Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is a field of medicine that helps to restore disrupted functions, maintain normal functions or adapt to the handicap. Essentially it is a treatment directed at restoring working capacity or physical self-sufficiency. Rehabilitation team is composed of a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, a physiotherapist, a speech therapist, a special education teacher, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a massage therapist, a nurse and a patient. The aim of rehabilitation is to eliminate functional limitations totally or in part to improve the ability of the patient to manage with everyday life and work. Physiotherapy is part of rehabilitation, which comprises several treatment methods to restore physical health. It is based on physical exercises, position therapy, massage, and physical therapy methods (hot and cold therapy, and electrotherapy) and its aim is to restore the physical health of a person in totally or at least in part. Other aims of physiotherapy include preventing health problems, maintaining or restoring joint mobility and muscle strength, restoring or compensating disrupted functions, and relieving of pain. Physiotherapist is a specialist in rehabilitation who helps to restore or maintain the patient’s ability to move and act. Child physiotherapists have usually received special training to conduct physiotherapy with babies and small children. The planning stage of physiotherapy starts from ascertaining the patient’s needs and ends with drawing up a plan with a measurable outcome. Physiotherapy is planned in cooperation with the patient/client, his or her family and other specialists. Physiotherapy helps to achieve the aims agreed upon in the rehabilitation plan.
Physiotherapy helps to improve the function of the support and movement apparatus and organ systems. In physiotherapy, the following diagnostic and treatment methods are used: physiotherapeutic assessment, passive and active physical exercises, stretching therapy, massage, electrotherapy, hot and cold therapy, aquatic therapy, manual mobilization, teaching correct movement patterns, adaptation of assistive devices, position therapy, physiotherapeutic counseling, Kinesio Taping, work-related ergonomics, and sports counseling. Physiotherapist can help people with the following health concerns: back pain, neck pain, headaches, painful joints, overload-related pains, muscle tensions, sports injuries, and post-operative rehabilitation (restoring joint mobility and muscle strength). Physiotherapists can also give advice on work-related ergonomics and training plans.
Here is a short overview of some of the most common terms that you may encounter in relation to rehabilitation and physiotherapy services:
OMT physiotherapy or (orthopedic) manual physiotherapy is performed by physiotherapists who have finished OMT physiotherapy training program that lasts several years. OMT physiotherapy is suitable for treating diseases and symptoms related to the support and movement apparatus. In treatment, OMT physiotherapists apply different approaches, such as physical treatment methods (including electrotherapy, ultrasound, and hot and cold therapy), physical exercises, stretching, and manual techniques.
Physiotherapy is suitable for alleviating different problems related to the muscular and skeletal system. The aim of physiotherapy is to improve and maintain muscle strength and joint mobility. Physiotherapists can also help to recover from operations and injuries and from the complications of a heart attack or a cerebral infarction. Physiotherapy may help in case of urinary incontinence as well. Physiotherapists are competent to give advice on work-related ergonomics or, in other words, problems related to working postures and overload. Physiotherapists instruct people on how to perform exercises and conduct group training sessions to alleviate balance problems and vertigo.
Acupuncture’s effect on back pain has been thoroughly explored because back pain is the most common reason for visiting an acupuncture specialist. Other indications for acupuncture include headache, muscle pains in different body regions, joint pains and stress. It has been found that acupuncture has a positive effect on chronic pain, but for acute pain it is ineffective. However, despite positive effect, this treatment method is not better than other therapies and compared to spinal manipulation, it is less effective. One type of acupuncture called Dry Needling is a method based on contemporary neurophysiological knowledge, which helps to relieve strong muscle tensions by addressing intramuscular trigger points. Dry Needling is usually performed by physiotherapists with a special training.
- is one of the oldest treatment methods, which helps to relieve stress, alleviate muscle tensions, and improve lymph and blood flow. In different types of massage different soft tissue therapy methods are applied – for example, the muscles and tissues are influenced by means of various hand techniques, vibration and auxiliary devices. Very generally, the different types of massage can be divided into Eastern and Western techniques. Western style massages include classic massage, aroma massage, segment massage, anti-cellulite massage, and lymphatic massage. Shiatsu massage and Thai massage represent Eastern style massages.
Lymphatic therapy or lymphatic massage is aimed for people with edema. Gentle light touch massage techniques are applied to stimulate the proper flow and drainage of the lymphatic system. In case of extensive swelling, complex physical edema therapy, consisting of lymphatic massage, compression treatment and exercises, can be used. Lymphatic massage is suitable for pregnant women and children as well.
Kinesio Taping is a taping method whereby an elastic tape, made of fabric and acrylic glue, is used. Kinesio Taping helps to fixate and stabilize joints and muscles, improve blood circulation, and fasten lymph circulation and metabolism. At the same time, Kinesio Tape does not interfere with normal dynamic mobility of the body. Ordinary sports tape supports and limits the extent of movement in an injured body part, so that the injury will not get worse. Kinesio Tape, on the contrary, enables to perform full-amplitude movements during the rehabilitation process already and thus helps to make therapeutic exercises as beneficial as possible.
Speech therapist’s consultation16 clinics
A speech therapist is a specialist with a higher education who treats speech disorders and related psychological problems. Speech therapists help to improve oral and written speech and language and to develop understanding and communication skills. A speech therapist can also give advice to people who suffer from voice or swallowing problems following an illness or for some other reason. Additionally, speech therapists provide aural rehabilitation for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. During the first appointment, the specialist assesses the severity of the problem, examines the patient’s background and draws up a rehabilitation plan.