A body in good physical shape needs lesser medical intervention. It can keep its weight in check, control levels of HDL and LDL and avert lifestyle disorders such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Physiotherapy, in this context, helps to strengthen and heal the body post any injury or illness.
The increasingly sedentary lifestyle poses considerable threats; conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and other heart related issues can drastically bring down the quality of life. However, after sustaining a debilitating injury, you might be skeptical about starting an exercise routine on your own. This is where physiotherapy comes in; from building back your core (abdominal) muscles again to easing body aches, physiotherapy can help you in ways you might have never believed.
From bruises to bursitis, physiotherapists possess sound knowledge about the human system and prescribe exercises to restore your body back to its optimal state. Coupled with the newest equipment, backed by expertise and a special faculty of assessing a patient’s overall condition, physical therapists can diagnose and address a wide range of ailments and mobility concerns. Physical Therapy offers focused workouts that ultimately help your overall health and fitness. Programs involving stretches or Pilates, when coupled with even moderate aerobic activity, can rejuvenate your system and put you well on track to quick and complete recovery.
The first step involves assessment. Physical therapists great at their job would always start with evaluating your condition by asking questions that concern sustaining the injury in the very first place. Few of the most common complaints that patients come with are lower back pain, knee injuries and injuries that result from overuse of any body part. Following a proper assessment, a physiotherapist would roll down a treatment routine. This plan usually consists of passive therapy, also called modalities in the form of electrical stimulation and heat/ice packs. Having said that, the usual course of treatment is centered on ‘manual’ or active therapy that consists of exercises, stretching and massages. Manual therapy is designed to soothe the injured tissues and restore normalcy in mobility and functioning.
Listed below are 5 of the most common techniques adopted by physiotherapists that might benefit your overall health. Read on to know more:
- Manual Therapy
Primarily a mobility inducing program, this is the one that distinguishes other health practitioners from physiotherapists. Though manual therapy may involve quite a few things, the most commonly used elements include stretching, strengthening exercises and massages to bring back the body into former shape and mobility. This physiotherapy exercise should form the foundation of any treatment plan and not passive modalities.
Useful for: Any kind of injury
- Ice packs
Applying ice packs over the injured area fits in well with any treatment program. After application, ice helps to constrict the body’s blood vessels, thus reducing swelling and inflammation post injury. When used along with manual therapy, ice packs assume double the efficacy in restoring mobility. As much as it is difficult to point out the perfect protocol, applying an ice pack over the injury is one of the first things any physical therapist will usually do in order to control pain and inflammation as well as injury to the softer tissues of the body.
Useful for: Injuries that result in swelling and inflammation
- Warm compress
A warm compress can be the most effective if you are dealing with injuries that cause pain and inflammation in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Applying a warm compress relaxes and flexes the area, thus making it easy for the physiotherapist to stretch it and carry on with further intervention.
Useful for: Injuries that cause muscle tightness and spasms
NOTE: One thing you should be wary of is that ice/heat packs cannot be the stand-alone components of a treatment program; they need to be conjoined with other modes of therapy. Nevertheless, ice and warm compress generally fit in with all treatment plans.
- Lumbar Traction
The spine has to bear all the weight and can thus make recovery a long drawn process in certain circumstances. Spine traction, being a decompression therapy, can help relieve the spine of having to bear all the body weight. It can be either performed mechanically or manually. Lumbar traction stretches your spine, thereby removing pressure and decompressing the spinal discs. In manual traction, your physical therapist would apply moderate force on the body’s muscles and joints to widen the vertebral space, thus allowing decompression.
Useful for: Patients suffering from sciatica, degenerative disc disorder, herniated discs, pinched nerves, slipped discs and other conditions of the spine
While it could be common knowledge, exercises can alleviate maximum pain and keeps the body running in optimal condition. However, any exercise under the sun won’t really help; these have to be targeted and designed for muscular imbalances in order to help you move better with time. The increasingly sedentary lifestyle brings with it risks of regular injuries and their flare-ups as well. Consulting a physiotherapist is one of the wisest things you can do here. Physiotherapy along with a regular exercise routine can help you steer clear of some of the most common nagging niggles and aches.
Useful for: Staying in good physical shape and tackling regular injuries
To conclude, one can never underestimate the importance of physiotherapy in improving the over all quality of life. If you want to know more on physiotherapy, check out Portea’s Physiotherapy services