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  • Writer's pictureMR Waridah

Everything You Need to Know About Physiotherapy


Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy is an integral part of the management of chronic or acute pain resulting from soft tissue, cartilage and bone injuries. In addition, some patients whose physical endurance is not satisfactory for certain healing procedures require the assistance of a physiotherapist. The purpose of writing this article is to discuss things you should know about physiotherapy.


DEFINITIONS OF PHYSIOTHERAPY

Physiotherapy means a system of medicine which includes examination, diagnosis, treatment, advice and guidance to anyone who is preparing for or for the purpose of or in connection with movement dysfunction, bodily damage, physical impairment and disability. Exercise, mobilization, manipulation, activity & mechanical devices and electrotherapy or medication are part of physiotherapy treatment (Iftikhar, et al., 2020). A professionally trained person who administers physiotherapy treatment is known as a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when a person is injured, ill or disabled. Physiotherapy can also help reduce the risk of future injury or illness. There is a need for a holistic approach that involves patients directly in their own care (NHS UK, 2022).


TYPES OF PHYSIOTHERAPY AND THE ROLES OF THE PHYSIOTHERAPIST

The role of the physiotherapist depends on the type of physiotherapy. According to Sarla (2020), the roles of a physiotherapist based on its type are:

  1. Orthopaedic or Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy: treats injuries and conditions involving the skeleton (bones), muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.

  2. Chest Physiotherapy: is an airway clearance technique performed by physiotherapists and respiratory therapists, in which breathing is enhanced by postural drainage, chest percussion, chest vibration, turning the patient over, deep breathing exercises, and cough induction so that the expulsion of mucus from the patient's airways is facilitated.

  3. Geriatric Physiotherapy: is a branch of medicine that studies rehabilitation and physical therapy problems in the elderly. Although physiotherapy cannot stop aging, it can certainly help reduce the impact and adverse effects of aging. Physiotherapy in the elderly helps improve muscle strengthening, balance, coordination and prevent restrictions on joint mobility. Thus geriatric physiotherapy improves the quality of life in elderly personnel.

  4. Child Physiotherapy: helping children achieve optimal physical development. Child Physiotherapists promote the health and well-being of children and have additional knowledge and experience about child development and childhood disabilities. They encourage movement and balance. Physiotherapy helps children with cerebral palsy to live independently by using mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and walking aids. Stretching and range of motion exercises relieve symptoms of contractures, a painful condition caused by the spasticity of cerebral palsy.

  5. Sports Physiotherapy: treats sports-related injuries and problems. Sports injuries are different from other injuries. Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from broken bones, joint dislocations, sprains or strains. Athletes usually require high levels of performance so high demands are placed on their bodies, which stress their muscles, joints and bones to the limit.


PHYSIOTHERAPY PROCEDURES

Physiotherapy involves a number of treatments and different approaches and precautions, depending on the specific problem being experienced. Three approaches that are usually applied in physiotherapy include education and advice, movement and training, and manual therapy (NHS UK, 2022).


Education and advice

One of the main aspects of physiotherapy involves looking at the body as a whole, rather than focusing on the injured part. Therefore, providing general advice on how to improve well-being, for example by engaging in regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight for your height and body shape is an important part of treatment. A physiotherapist can also provide specific advice that can be applied to daily activities to take care of yourself and reduce the risk of pain or injury. For example, if a person has back pain, a physiotherapist may give advice on good posture, proper lifting or carrying techniques, and avoiding twisting movements or standing for too long.


Movements and exercises

Physiotherapists usually recommend movement and exercise to help improve your mobility and function. The example is:

  • Exercises designed to increase movement and strength in a specific part of the body (usually needing to be repeated regularly for a certain period of time).

  • Activities that involve moving the whole body, such as walking or swimming.

  • Exercises performed in warm, shallow water (hydrotherapy or water therapy). Water can help relax and support muscles and joints, as well as provide resistance to help you gradually get stronger.

  • Advice and exercises to help increase or maintain physical activity (advice will be given on the importance of staying active, and how to do it in a safe and effective way).

  • Advice on using mobility aids, such as crutches or canes to help with movement.

The physiotherapist may also recommend exercises that you can continue to do to help you manage your pain in the long term or reduce your risk of re-injury.


Manual therapy

Manual therapy is a technique in which physiotherapists use their hands to manipulate, mobilize and massage body tissues. Manual therapy can:

  • Relieve pain and stiffness

  • Improve circulation

  • Help fluids flow more efficiently from body parts

  • Increase movement of various parts of the body

  • Increase relaxation

Manual therapy can be used to treat specific problems, such as back pain, but it can also be useful for conditions that don't affect the bones, joints, or muscles. For example, massage may improve the quality of life for some people with serious or long-term conditions by reducing anxiety levels and improving sleep. Manual techniques are also used to help certain lung conditions.


CONCLUSION

Physiotherapy means a system of medicine which includes examination, diagnosis, treatment, advice and guidance to anyone who is preparing for or for the purpose of or in connection with movement dysfunction, bodily damage, physical impairment and disability. Examples of physiotherapy therapy activities include exercise, mobilization, manipulation, activities & use of mechanical devices and electrotherapy or medication. There are 5 types of physiotherapy, namely: musculoskeletal physiotherapy, chest physiotherapy, geriatric physiotherapy, paediatric physiotherapy, and sports physiotherapy. There are 3 approaches to physiotherapy procedures, including education and advice, movement and training, and manual therapy.

 
REFERENCES

Iftikhar, S., et al. (2020). Physiotherapy as a Modality of Treatment. Narayana Medical Journal. Retrieved from

http://www.pmuhealth.gop.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/physiotherapy-Manual-guidelines.pdf

NHS UK. (2022). Techniques-Physiotherapy. NHS UK. Retrieved from

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/physiotherapy/how-it-works/

NHS UK. (2022). Overview Physiotherapy. NHS UK. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/physiotherapy/

Sarla, G. S. (2020). Physiotherapy as a Modality of Treatment. Narayana Medical Journal. Retrieved from

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341812476_Physiotherapy_Modalities_and_patient_profile

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