The 5 Most Effective Physical Therapy Techniques

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a practice that is always evolving in response to new knowledge. Physiotherapy was originally thought to be most helpful for the elderly, people recovering from surgery, or people with severe musculoskeletal problems. Today physios work with people of all ages, offering treatment for a wide spectrum of health issues. This includes sports injuries, pain and injury prevention, musculoskeletal conditions, and chronic ailments like diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, and stroke. The cutting-edge methods of physical therapy available today can help everyone from people with a disability to professional athletes.

We’ve broken down the five most effective treatments that many people aren’t aware of but might probably benefit from to assist you in better grasping the range of treatment alternatives in the market.

1. Range of Motion (ROM) Exercise

We can move because of the amazing network of muscles, joints, nerves, and connective tissues that make up the human body. Exercises involving range of motion (ROM) help restore function to any body parts that have been hampered by disease or injury.

Physiotherapists are frequently the ones who watch over or help patients throughout their prescribed regimen. Physical therapists recommend ROM exercises depending on their patient’s circumstances and recovery goals. There are several kinds of range-of-motion exercises, which are often categorised into three groups:

The physical therapist moves the injured body part during passive range of motion exercises without the patient having to exert any effort. These methods, which are frequently applied in the early phases of recuperation, can help to loosen up tense muscles and joints that have become immobile as a result of surgery, paralysis, or other conditions.

Patients doing active-assist range of motion exercises must exert greater effort, and a PTA or physical therapist will be there to assist them in performing the motions appropriately. To help with stretches or guided motions that restore mobility to the afflicted area, straps or bands are frequently employed in these exercises.

Apart from coaching on posture and proper form for each movement, a physical therapist can help patients perform active range of motion exercises on their own.

It’s crucial to talk with patients to learn about their experiences and how their bodies react when recovering mobility to an injured area and to prevent moving too quickly too soon.

Physical therapists are trained in the safe execution and supervision of range-of-motion exercises, so they don’t put patients through undue discomfort or jeopardise their progress.

2. Rehabilitation Activities

Range of motion exercises are usually used to restore mobility; on the other hand, therapeutic exercises are used to enhance strength or improve conditioning in various body areas. Because therapeutic exercises are so successful at reducing pain and restoring function, that they are frequently prescribed on their own, even though they are frequently used as a follow-up to ROM exercises as recovery advances.

Resistance is a common component of therapeutic exercises, whether it comes from elastic bands, free weights, or the patient’s body weight. Whether a patient is recovering from a neurological illness or a sports injury, these exercises help them maintain their progress and gain better control over their bodies by targeting particular muscles and improving specific motions.

3. Training in Proprioception and Balance

In reasonably good health, it’s simple to underestimate the importance of body awareness. But going about daily life and completing chores can become very difficult, or even dangerous, for people with a range of diseases that impair their sense of balance or spatial orientation.

Our ability to perceive our surroundings allows us to perform tasks like reaching up and taking items off high shelves or descending stairs without looking down at our feet. Exercise for balance can enhance day-to-day functioning, lessen the chance of falling, and strengthen the lower body after an injury. Individuals with nerve injury or partial paralysis may benefit from proprioception training to enhance their sensory or motor abilities.

Patient Instruction and Exercise Programs at Home

Maintaining treatment at home is necessary for many physical therapy patients to keep on track with their rehabilitation. A successful recovery depends on home workouts because most patients receive only a few hours of supervised therapy each month.

Physical therapists show patients how to do at-home exercises correctly and emphasise to them the value of consistency. PTAs can also demonstrate to their patients how to conduct exercises using everyday household objects instead of specialised equipment, or how to use equipment like resistance bands that are provided by the clinic.

PTAs and physical therapists provide broad exercise routines to support overall wellness in addition to helping patients through activities to cure particular problems. One of the best ways to lower the risk of disease or injury is to be active, and PTAs assist patients in reaching an activity level that is suitable for their circumstances and general health.

4. Heat and Cold Therapy

The natural reaction of our bodies to temperature changes is harnessed by heat and cold therapy to produce the intended therapeutic outcome. Heat therapy, sometimes referred to as thermotherapy, helps promote flexibility, reduce muscle spasms, and increase blood flow. Cryotherapy, another name for cold therapy, is a popular method for treating pain and reducing inflammation.

For all kinds of musculoskeletal ailments, thermotherapy and cryotherapy are among the most widely used therapeutic approaches. PTAs frequently combine the two on the same patient within a single session. For instance, applying heat packs before exercise can assist a joint become more flexible, and using an ice pack afterward can help minimise swelling.

5. Techniques for Taping and Strapping

Injured body parts frequently require additional assistance during all phases of rehabilitation to heal properly (or function better during physical exercise). For a range of therapeutic goals, physical therapist assistants—especially those who work with sports or active people—use taping and strapping procedures.

The terms strapping and taping are frequently used synonymously. More precisely, strapping is applied with stiff athletic tape and is typically used to restrict the range of motion and avoid re- harm (in the case of a recovering ankle injury or dislocated finger, for example). Much more flexible, kinesio tape is frequently used to help with posture or movement pattern correction, as well as to enhance muscle function.

Our physiotherapists are qualified and experienced with the latest and most effective physio treatments. Don’t put off that nagging pain that has been bothering you for a while, talk to our physios today, call 02 8808 4000.