Last updated on February 18, 2019
Physiotherapy, which is more commonly referred to as physical therapy, is the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of injuries, pain and certain diseases through physical means. This therapy is performed by a physiotherapist or physical therapist, who receives specialized training and education at the college level as well as continuing education to learn the latest skills and techniques to assist people in their treatment and recovery. Treatment and recovery with physical therapy can encompass a variety of methods, which may include massage, heat, exercises and assistive devices such as braces or crutches. There are many reasons why a person recovering from an injury may wish to use physical therapy as a means of treatment and healing.
Why Turn to Physiotherapy for an Injury
Physiotherapy begins with a comprehensive medical examination and history of the circumstances around the injury. The therapist may also request certain diagnostic tests to aid in the treatment and recovery plan. Once the physiotherapist has sufficient information, he or she will work together with the patient to formulate a complete plan for recovery from the injury. Treatment plans are unique for each individual and often employ a variety of physiotherapeutic treatment methods. These methods may change or evolve as the recovery from the injury progresses.
The Types of Physiotherapeutic Treatments for Injury Recovery
Depending on the type, location and severity of an injury as well as the patient’s overall health, most physical therapists begin the recovery process by helping the injured muscles relax. Massage and the application of heat or cold are the most common means of muscle relaxation for physical therapy. Once the injured muscles are no longer tense and constricted, the therapist may use electricity to stimulate the muscles, but care is taken to ensure no further injury takes place. Therapists also teach patients how to properly use assistive devices as they recover. A final yet highly important aspect of physiotherapeutic treatment is patient education so that the patient can learn how to prevent further injuries.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Injury Recovery
Physical therapy helps in the restoration of strength, flexibility and endurance for people who have experienced an injury. Physiotherapeutic treatments work in conjunction with other forms of medical treatment for injuries and can shorten the recovery time for many individuals. Patients can participate in physical therapy on a daily basis and learn how to better care for themselves throughout the recovery process.