Physiotherapy, more commonly known as physical therapy, is a kind of treatment that uses a hands-on approach to treat and correct a patient’s injuries and improve their overall physical health. Physiotherapy is one of the most successful forms of rehabilitation, especially for traumatic injuries and even illnesses. Primary health practitioners or physical therapists check outpatients to assess, diagnose, and treat their skeletal and muscular issues. They also get to address the aches and pains caused by a patient’s athletic practice, muscle overuse, and even chronic injury.
How Does Physiotherapy Work?
It may not seem like it, but many people rely on physiotherapy to help them overcome their injuries, alleviate body pains, and improve their lives by improving their health. However, while it is popular, few people know how it works. While it aims to restore the proper function of your muscles and bones, it does not only rely on the physical therapist’s instinct. Instead, it is based heavily on neuroscience, anatomy, and physiology studies.
Is it a branch of medicine? Yes. However, unlike other branches that rely heavily on surgeries and drug ingestion, physiotherapy uses movement, exercise, and of course, the ever-popular massage. It is usually applied to treat a specific injury for regular people. Athletes are a different story. They are not strangers to physical therapy—they breathe it. After all, they need to ensure that their bodies are working at 100% all the time.
This treatment focuses on restoring lost movement and function in any part of a patient’s body. It is a very popular form of treatment for work-related injuries and sports-related ones as well. Numerous studies have proven that it can help alleviate neck, back, knee, wrist, shoulders, and ankle pain. In addition, most patients often use physiotherapy to speed up post-surgery rehabilitation.
Types Of Physiotherapy Treatments
As with almost every branch of medicine, there are different physiotherapy treatments. It can be used to heal, alleviate pain, and help patients adjust to their newly treated and improved bodies. The type of treatment generally depends on the circumstance surrounding the patient. Some of the most common types of physiotherapy treatments include:
Range of Motion Exercises
Range of motion (ROM) exercises are prescribed as often as the all-time favorite—rest. Yes, rest is good for recovery. However, if you want to regain your lost range of motion because of an injury, perhaps, you would have to engage in ROM exercises. Doctors prescribe physical therapy to ensure that the extended period of immobility due to rest and recovery doesn’t thwart the healing process.
As we know, ROM exercises encourage joint mobility, promote movement, and facilitate circulation. If you move your affected joints and muscles, it should help prevent muscle atrophy.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Soft tissues mobilization, also known as therapeutic massage, helps relax a patient’s joints and muscles and reduce swelling in certain areas. This is why Soft tissue mobilization is excellent pain relief, especially for athletic injuries. It helps circulate lymph flow and blood while reducing the tissue swelling around inflamed joints.
Electrotherapy is an energy-based physiotherapy technique. This contemporary treatment uses electrical stimulation by attaching electrodes to the skin. The electrodes will, of course, cause the muscles to shorten. This should help prevent muscle and joint atrophy.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a discovery. Doctors have somehow found out how sound waves can treat physical injuries. The ultrasound frequency provides damaged tissues with gentle beams like a mini massage. The tendons, fascia and ligaments then absorb the sound waves. This treatment should be extremely helpful for tendonitis and arthritis, among others.
The Most Common Swimming Injuries
Swimming isn’t the easy sport swimmers make it out to be. It requires precise movements. This accuracy is necessary since incorrect techniques often land swimmers in physiotherapy clinics. This has happened to several competitive and recreational swimmers a lot. Even people who learned from swimming lessons don’t always get them right. Some of the most common swimming injuries swimmers usually inflict on themselves include swimmer’s shoulder, neck injury, breaststroke, swimmer’s knee, and swimmer’s ears—fortunately, these injuries (except for the latter).
How Can Physiotherapy Help Treat Swimming Injuries?
It’s not surprising that swimming injuries can cause not a little pain and discomfort. This is because some of the most common swimming injuries come from swelling, muscle cramps, stiff muscles, restricted movement, and inflammation.
Physiotherapy can greatly reduce these symptoms as well as accelerate rehabilitation. Of course, your physical therapy treatment will vary depending on the circumstances of your injury. Some treatments prevent injuries, increase range of motion, correct posture, and relieve pain.
About the Author
Nikos Vasilellis is the founder of Nereids, a team of skilled and professional swimming instructors.
By profession, he studied Bachelor of Engineering in Applied Informatics and Multimedia but his passion for the water and aquatic sports was constant. He trained as a certified beach lifeguard while studying and earned his speed boat licence and became a PADI Open Water Diver the same year. He took the AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming to become a swimming instructor. By 2015, the Nereids Aquatic Coaching was established.