and are designed and authorized by the therapist or the patient’s doctor. The treatment can end in the person’s home or at a gym once the patient’s condition starts improving in a way that allows for a less formal or medical environment. Physical therapy sessions that are appropriate for the person and their condition. The focus is on restoring muscle strength, stability, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and independence.
Sessions will start basic and low in intensity, and will usually increase to more difficult and intense sessions based on the person’s gradual progression. The workouts include basic walking, swimming, and aerobics. Repetitive exercises such as stretching and weight lifting greatly strengthen the muscles. It also includes exercises in restoring speech. Therapy includes the use of limbs that were not affected by the stroke and strengthening those that were. Contrary to popular belief, most physical therapy is not painful. The therapist’s focus is to minimize pain.
Physiotherapy can include more natural-based treatments such as reflexology, which is the method of placing pressure at specific points to the hands or feet to stimulate the nerves and circulation in the body.
Hydrotherapy can also be applied. This involves applying hot or cold treatments to reduce inflammation, pain, and tenderness. Both of these methods can increase the strength of the muscles.
Massage therapy is another method of physical therapy for more minor injuries sustained in a car accident or stroke. Back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain can be effectively addressed and treated with multiple massage sessions.