Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, is actually one of the many health care professions. A physiotherapist (PT) provides services to the injured body through manipulation and exercises. They use various tools to help restore motion and function, in addition to helping reduce pain and increase the range of motion of a patient. Physical therapists may work with patients of all ages, but their greatest opportunity to help are those that have suffered traumatic injuries.
Physical therapists are employed by health care services to help improve the functioning of the injured person. They assist in repairing the tissue around the injured area and are trained to know how to perform a variety of exercises and manipulations. Physical therapists provide hands-on, direct assistance to their clients. They do not simply watch as their injured client slouches in pain or stands rigid, unable to move.
The two terms are often used interchangeably, even by professionals without physiotherapy training. However, when someone has an accident, they may be referred to as having undergone physical therapy. It is important to realise that physiotherapy and physical therapy are not the same things; physiotherapy deals with injuries from accidents, while physical therapy deals with injuries that occur at the site of injury but are not caused by accident. The injury may need to be treated in physiotherapy or physical therapy to ensure the best outcome for the patient.
Many health professionals consider physiotherapy and physical therapy to be complimentary treatments. They both aid in rehabilitation after an injury, allowing the injured person to return to daily activities more quickly and at a higher level of fitness than they would achieve without the treatments. Physiotherapists are usually well trained in treating sports injuries, but they also incorporate other modalities such as massage and heat therapy into their treatment plans. For example, some physiotherapists will use targeted exercises, low-level laser therapy and ultrasound therapy to help patients recover from minor injuries that do not require exercise to treat.
A qualified physiotherapist will be well-trained in using clinical documentation to assess the severity of a patient’s injury and the potential to heal, as well as the limitations from the injury. They will also have completed an adequate level of education, normally consisting of a degree in physiotherapy. In addition to their education, they will probably be experienced in providing patient education sessions, instructing patients on their injury and rehabilitation, monitoring the progress of the healing process, making recommendations about physical activity, and discussing any concerns about the course of treatment. During these sessions, the physiotherapist will also work with the patient’s family and medical team to ensure they are following the recommended treatment plan. Once the physiotherapy is completed, the physiotherapist will be up to date on the physiotherapy’s effects on the patient’s recovery and be able to advise them about any adverse effects that may occur.
One of the most common types of injuries treated by physiotherapists is back pain. Many people choose to have this type of rehabilitation because it can be very difficult to deal with back pain, especially if it is ongoing or severe in nature. Common physiotherapy methods for back pain include ultrasound therapy, manual therapy, exercise, chiropractic care, massage and traction.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques to help patients recover from their injuries and achieve the best possible level of physical fitness. One of the main tasks of a chiropractor is to set the spinal alignment of the spine, which can help correct misaligned spinal bones and improve muscle function. Once the correct alignment has been achieved, the physiotherapist will then progress to manual therapies and eventually to exercises. These methods should be used in conjunction with a suitable rehabilitation program. In some cases, a chiropractor may also recommend physical therapy as an additional treatment plan to complement chiropractic rehabilitation.
One of the most common reasons for people seeking out physiotherapy is a traumatic injury to the hands, wrists, arms or shoulders. The most common type of physical therapy required following an accident is traction. Traction is used to help maintain movement in the injured region, and this is often administered using a hands-on manual therapy plan. Other rehabilitation methods such as weight loss and strength training will help the patient resume normal daily activities more easily and quickly than without this type of physical therapy.