A physiotherapist is an expert in physical therapy, rehabilitation, posture, and movement. They help prevent, remedy, or reduce your physical complaints and ensure that you can move optimally again.
Physiotherapy is a treatment method for complaints of your muscles, ligaments, joints, and nerves. This is also called your musculoskeletal system. A physiotherapist can reduce pain and make the body function better through various treatments, exercises, or the application of certain assistive devices, such as tape.
Your first visit to the physiotherapist often comes because of a referral from your doctor, but this does not mean you can’t go see the physiotherapist directly.
How is Physiotherapy done?
During an OT&P physiotherapist session, our physiotherapist will examine you and ask questions about your lifestyle habits and medical history to gain a full picture of your situation before creating a bespoke physiotherapy solution. The OT&P physiotherapist will develop the treatments with you so that it is tailor-made to your lifestyle and musculoskeletal issue.
Every person is different, so every complaint or injury impacts their body differently. The number of physiotherapy sessions depends on the severity of your condition and what your goals are.
OT&P physiotherapists focus on treating complaints so that they are prevented from recurring or causing issues elsewhere in the body. A physiotherapy treatment normally takes 45-60 minutes depending on the situation.
During a physiotherapy treatment, you could have a combination of treatment in the physiotherapist’s consultation room and treatment in the gym. What your physiotherapist will use will depend entirely on your situation. For example, in the early stages of recovering from a surgery, they will likely be working on small movements in the consultation room before progressing to resistance exercises in the gym.
What are the different types of physiotherapy treatment?
Physiotherapy for Pain Relief
Scientific studies show that physical therapy treatments are very successful in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Targeted techniques (e.g. exercises, grips) act on the muscles, tendons, fascia and connective tissue in such a way to relieve patients of pain.
The most typical issues in Hong Kong are neck and back pain:
- Neck Pain: About 2 in 3 people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Usually, there is no obvious cause, and the pain is gone within a few weeks. For 1 in 7 people, the neck pain lasts longer than 6 months. This is known as chronic neck pain. Pain in the neck is normally because of a pulled muscle or tension.
- Back Pain: Most of the time, patients experience back pain from an innocuous event. Fortunately, the condition is treatable with professional care and assistance. The key is to recognise the situation promptly and intervene early once diagnosed.
Sports physiotherapy is a special discipline within physiotherapy. The number of sports injuries has increased in recent years due to the increased practice of mass and leisure sports. You don’t need to be an elite athlete to see a sports physiotherapist. A sports physiotherapist will provide advice and movement corrections, as well as rehabilitation and training interventions to prevent injuries with the ultimate goal of restoring optimal function and performance. A sports physiotherapist will often work closely with sports medicine doctors.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy
Women and men have different physiological characteristics which result in vastly different healthcare needs. Women’s health physiotherapists will understand the differences and tailor their treatment accordingly. Physiological processes that are particularly unique to women include:
Historically, physiotherapists could only treat women's problems, such as back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Today, the field of women’s health physiotherapy continues to develop to the extent that it can now treat disorders of the pelvic floor, vagina, bladder, and bowel.
Post-operative physiotherapy starts immediately after an operation. It is used, for example, to prevent the joint from stiffening after joint operations. The immediate postoperative sessions do not require much physical exertion, but primarily serve to promote mobility. Once scars are healed and mobility is improving, it is important to start working on strength to ensure the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the specified area can protect you from further issues.
The aim of children's physiotherapy is to reduce or avoid functional disorders of the musculoskeletal system, to maintain natural movement sequences or to restore them as far as possible. This should enable the child to develop the best possible individual movement, freedom from pain, and independence and improve the quality of life.
Paediatric physiotherapy can help with the following problems:
- Sensorimotor developmental delays
- Developmental delays
- Congenital syndrome e.g. Down syndrome
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
- Diseases of the muscles
- Malformations of the spine, joints, and extremities
- Rheumatic diseases
- Craniocerebral injuries
- Movement disorders
- Behavioural problems
What is the Difference Between a Physiotherapist and Chiropractor?
Modern chiropractic practices focus on musculoskeletal system and has its origins in a spinal care model but is generally perceived to follow less scientific theory, and is consequently considered an alternative medical treatment. Chiropractors perform manipulations and adjustments to help your body heal itself.
Physiotherapists also work on the musculoskeletal system to maintain, restore, and improve your body's movement through stretches and exercises. Physiotherapy has more scientific evidence and therefore is considered a traditional medical treatment. Insurers will often cover treatment from an physiotherapist and not from a chiropractor.