Physiotherapy is a health care profession which assists people to restore, maintain and maximize their strength, function, movement, and overall well-being. The terms "physiotherapy" and "physical therapy" mean the same thing and are used interchangeably, as are the terms “physiotherapist” and “physical therapist”.
Physiotherapists have in-depth knowledge of how the body works and specialized hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose, and treat symptoms of illness, injury and disability. Physiotherapy includes rehabilitation, as well as prevention of injury, and promotion of health and fitness. Physiotherapists often work in teams with other health professionals to help meet an individual's health care needs.
Remedial massage therapy is often used as a treatment method in physiotherapy consultations, but it also acts as a standalone therapy. Remedial massage is used to treat a number of conditions. It aids relaxation and can be used to treat back pain, prepare the body for a sporting event, improve circulation, release tension in stiff and sore muscles and help repair soft tissue damage.
There are several different types of massage used in physiotherapy treatment. If your physiotherapist recommends massage therapy, it’s likely they are talking about remedial massage. This kind of massage is used to break down adhesions and fibrous knots which are caused by overuse or injury and restrict muscle movement and function. With techniques including trigger point and myofascial therapy, remedial massage is ideal to get your muscles going again. Pressure is applied to the muscle and soft tissue of the spine or limbs, and can range from gentle to very firm.
Other massage therapies – including relaxation massage, sports massage, lymphatic drainage, or trigger point therapy – draw on other techniques that might be more useful in treating your condition. Your therapist can advise you on which therapy is right for you.
Passive Mobilization is a manual technique used by physios in order to improve the mobility and function of your soft tissues, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments
Passive techniques are used in the first phase of physiotherapy when the pain is still significantly felt by an individual. When a person is recovering from knee surgery, not only is he still in discomfort, but his muscles are too weak to move freely. Passive treatment is meant to work the joints, tissues and muscles to a state where they can handle exertion. The point is to help patients manage the pain until it is possible to engage in active physiotherapy. Passive exercises are also ideal for reducing muscle spasms in the case of a patient with neurological damage, and this part of the healing process is paramount as it allows the body to readjust without too much pressure.
Our physios are experts when it comes to the body’s musculoskeletal system and will use mobilisation as part of their treatment, if appropriate for your condition.
Active physiotherapy comes after when the muscles and joints can move with minimal discomfort. The function of these exercises is to increase the affected limb’s range of motion, depending on the extent of the injury. Some of the activities include walking, stretching, manual therapy, cycling, and aerobics. Active exercises are very effective in treating physical injuries when properly carried out and managed. They help in restoring joint mobility and increasing muscle strength, making it easy to control movement.
Electrotherapy is the science of using electrical stimulation to treat injuries and illnesses, such as to improve circulation, reduce pain, strengthen muscles, repair tissues, and promote bone growth, leading to improvements in physical functioning.
Electrotherapy, as TENS, ultrasound or shockwave therapy, is a method which usually employs electrical energy mainly to speed the healing process after surgery, to reduce the pain, and to stimulate muscle contractions. Basically, it triggers the release of natural painkillers in the body.
Physiotherapy services can be used at all ages and at all stages of disease, from early diagnosis, through chronic illness, to acute episodes and care at the terminal stage. As such, physiotherapists have a clear and specific role in most clinical care pathways. The physiotherapist’s role in patient care includes assessment, advice, education and hands-on intervention. Traditionally, respiratory physiotherapists aid the mobilisation and removal of secretions. However, this is only one of the many problems physiotherapists can address. They aim to:
maintain or improve exercise tolerance
improve functional abilities (i.e. carrying out daily tasks)
maintain and improve physical activity, coaching patients toward improving healthy behaviour
reduce breathlessness and the work of breathing
improve the efficiency of ventilation
support weaning from mechanical ventilation and set up noninvasive mechanical ventilation
mobilise and aid the expectoration of secretions (coughing up of mucus)
improve knowledge and understanding
reduce (thoracic) pain
Cardiac rehabilitation doesn’t change your past, but it can help you improve your heart’s future.
Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program designed to improve your cardiovascular health if you have experienced heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty or heart surgery. Cardiac rehab has three equally important parts:
Exercise counseling and training: Exercise gets your heart pumping and your entire cardiovascular system working. You’ll learn how to get your body moving in ways that promote heart health.
Education for heart-healthy living: A key element of cardiac rehab is educating yourself: How can you manage your risk factors? Quit smoking? Make heart-healthy nutrition choices?
Counseling to reduce stress: Stress hurts your heart. This part of cardiac rehab helps you identify and tackle everyday sources of stress.