Physiotherapy involves the practice of highly trained professionals who assess and treat problems with physical function that may have occurred from injury, disease, disability or other conditions.
A qualified therapist may work in a wide variety of healthcare settings including private practices, outpatient offices, rehab centres, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, sports centres, occupational settings and government agencies.
What to Expect from Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy can provide a wide range of benefits to a range of conditions. The process of physiotherapy begins at the point of initial diagnosis and will continue through restorative and preventative phases until a full recovery is reached. Physiotherapy may be recommended as a standalone treatment or as a support to another treatment plan.
Some Common Conditions Addressed by Physiotherapy
- Cardiopulmonary conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), post-myocardial infarction (MI) and cystic fibrosis (CF).
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and other hand therapies.
- Neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, vestibular dysfunction as well as traumatic brain injuries.
- Musculoskeletal dysfunction such as back pain, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) or rotator cuff tears.
- Developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy and other pediatric conditions.
- Sports-related injuries, such as tennis elbow or concussion.
- Women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary incontinence and lymphedema.
Then there are other conditions such as wound care and diabetic ulcers that can be addressed by physiotherapy.
Important Benefits of Physiotherapy
- Avoiding surgery
- Management of age-related medical problems
- Improved mobility and movement
- Improved balance
- Recovery from stroke or paralysis
- Recovery from injury or trauma
A qualified sports therapist can allow their patients to improve their strength and performance by addressing specific parts of the body and using muscles in different ways.
Types of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy can allow a patient to fully recover the use of their muscles and strength after an accident an injury or an illness. As with any treatment plan, there may be a variety of therapies involved in treating any one condition.
Orthopedic physiotherapy addresses injuries to the musculoskeletal system. This involves improving the functions of the bones, muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons. This treatment is often recommended for medical conditions like sprains, fractures, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic medical issues as well as for a complete rehabilitation and recovery from the ordeal of orthopedic surgery. Treatment methods may include a variety of joint mobilisations, strength training, manual therapy, and others.
Geriatric physiotherapy can help those who are suffering the conditions of age that reduce mobility and physical capacity. Some of these conditions include osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, in continence or balance disorder. This is also suitable for those recovering from hip and joint replacement. Physiotherapy can help to reduce discomforts and improve physical fitness through restoring mobility.
Neurological physiotherapy provides treatment to those suffering the effects of neurological disorders. Some of these conditions include Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and other types of brain injuries. These treatments will be geared towards improving limb responsiveness, treating paralysis and increasing strength by countering the effects of muscle atrophy.
Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation can help those people suffering from respiratory or cardiopulmonary conditions as well as those recovering from surgical procedures. Endurance and stamina can be improved by this type of physiotherapy.
Apart from physical manipulation methods, physiotherapy treatment may employ other methods. This might include:
- Ultrasound – this is used to promote the circulation of blood and to warm the tendons, muscles and other tissues.
- Phonophoresis – also applies ultrasound to deliver topical treatments such as topical steroids to reduce the inflammation in specific areas.
- Electrical stimulation (E-stim) – by applying topical electrodes to the skin itself, pain can be controlled and other functional capacities can also be improved. Iontophoresis is the term for anti-inflammatory medications.
- Heat, moist heat and cold therapy.
- Light therapy – lasers and specially designed lights can also be applied to treating certain conditions.
Finding a Physiotherapist
There will be a number of factors that go into finding the best physio in Exeter for your needs. This will include the insurance compatibility, geographical locations and the reasons behind your need for treatment.
Most insurance providers can provide a list of physical therapists who participate in the health plans they offer. You may also get a solid recommendation from your health provider.