Many people consider healthy livelihood as a good way of living. It is said that physiotherapy is important in this aspect.
Physiotherapy helps people with situations whereby their movement and functions are vulnerable due to the process of ageing, injury or being infected by a disease. This method of healing uses non-surgical methods in the treatment and/or management of numerous and physical conditions such as strokes, back pains, heart disorders, asthma and lifestyle conditions.
Physiotherapy comes a long way and its advancement to the present day owes much to research based practice.
“Physiotherapy offers holistic and patient-centred treatment and management to a whole range of conditions. It addresses both health and well-being aspects of an individual,” said Oakantse Makabanyane a physiotherapist at Zeta Clinic.
The benefits of physiotherapy include improved joint mobility, better sleep and enriched quality of life. It also prevents lifestyle related conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure through physical exercises and healthy living education.
With every health profession, side effects are bound to emerge perhaps once in a while depending on the individual that is being treated for a particular condition. “Physiotherapy treatment techniques and modalities are generally very safe with little to non-existent side effects. All the treatment modalities used (at least by qualified physiotherapist) are well evidence based (researched) with known outcomes. However, due to the nature and/or the administration of certain treatment modalities some side effects can be experienced by patients,” highlighted Makabanyane.
Side effects may be increased or exacerbation of symptoms, minimal skin burns and allergic reactions. Side effects can be avoided if and when conscientiousness is put into effect.
The universally practiced methods (electrical) include Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Therapeutic Ultrasound and Interferential Therapy. Physiotherapy techniques comprise of hands-on physiotherapy techniques (which might be a massage or joint mobilisation), neurodynamics, therapeutic exercises, acupuncture and dry needling, sport physiotherapy and therapeutic massage.
“Manual therapy is a group of techniques used in physiotherapy for the treatment and management of patients with mainly musculoskeletal problems,” noted Makabanyane.
Examples of manual therapy involve joint mobilisation, spinal manipulations, traction techniques and therapeutic massage.
“A physiotherapist decides on the manual therapy technique to execute based on the assessment and nature of the condition under treatment,” says Makabanyane.
The duration of a physiotherapy session depends on the physiotherapy setting. For instance, in an outpatient department or private clinic setting it lasts about 30 minutes.
“With today’s lifestyle and tendencies, physiotherapy is viewed as essential. Whether one works in an office or is an athlete, a visit to a physiotherapist is predestined. The beneficiaries vary from children with cerebral palsy, early developmental problems, athletes (sports injuries), lifestyle problems/diseases (stroke, backache) and even patients in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).