Physiotherapy has long been used to cure ailments that affect the nervous system. This treatment can also help prevent further pain and injury in the future.
One of the most common physiotherapy techniques involves managing inflammation through heat and cold therapy. Alternating between heat and ice packs helps increase blood flow and relax tight muscles.
Manual therapy is a hands-on treatment approach used to improve musculoskeletal pain and joint/soft tissue stiffness that decreases function. It involves skilled hand movements along with passive joint movements based on your physical therapist’s clinical reasoning to achieve the desired result.
Examples of manual techniques include trigger point therapy which uses pressure to break up painful sections of muscle fiber called trigger points that create knots in your muscles, and soft tissue mobilization which stretches & moves your joints to improve mobility. Dry needling is another form of manual therapy that looks a lot like acupuncture, but instead of using needles it uses thin needles inserted into your skin to short-circuit pain patterns and relieve pain.
Other techniques include joint mobilization that moves your joint by applying pressure to loosen the stiffness and improve your range of motion, and strain counterstrain which reduces spasms in the tendons, ligaments & muscles to improve mobility. Your therapist will monitor your tolerance to any technique and only use it to the extent that you can tolerate it.
Water therapy (or hydrotherapy) is a treatment for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. It can be used to increase strength, build muscles and reduce pain for those with musculoskeletal problems.
Buoyancy in water helps reduce pain by reducing the weight on joints and increasing flexibility. It can also help reduce arthritic pain, back/ankle/spine pain and decrease inflammation. It is particularly beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, as it improves the mood and can relieve pain by decreasing oxidative stress.
Warm water helps to increase blood flow, which can boost oxygenation and improve the transport of waste products in the body. This helps to reduce the risk of falls, as well as making patients more comfortable. This makes them more likely to participate in their physiotherapy sessions, which can speed up the recovery process. The warm water also makes the patient more hydrated, which is good for their overall health and wellbeing. It may also lead to a greater level of satisfaction with their physiotherapy treatment, meaning they are more likely to attend regular appointments and stick with it.
Cold therapy decreases swelling by decreasing blood flow to the injury site. The cooling effect may also distract the brain from any pain signals coming from that region (the pain gate theory).
When applied to the injury site, a cold compress causes the blood vessels to contract and reduce circulation. This allows the injured tissue to soak up healing nutrients and reducing inflammation. Then when the cold is removed, the blood vessels expand and increase the flow of oxygen and nutrient rich fluids to the injury site.
This is the basic idea behind the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) for treating a sprain, strain or other injury. You can use a cold pack or just a cold shower for this purpose. Often alternating hot and cold can help too, as this will increase blood flow to the injury site. This helps with pain relief and easing of stiffness. However, applying cold for too long can cause skin or tissue damage so always avoid this if possible. If you are unsure about whether to use hot or cold, talk with Powerhouse Physio.
Women’s health physiotherapy encompasses treatment for conditions such as bladder and bowel dysfunction, pelvic/vaginal pain, vulvovaginal dyspareunia, musculoskeletal issues pre and post pregnancy, gynaecological surgery and around menopausal age. Physiotherapists who specialize in this area of physiotherapy are skilled in helping their patients overcome the many challenges that females face throughout life.
Women found that a key benefit of a specialized women’s health physiotherapy program was the ability to perform activities without pain. Moreover, the treatment helped them to feel less dependent on pain medication.
It is vital for physio Dickson to have awareness of gendered social constructions and the ways in which they influence the body and health. This requires a shift away from a focus on the ‘physical’ body that is driven by biomedical assumptions and toward understanding that the body is tied to a lived experience of gender. This approach may be useful for physiotherapists to consider when designing interventions. The ICF model provides a framework for this. Personal factors include sex, age, ethnicity, habits and coping strategies, while environmental factors are the broader social, attitudinal and cultural contexts.
Pain is an unpleasant feeling, and the most common reason people visit a doctor. It is usually a signal that something is wrong and can be very stressful. It may feel like a prick, sting, throb, or burn. People experience different levels of pain and it is important to talk about how much it affects you with your doctor or nurse.
Effective pain management uses a variety of approaches, therapies, and treatments to reduce pain. The goal is to increase function so that you can enjoy life. Some of the benefits include less stress, better sleep, and a healthier lifestyle. Pain management includes a combination of medication, physical therapy, alternative treatments and counseling.
Your physical therapist will evaluate your pain and find the best treatment options for you. Unlike medications, physical therapy gets to the root of the problem and can provide long-term relief. Your provider may also prescribe exercises to improve strength, mobility and mood. These may include a walking program, yoga, Pilates or tai chi. These exercises help to manage chronic pain, improve posture and strengthen muscles. They also increase range of motion and promote healing.