What do physiotherapists actually do?
In the field of health and medicine, there are many types of physicians and specialists. It can be hard to understand exactly what each one does and even harder to find the exact professional help for your specific ailment.
One such specialty is physiotherapy. More popular among sporting communities, physiotherapy deals with conditions such as sprains, back pain, arthritis, strains, incontinence, bursitis, posture problems, sport and workplace injuries and reduced mobility, says the Health Times.
If your ailment is muscle related, you may need a physiotherapist.
What does a physiotherapist do?
When you visit a physiotherapist, expect an assessment of your medical history in the first session, so that he/she can tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs. There will also be a physical examination.
Physiotherapists do not only work with people after they have injured themselves, but work in many fields of specialty. Companies, which have staff that do lots of physical labour, usually have an in-house physiotherapist on site for consultations on how to properly perform tasks with the least risk of injury and treat patients when accidents do occur.
There are several types of physiotherapists available, including cardiopulmonary physiotherapists, clinical electro physiotherapists, geriatric physiotherapists, neurological physiotherapists, orthopaedic physiotherapists, pediatric physiotherapists, sport physiotherapists and women’s health physiotherapists. Most have a mission to educate clients, their families and the general community on how to prevent common musculoskeletal injuries so they can lead healthy lifestyles.
Some of the treatments that physiotherapists use are:
Massage to ease soft tissue pain
Mobilisation or manipulation of joints
Exercises to strengthen weak areas
Teaching trauma patients to walk again and to use related equipment such as walking frames, splints, crutches and wheelchairs
Cold to reduce inflammation
Heat to increase circulation
Ultrasound therapy to ease muscle spasms
Electrical stimulation to help muscles contract, when they cannot do so effectively on their own
Planning and implementing community physiotherapy/fitness programmes