Physical therapy -- otherwise referred to as physiotherapy -- is a branch of healthcare focused on the treatment and prevention of injuries, disorders and diseases through targeted physical movement. Physiotherapists work directly with patients to develop treatment plans that address their unique needs. Therapists' efforts allow patients to avoid invasive surgery and other problematic treatment approaches.
Conditions Treated Through Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can be used to diagnose and treat a wide array of diseases and conditions. Depending on the nature of the injury, up to three distinctive rehabilitative phases may be used to address the patient's specific needs during various stages of recovery.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common in today's office-based society, with physiotherapy typically recommended as a preferable alternative to surgery. Ankle sprains and strains can also be treated with the help of physiotherapy, especially as the patient moves from a boot or cast to normal movement. Other common injuries addressed by physical therapy include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis elbow
- Achilles tendonitis
- Herniated discs
- Swimmer's shoulder/ Little Leaguers shoulder
In addition to the aforementioned injuries, physical therapy is often used to address long-term illnesses and disabilities, including osteoporosis, Bell's palsy and arthritis. For these and other problematic conditions, physiotherapy serves as one integral part of a well-rounded management plan.
Physiotherapy And Prevention
Physiotherapy is used to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, but it can also prevent such issues from occurring in the first place. While consulting with new patients, Dr. Brett learns about their family background and daily activities, from there determining the type of injuries for which they may be at risk. Once these potential injuries have been highlighted, Dr. Brett can recommend exercises and stretches designed to balance out the patient's strength and minimize excessive strain on any one part of the body. In the aftermath of an injury, these preventative measures can also be used to reduce the risk of a repeat injury.
Physical Therapy And Strength Coaching
Strength coaching is a huge trend in the fitness industry, with sports and exercise enthusiasts seeking the assistance of strength and conditioning experts in hopes of improving their athletic performance. Although physical therapy and strength coaching share an emphasis on movement and injury prevention, strength coaching places more of a focus on the athletic side of prevention and rehabilitation. Physical therapy treatments, however, are not targeted specifically at athletes. Elements of physiotherapy and strength coaching can be combined to great effect, which is why many patients prefer to work with professionals well versed in both practices.