World Physical Therapy Day is commemorated annually on September 8. It’s a global observance day that has been celebrated since 1996. The World Confederation for Physical Therapy founded this day to honour and emphasize the hardwork of the physiotherapists, and their vital role in restoring the health of patients through various physiotherapies tailor-made to suit individual patient’s requirements.
As most of us must be aware that physiotherapy aids in healing cases related to amputations, arthritis, strains (neck, leg, hand, spine), or any kind of post-surgery recovery, the potential of this therapy is immense and highly effective. There’s a variety in its treatment approaches and modalities. On this World Physiotherapy Day, let’s familiarise ourselves with some of the common physiotherapy treatments.
6 physiotherapy treatments you should know about:
CRYOTHERAPY: This is one of the age-old physiotherapies directed towards managing several conditions. Cryotherapy comprises ice massage or ice pack application on acutely injured muscles or joints to reduce swelling and inflammation.
HEAT THERAPY: It involves application of hot pack or paraffin wax to decrease discomfort in stiff muscles, and enhance blood flow to the muscle or joint, and improve muscle and joint flexibility.
ELECTROTHERAPY: It’s an energy-based physiotherapy technique that involves electrical stimulation. The electrodes attached to the skin activate muscles, reduce pain, improve circulation, repair tissues, strengthen muscles, boost bone growth, and prevent atrophy.
MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: First explained by Andrew Taylor, this physiotherapy is carried out through light stretching and massage to release muscle tension and break up scar tissue. Fascia is the tough, membrane or connective tissue that covers or fastens body.
The application of a low load, long duration stretch into the myofascial complex aid to regain optimal strength, alleviate pain, and better the functioning of fascia surrounding muscles.
ROM (RANGE OF MOTION EXERCISES): These consists of time tested motion exercises that boost movement, facilitate joint mobility and enhance circulation. Post-surgery there might be extended periods of immobility; thereby making way for these ROM exercises that prove extremely beneficial to prevent atrophy, postural problems.
THERAPEUTIC ULTRASOUND: Known to be the latest physiotherapy technique, this treatment could be used for patients suffering from arthritis, tendonitis and muscle strain. The ultrasound vibration is given in a gentle manner targeting damaged tissue.
The frequency (that is adjusted with soft beams) is meant to stimulate the tendons, ligaments, and fascia; and then the vibrations get absorbed slowly to bring about relief.