Physical therapy (PT), also known as Physiotherapy, is one of the allied health professions that uses evidence-based kinesiology, electrotherapy, shockwave modality, prescription exercises, joint mobilization and health education to treat conditions such as:
- Chronic or acute pain
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cartilage damage
- Gout disorders
- Physical impairments (of musculoskeletal)
- Endocrinological origins.
Physical therapy is used to restore and improve a patient's physical functions through physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, physical intervention, rehabilitation and patient education. It can also help to reduce the risk of injury or illness in the future.
It is practiced by physical therapists also known in many countries as physiotherapists.
TYPES OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
- ULTRASONIC THERAPY (USS)This involves the use of an electromagnetic wave, different from sound waves. The frequencies of waves that are employed for medical purposes is between 500,000 and 3,000,000 cycles/sec.Ultrasonic waves are generated by vibration of a Crystal mounted on a special head. The waves are very useful in the treatment of the following:
- Inflammation of Elbow Joint (Tennis Elbow)
- Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
- Shortening of Muscle or Ligament
- Inflammation of tendons (Supraspinatus tendinitis)
- Ligament Sprain (Lateral Ligament Sprain of Ankle)
- Unhealed Scars etc.
- neuro-muscular and muscular- skeletal diseases
- mobilize collagen tissues
- Remove oedema & reduce pain.
This type of therapy has Advantages in:
- Relief of pain
- Healing of Soft tissues (Ligament)
- Healing of unhealed scars
- MIO-NEURO-STIMULATION (MNS) This kind of physiotherapy involves the use of different low frequency currents. The MNS stimulation is used to activate and train muscles, that may have lost its action, or in training a muscle which has lost or 'forgotten' its action after an injury / surgery. MNS allows the brain to work more efficiently by making neurons fire more synchronously.
MNS happens to be another form of brain stimulation that can make people better at learning and process new numbers.
It might also be of particular help to those who suffer from neurodegenerative illness, stroke, or learning difficulties.
Where is this useful?
- All Nerve injuries (like Radial nerve Injury of the arm or hand)
- Muscle weakness (To activate the muscle)
- Neurodegenerative illness
- Learning difficulties.
- Facial nerve Injury
- HERAPEUTIC MASSAGE one of the oldest of the Health sciences is Massage.This has been used for curative purposes since time immemorial. Massage therapy treatment uses TOUCH to apply pressure to the body's skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments.
Advantages of massage?
- Relief of pain
- Loosens secretion in the Lungs
- Drainage of oedema or swelling
- Muscle tightness is relieved
- Relieves tension
- Induce sleep in insomnia (sleepless nights)
- General relaxation
- Skin is toned
- Muscle spasm
- Calcium or other mineral deposit in the joints
- KINESIOTHERAPY It is the application of scientifically based exercise regime that is adapted to enhance the strength, endurance, and mobility of individuals with functional limitations or those requiring extended physical conditioning. It is believed by advocates of the therapy that this type of therapy is best to treat the body as a whole and not as a series of separate components. A weak muscle, for example, may displace others in a body, this will cause others to weaken or overwork themselves into a state of spasm. This may lead to joint pain and a general feeling of being unwell as the bones are not being correctly supported by the weakened muscles. Kinesiology may help to address this.
From kinesiology, patients can also benefit learning difficulties, brain function, pain relief, insomnia, depression, relationship problems, hormonal disorders, structural problems (back aches), addictions, fear and phobias and a variety of other conditions.
What actually are the advantages?
- Relieves existing gripes and pain
- Spots areas of malnutrition and food allergies and/or intolerances
- Strengthens the immune system to help protect against illnesses and infection
- MAGNETOTHERAPY (MGT)The body comes into contact with magnets, the magnetic waves pass through the tissues and induces secondary currents to produce impacting heat and thus it reduces pain.Magnetotherapy is considered as very effective in alleviating pain and stiffness. Magnetic fields promote the growth of cells and in the process, they increase the number of healthy red blood corpuscles. Red blood corpuscles contain hemoglobin which in turn contains iron. The magnets influence iron in the blood. Through the iron, it reaches every part of the body.
Thus, it removes calcium, cholesterol and other minerals that get deposited.Magnets potentially clean, purify and ionize the blood. The flow of ionized blood occurs easily without clotting. This way activities of the heart and the blood pressure are at ease. Secretion of hormones is regulated.
This type of therapy does not require medicines and injections. Magnets alone are enough. Magnets of different shapes, sizes and strengths are used to regulate and strengthen the natural system and preserve the balance of magnetic field in the body.
BASIC BENEFICIAL ACTIONS OF MAGNOTHERAPY
One of the most basic functions magnetic fields have in the body is to increase circulation. When a cell (such as a red blood cell) is injured or ill, it does not hold its ideal charge. This causes red cells to “stick” together, which makes circulation slow. When a magnetic field passes through the red cell, the membrane becomes properly charged, allowing the cell to repel itself and be independent from other red cells, thereby increasing circulation. In addition, magnetic fields increase various chemicals in the blood vessel walls that cause the blood vessels to dilate. This improves the amount of blood flowing through the vessels and therefore increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the tissues.
Poor circulation makes tissues unhealthy and prone to disease and breakdown. Improved circulation helps tissues get the nutrition and oxygen they need, while expelling the waste they produce. Good circulation helps with tissue healing and regeneration. The result of improved circulation is the reduction of swelling and the removal of bruising.
Enhanced Muscle Function
The energy, needed for muscles to work with, is developed through a process called Myosin Phosphorylation. Myosin is muscle, and phosphorylation is energy production. Optimal energy from magnetic fields allows muscles to work harder and longer, and recover more quickly from their work. Decreased Inflammation is a cascade of physiologic processes initiated by the body to repair cellular damage in tissues by increasing the blood flow to the damaged area and increasing the number of good inflammatory cells. Chronic inflammation is frequently a cause of chronic pain. Magnetic fields have been found to reduce chronic, damaging inflammation.
Stress is part of the being human. Normal stress, called eustress, is necessary for survival. Too much stress is very harmful to the body, and accelerates aging. Stress is responsible for most illnesses, so stress reduction is necessary for all of us. Stress-reducing activities performed only now and then will allow too much stress-related damage to accumulate over time. Therefore, stress reduction must be a daily activity. Magnetic fields have many stress-reducing effects. Daily use of it help to wash away the negative effect natural stresses have on our bodies.
Magnetic fields pass through the body including even the bones as if the body does not exist. These fields work to repair bones, whether they are damaged by surgery, injury, or disease, and have been found to improve bone regeneration such as occurs with osteoporosis and osteopenia, among other bone destroying conditions.
A fire cannot burn without oxygen, our cells too cannot produce heat and energy without oxygen. Our lungs extract oxygen from the air we breathe. It passes into our blood and is carried by arteries away from the heart and delivered to the rest of the body, including all the organs. Magnetic fields help with the process of extracting oxygen out of the air we breathe and help it to be transported into the circulation. The absorbed oxygen is then transported through the body to all the cells, where it is absorbed into the individual cells. In the cells, enzymes and other basic cell energy production processes use the oxygen for cell metabolism. The metabolism of an organism determines which substances it will find nutritious and which it will find harmful. Proper blood-oxygen levels allows this process to continue quickly and efficiently. After the oxygen exchange takes place, veins carry deoxygenated blood and metabolic waste products away from those same cells and back to the heart for recycling.
Some of the other benefits include:
- Reducing muscle tension
- Improving tissue healing
- Reducing pain
- Increasing energy
- Improving clotting factors
- Slowing the development of arthritis
- Stimulating the immune system
- Helping the body to detoxify
- Improving the uptake of nutrients
- Reducing blood pressure
- Helping nerve function
- Helping liver function
- Balancing the acupuncture meridians
- Improving sleep
- Making soft tissue more flexible
- Reducing arthritic changes
- SPIRAL VORTEX STIMULATION THERAPY (SVS): SVS is a mechanical stimulus characterized by a recurring motion back and forth over the same pattern. When a patient stands on a SVS platform, the repetitive movement presents a strong stimulus to musculoskeletal structures as a result of the changes in muscle stiffness, and increase physiological adaptations to accommodate the spiral vortex waves in a human body. The origins of this therapy stretchesback several years with Russians. As part of their space project, the Russian space agency looked at the use of SVSin combating the effects of zero gravity on the musculoskeletal systems of its cosmonauts.
It didn’t take long for Russian sportsscientists to start using the same methods ontheir athletes.This pioneering research clearly indicated that SVS had the potential to enhance both strength and flexibility.
Potential advantages include:
- Pre-activation of the musculoskeletal system, resulting in improved readiness for the training stimulus. (Increased excitation of peripheral and central structures)
- Stimulation of GTO (Golgi tendon organs), inhibiting the activation of antagonist muscles;
- Increased hormonal secretion;
- Variation of neurotransmitter concentrations (dopamine, serotonin);
- Sensory receptors such as muscle spindles, are excited which leads to improvements in the stretch reflex cycle
- Improved metabolism
- Improved blood circulation
- JOINT PAIN TREATMENT
Healthy joints are crucial to our overall, holistic health. The joints are responsible for connecting the different parts of the body between bones. They also help us to move and provide support. This implies that, when joint pain occurs, it can affect every part of your life and your holistic health. Treatment is, therefore, crucial and understanding the cause of pain will help to identify the most effective treatments.
- What Causes Joint Pain?
Patients of any age can experience joint pain, however, the condition is particularly common in the elderly and overweight people. There are many different conditions that can lead to painful joints such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, injuries that commonly cause strains and sprains, as well as less common conditions such as gout and bursitis. These conditions are usually associated with inflammation in the localized areas which causes the pain.
- What Treatments Are Available for Joint Pain?
It is important to consult with our doctors if you are experiencing any joint pain. They will be able to identify which treatments are safe for your particular case. The goal of any treatment is to reduce the pain and inflammation and to preserve joint function as much as possible. Treatments can vary from behavioral changes, including exercises and posture changes, as well as effective, alternative treatments such as magnetic therapy. It is important to seek counsel from the doctor before embarking on any treatment or health change.
- BACK PAIN TREATMENT
Back pain can have a significant impact on many areas of our life. Current medical and technological advancements allow us to discover different ways to alleviate the pain.
- Chronic Low Back Pain Treatments
Many treatment regimens are available to help alleviate chronic lower back pain. Patients must not accept and just live with the pain with the many proven lower back pain home remedies.
Then causes of lower back pain are many. An understanding of the different causes and specific symptoms of your lower back pain,will open up many different home remedies.
- Non-Specific Back Pain
The most common back pain diagnosis is non-specific back pain,this is found in most cases of sudden, acute low back pain. It is named “non-specific” due to the root cause of the pain being unclear. Once you have sought counsel from your doctor, lower back pain treatments such as magnetic therapyare available.
Sciatica is another cause of lower back pain. It is often referred to as a trapped nerve, as sciatica occurs when a nerve coming out of the spinal cord becomes pressed on or irritated. Our physiotherapy remedies can help, on the guidance of our doctors.
- Cauda Equina Syndrome
Though very rare,Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious condition. It occurs when the nerves at the very lower back are pressed on. If you believe you may be experiencing this syndrome, it is important to speak with our doctors as soon as possible.
TECHNIQUES OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
Depending on the specific problems one may be experiencing, Physiotherapy can involve a number of different treatment and preventative approaches,
The three main approaches a physiotherapist may use are:
- Movement and exercise
- Education and advice
- Manual therapy
NOTE: In some instances, other techniques, such as acupuncture or ultrasound treatment, may also be employed.
- Movement and exercise
Our physiotherapists usually recommend some movement and exercise to help improve mobility and function. This may include:
- Exercises designed to improve movement and strength in a specific part of the body: These usually need to be repeated regularly for a set period.
Activities that involve moving your whole body, such as walking or swimming – these can help if you're recovering from an operation or injury that affects your mobility.
- Exercises carried out in warm, shallow water (hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy):the water helps to relax and support the muscles and joints, while providing resistance to help patients get stronger.
- Advice and exercises to help you increase or maintain your physical activity: advice will be given on the importance of keeping active, and how to do this in a safe, effective way
- Providing mobility aids: such as crutches or a walking stick to help patient move around.
Our physiotherapists may also recommend exercises that a patient can continue doing to help manage pain in the long term or reduce the risk of a repeat injury.
- Education and advice
One of the main aspects of physiotherapy is that it looks at the body as a whole, instead of focusing on the individual factors of an injury.
- It is therefore highly professional for our physiotherapists to give general advice about ways to improve the wellbeing of a patient (e.g. regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight for height and build). This is an important part of treatment.
- Our physiotherapists will also give specific advice that can apply to everyday activitiesand reduce the risk of pain or injury. For instance with back pain, advice about good posture, correct lifting or carrying techniques, and avoiding awkward twisting, over-stretching or prolonged standing may be given.
- Manual therapy
With this technique, thephysiotherapists uses their hands to manipulate, mobilize and massage the body tissues.
This may help:
- relieve pain and stiffness
- promote relaxation
- help fluid drain more efficiently from parts of the body
- improve blood circulation
- improve the movement of different parts of the body
Manual therapy can be used in the treatment of specific problems.However, it has proven useful for a range of conditions that don't affect the bones, joints or muscles. Massage may improve quality of life for some people with serious or long-term conditions by reducing levels of anxiety and improving sleep quality. Manual techniques are also used to help certain lung conditions.
Other techniques sometimes used by physiotherapists that may help to ease pain and promote healing include:
- Acupuncture: Here, fine needles are inserted into specific points of the body, with the aim of reducing pain and promoting recovery
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): a small, battery-operated device is used to deliver an electric current to the affected area, with the aim of relieving pain
- Ultrasound: where high-frequency sound waves are used to treat deep tissue injuries by stimulating blood circulation and cell activity, with the aim of reducing pain and spasms, as well as speeding up healing
Though some people have found these treatments effective, there isn't much scientific evidence to support them.
SPECIALTY AREAS OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
The body of knowledge of physical therapy is large, and therefore physical therapists may specialize in a specific clinical area. While there are many different types of physical therapy, Most Physical Therapists like the ones practicing at Diamed Diagnostic Center have undergone further advanced training, such as accredited residency programs.
- Cardiovascular and pulmonary physiotherapy
Our practitioners and general physical therapists offer therapy for a wide variety of cardiopulmonary disorders or pre and post cardiac or pulmonary surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasing endurance and functional independence. Manual therapy is used in this field to assist in clearing lung secretions that may be experienced with cystic fibrosis. Pulmonary disorders, heart attacks, post coronary bypass surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis, treatments can benefitfrom cardiovascular and pulmonary specialized physical therapists.
- Clinical electrophysiology
This specialty area involves use of electrotherapy/physical agents, electrophysiological evaluation (EMG/NCV), physical agents, and wound management.
Geriatric therapy covers a wide area of issues that concerns normal adult ageing but is usually focused on the older adult. There are many conditions that affect many people as they grow old, these include but are not limited to:
- Alzheimer's disease,
- Hip and joint replacement,
- Balance disorders,
- Incontinence, etc.
Geriatric physical therapists specialize in providing therapy for such conditions in older adults.
Generally concerns itself with the treatment of skin conditions and all related organs. Common conditions managed include wounds and burns. Physical therapists may utilize surgical instruments, wound irrigations, dressings and topical agents to remove the damaged or contaminated tissue and promote tissue healing. The work done by physical therapists in the integumentary specialty is to use physiotherapy to achieve results similar to what would be done by medical doctors or nurses.
This field focuses on individuals who have a neurological disorders or diseases. These may be stroke, chronic back pain, Alzheimer's disease, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, facial palsy and spinal cord injury. Common impairments associated with neurologic conditions include impairments of vision, balance, and ambulation of daily living, movement, muscle strength and loss of functional independence.The techniques involved in this therapy area are wide-ranging and often require specialized training.
Neurological physiotherapy is variously called neurophysiotherapy or neurological rehabilitation. It is recommended for neurophysiotherapists to collaborate with psychologists when providing physical treatment of movement disorders. This is especially important because combining physical therapy and psychotherapy may greatly improve the neurological status of the patients.
- Orthopedic physiotherapy
Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery,acute trauma such as sprains, strains, and injuries of insidious onset such as tendinopathy, bursitis and deformities like scoliosis. Orthopedic therapists are trained in the treatment of post-operative orthopedic procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions, and amputations.
The following are modalities employed to expedite recovery in the orthopedic setting;
- Joint and spine mobilization/manipulation,
- Dry needling (similar to acupuncture),
- Therapeutic exercise,
- Neuromuscular techniques,
- Muscle reeducation,
- Hot/cold packs, and
- Electrical muscle stimulation (e.g., cryotherapy, iontophoresis, electrotherapy).
An emerging addition to diagnosis and treatment is the use of sonography for diagnosis and to guide treatments such as muscle retraining.Those who have suffered injury or disease affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons will benefit immensely from assessment by a physical therapist who is specialized in orthopedics.
Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problems and uses a variety of modalities to provide physical therapy for disorders in children and infants. These therapists are specialized in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of congenital, developmental, neuromuscular, skeletal, or acquired disorders/diseases.
Physical therapists are closely linked to the care and wellbeing of athletes including recreational (amateurs), semi-professional (paid) and professional (full-time employment) participants. This area of specialization encompasses athletic injury management under 5 main categories:
- Acute care (i.e. assessment and diagnosis of an initial injury);
- Treatment (i.e. application of specialist advice and techniques to encourage healing);
- Rehabilitation (i.e. progressive management for full return);
- Prevention (i.e. the identification and addressing of all deficiencies known to directly result in, or act as precursors to injury, such as movement assessment);
- Education (i.e. the sharing of specialist knowledge to individual athletes, teams or clubs to assist in the prevention or management of injuries)
Physical therapists who work for professional sport teams often possess specialized sports certification issued through their national registering organizations.
- Community Physiotherapy
Community based Physiotherapy practitioners act as agents of change in Community setups by educating and transferring the basic skills and knowledge and giving treatments in the management of chronic and acute diseases and disabilities and rehabilitating them and coordinating group efforts taking administrative roles in the Community Based Rehabilitation. Community Physiotherapy promotes concept of community responsibility of health and healthy living.
- Women's health
Physical therapy for women's health mostly addresses issues related to the female reproductive system, child birth, and post-partum. These conditions may include lymphedema, osteoporosis, pelvic pain, prenatal and post-partum periods, and urinary incontinence. It also addresses other disorders associated with pelvic floor dysfunction. It has been demonstrated in multiple studies that manual physical therapy actually increases rates of conception in women with infertility.
- Male health
Physical therapy for men's health mostly addresses issues related to the male reproductive system: prostate enlargement ( BPH) , calcification of prostate, premature ejaculation, oligo-asteno-spermia, erectile dysfunction, which can be caused lumbar nerve root compression ( lumbalgia, scoliosis, listhesis, schiatica, post traumatic conditions).
- Palliative care
Generally, it is accepted that patients should have access to an appropriate level of rehabilitation, so that they can function at a minimum level of dependency and optimize their quality of life, regardless of their life expectancy. Subsequently, one continuously evolving and developing specialty in physiotherapy is the field of oncology and palliative care, both in malignant and non-malignant diseases. The rehabilitation of patients for both groups is now recognized as an essential part of the clinical pathway since early diagnoses and new treatments enables patients to live longer.
PS NOTE: A combination of the mentioned types, specialized areas and techniques of Physiotherapy will enable Diamed Diagnostic Center to provide safe, convenient, non-invasive and innovative methods of treatment.
WHEN IS PHYSIOTHERAPY USED?
Physiotherapy can be helpful for people of all ages with a wide range of health conditions, including problems affecting the:
- Bones, joints and soft tissue (e.g. back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and sports injuries)
- Brain or nervous system (e.g. problems with movement resulting from a stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson's disease)
- Female and Male infertility.
- Heart and circulation (e.g. rehabilitation after a heart attack)
- Lungs and breathing (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis)
Physiotherapy can improve your physical activity while helping you to prevent further injuries. Our physiotherapists may also recommend exercises that a patient can continue doing at home to help manage pain in the long term or reduce the risk of a repeat injury.
Effectiveness of physiotherapy on chronic pain
Physiotherapy has been found to be effective in improving outcomes, both in terms of pain and function, in multiple musculoskeletal conditions. There is ample evidence to support the use of spinal manipulation by physical therapists as a safer option to improve outcomes for lower back pain.
A combination of manual therapy and supervised exercise therapy by physiotherapists actually gives functional benefits for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, and may delay or even prevent the need for surgery. In another instance,evidence has shown that surgical decompression treatment and physiotherapy are on the same level for lumbar spinal stenosis in improving symptoms and function.
Studies have again suggested that particularly manual therapy techniques that focused on the neck and the median nerve if combined with stretching exercises, may even be preferable to surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Yet another study reveals that spine manipulation and therapeutic massage are more preferred as effective interventions for neck pain thanelectro acupuncture,heat therapy, and ultrasound therapy.
Physiotherapy is effective for patients with other conditions. Treatment in asthma patients has concluded that Physiotherapy treatment may improve quality of life, promote cardiopulmonary fitness and inspiratory pressure, as well as reduce symptoms and use of medication.
In the past, musculoskeletal diseases like cervical, thoracic and lumbar spondylosis, arthritis, and discsherniation were previously managed by surgeries or on long term steroids, sometimes even non-steroid medication with high risk of side effects. In a lot of cases after those therapies patients had disabilities and or chronic kidney or liver diseases. The high effect in a short period of time you will receive in our facility by NATURAL way complex therapy including Mobilization, medical massage, electro apparatus end other mentioned above type of necessary physiotherapy procedures according to our doctors prescriptions.
The best way to prevent persistent pain or make existing symptoms go away is to use the above-mentioned methods along with electromagnetic treatment. The calming effects of magnetic fields therapy is proven by clinical studies and show dramatic results for men and women of all ages.
All these can be conveniently avoided with a combination of the various types of physiotherapy as mentioned above.
At Diamed, our professional physiotherapists take into consideration, the complex view of the health condition of patients, their complaints and attention, as against theanalysis of diseasehistories. This is done in combination with innovative diagnosis methods.
All of these come together to make Diamed Diagnostic Center a leader in the Alternative and Integrative Medicine in Africa.
Diamed is your last stop in medical services.