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A Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist is a healthcare professional trained to improve the movements of any part of your body which has been restricted due to some pathology like the ones due to trauma, aging, immobilization, etc. They come under conservative management modality.
On consulting one, they will get your detailed personal and medical histories, current complaints, and perform a physical examination on you along with recording your vitals and ultimately give a detailed treatment plan. The procedures done by them involve massaging, mobilization of certain joints, exercises, stimulation using electricity, cold and heat treatments, etc. They do not involve medicines or surgery as such.
With the smartphones era, it has become much easier to get guidance regarding your condition and the necessary physical management plan by consulting a physiotherapist online.
Physiotherapy is a type of alternative medicine, which treats injuries, diseases, and disorders with the help of physical methods. These physical methods include exercise, massages, manipulation, etc. Physiotherapy is done in combination with medications or surgery.
There are three types of physiotherapy:
1. Musculoskeletal or orthopedic - helps in treating conditions such as back pain, sprains, strains, arthritis, workplace and sports injuries, and posture correction.
2. Neurological - helps in treating conditions affecting the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain injuries, and multiple sclerosis.
3. Cardiothoracic - helps recover patients from cardio-respiratory disorders like asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.
Doctors who are trained in guiding the patient through various treatment options in physiotherapy are called physiotherapists. They assess the physical condition of the patient and then form a treatment plan. They retrain patients to walk, cope with crutches or wheelchairs, and help relieve muscle and joint pain. Physiotherapists also educate patients on ways to prevent injuries and to lead a healthier lifestyle.
There are various therapies available, and the physiotherapist will choose the best option for depending on your symptoms and condition. The commonly used therapies include:
Exercise - Cardiovascular training, muscle strengthening, and posture retraining.
Manual therapies - Joint and spinal mobilization, stretching, and manual resistance training.
Electrotherapy - Laser therapy, diathermy, ultrasound, and TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).
The following are some reasons and conditions that might need you to consult a physiotherapist:
- Athletes who want to know ways to prevent injuries on the field.
- Pain due to fibromyalgia or a rheumatological disorder.
- Work-related aches and pains.
- Rehabilitation after major surgery.
- Congenital conditions that limit mobility.
- Hip or knee replacements.
Along with other treatment modalities, physiotherapy helps in the treatment or management of arthritis, back pain, post-surgery, sports injuries, vertigo, neck pain, TMJ dysfunction, and chronic pain syndrome.
- Pain relief with no or reduced need for painkillers.
- Improves mobility and movement.
- Might avoid the need for surgery.
- Faster recovery from trauma or injury.
- Improves balance.
- Helps manage age-related medical conditions.
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