Physiotherapy or physical therapy uses different techniques to improve movement, relieve pain, encourage blood flow for faster healing, and restore your physical function, mobility and fitness level. The main aim of physical therapy is to make your daily activities, such as walking, getting in and out of bed or climbing stairs, easier. Also, Melbourne Arthritis is a comprehensive sport injury centre which by using new technologies helps athletes to recover sooner and return to sport within shorter period of time.
Physiotherapy is usually ordered to help you recover earlier after certain surgeries, injuries and long-term health problems such as arthritis; and achieve your realistic goals.
A physiotherapist will examine your symptoms and daily activities, and make a treatment plan, which primarily focuses on reducing your pain, stiffness and swelling. Different procedures will be used by your therapist depend on your specific physical ailment.
Physiotherapy involves a combination of different procedures such as manual therapy, a tailored exercise plan, electrotherapy, heat or cold modalities and education.
Some of the procedures commonly used are:
- Stretching exercises: Surgery, age and conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, can cause inflammation and stiffness in your joints and muscles, and restrict your movement. Physiotherapists guide you step by step to stretch certain areas of your body in order to restore flexibility, and enhance the movement of joints and muscles.
- Core strengthening and stability exercises: Specific exercises are designed to make the core (pelvis and lower back) strong enough to support the whole body.
- Manual therapy: Applying joint mobilization, which is a type of passive movement on a joint by physiotherapist, can decrease the pain and increase range of movement in a joint. Also, a soft tissue or deep tissue massage may be applied on involved area.
- Ice and heat: Applying heat or cold treatment on muscles can stimulate the blood flow and reduce swelling, joint pain and spasm in the lower back and neck, and loosen muscles. Cooling works best for ankle sprains.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound sends high frequency sound waves over your body and stimulates deep body tissues. Vibrations produced by sound waves help to stimulate blood flow and facilitate the healing process. This procedure can also be used to improve metabolism and enhance the adhesiveness of bones after a fracture.
- Low-level laser: this photobiostimulation improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation and stiffness and bio stimulates the body’s cells, which then kick starts the healing process.
- Electrostimulation: In this procedure, an electric current is passed through the area which requires treatment. This helps in relieving pain and stimulating muscles and nerves.
These treatments may cause mild soreness for a day. You can talk to your therapist in case it is prolonged.