Physiotherapy or Physio can help with a wide range of injuries and conditions including back and neck pain, repetitive strain injuries, joint pain and arthritis, muscle injuries, post surgery rehabilitation, and sports injuries. It can be used for rehabilitation either after surgery or to recover from an injury or strain.
Physiotherapists will typically use a combination of manual therapy and exercise to treat injuries. There are other treatments and services available such as Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Therapeutic Ultrasound, Pilates – we also have gyms and gym equipment, which can facilitate rehabilitation, in many of our hospitals.
Manual therapy includes massage, stretching and manipulative techniques to improve the range of joint movement and reduce pain. It can also reduce swelling, mobilise muscles, joints and nerves, and promote blood circulation to improve healing. Physiotherapists will feel injured or swollen tissues during movement analysis, to examine how your muscles, tendons and joints are moving and working together and to see whether a muscle is in spasm.
Exercise forms an important part of physiotherapy. The aim is to increase mobility, muscle strength, and general fitness, build core stability, and reduce symptoms.
Regular, moderate exercise can help many of the conditions that physiotherapists can treat. Your physio will probably give you a tailored programme of exercises to strengthen particular groups of muscles, or may recommend particular classes such as Pilates.
The purpose-built physio-gyms at our hospitals let our physiotherapists work with you to provide expert advice and develop an exercise programme which meets your specific needs.
Services include personal training, customised rehabilitation and staff can provide Pilates instruction and core training.
Traction essentially means steady pulling. It can be helpful in relieving pain in the neck or lower back. Traction is also used in medicine to straighten and align broken bones that are too difficult to align with a plaster cast. It is often necessary when treating fractures of the shaft of the thighbone and fractures of the spine.
Electrotherapy is the use of electrical energy to manage pain, rehabilitate muscles and increase the range of motion. TENS is a form of electrotherapy that uses surface electrodes to stimulate nerve fibres, primarily for pain relief. Another form of electrotherapy is called biofeedback (available only at certain hospitals).
Equipment is used to reveal internal physiological events. This feedback is then used by the physio to train the patient in how to better control their movements to minimise pain.
Ultrasound can be used therapeutically within the physiotherapy session. Ultrasound is very high frequency sound that cannot be heard by the human ear, but can be detected using a machine called an ultrasound scanner.
It is mainly used for soft tissue injuries and more chronic conditions, with a view to promoting healing and relieving pain. It can also be used as a diagnostic tool to look at soft tissue structures and blood vessels.