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Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, almost always involves exercises customized to the patient’s situation, health condition, illness, injury, mitigate the risk and/or prevent development health problems in the future. And with that, there are a handful of different disciplines of physiotherapy for various physical and ailments.
Most of us are familiar with physiotherapy associated with spinal pain and sports injuries. But there are many types of physiotherapy and many times, therapists specialize in multiple disciplines to better equip themselves with the skills and knowledge in providing treatments for various kinds of patients, and of course, to better their chances of a successful career.
For mobilization, physiotherapists use slow and carefully measured movements to push, pull and twist bones and joints to the right position. This improves flexibility and helps the body by loosen up from tight tissues, especially around the joint.
In manipulation, physiotherapists apply pressure to the joint. They can also use special device to carefully control the force they need to use to the joint.
Some Examples of the Different Disciplines of Physiotherapy
For Pain management, physiotherapists disciplines use gentle exercises, massage treatments, magnetic therapy or even dry needling (very similar to acupuncture).
For sports therapy, therapists include specific and customized exercises to help clients perform better in their sport, both physically and skill wise. Also, sports physiotherapy helps in recovery, along with various techniques to improve athlete’s performance and avoid injury, such as application of kinesiology tape, as well as treatment and rehab for post injury/surgery and help athletes get back and play their sport.
Musculoskeletal therapy on the other hand, revolves around teaching the body, including each muscle, skeletal elements, ligaments and joints to work well together and make sure the body works in optimum performance. So many injuries arise from weak musculoskeletal system. That is why physiotherapists recommend certain exercises, soft tissue treatment such as massage, acupuncture, and joint mobilization for better function.
Post natal therapy is for women recovering from pregnancy. It is important that mothers can get back to their feet after giving birth, so they can feel strong, confident, ready and able to take care of their baby. Also, this helps new mothers to feel good and confident about themselves.
Education in Various Disciplines
Physiotherapy disciplines may differ in their theory and applications, but they all have common education and training for:
- Helping patients perform daily tasks safely
- Teach patients to protect their joints and avoid re-injury
- Use assistive devices like wheelchair and crutches
- Encourage patients to do home exercises and stretching to help with the condition or injury
- Make patient’s home safe
Physiotherapy Disciplines for Specialized Treatments
Different types of physiotherapy deliver different types of treatments for different types of physical conditions and illnesses.
Therapies may include the use of devices such as flutter to help keep the patient’s airways open, allowing them to breathe easily.
It also includes customized exercises for the patient.
For children with physical birth defects and growth issues, there is pediatric physiotherapy disciplines. This type of therapy also includes exercises tailor-made for the child’s condition, and consist stretches to balance and normalize their movements as they grow up.