What is Physiotherapy Treatment?

by May 4, 2021Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is most often confused with occupational therapy. However, these professions are actually very different.

Physiotherapy focuses on improving the patient’s ability to move their body. Whereas occupational therapy focuses on improving the patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).

Here, we’ll discuss more on what is physiotherapy treatment and how it can help you.

Physiotherapy Treatment Defined

Physiotherapy or physical therapy is making the most of a patient’s mobility, well-being, and function. This therapy focuses on both prevention and physical rehabilitation. The various treatments are for injury, disease (osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.), or disability and its complications. Some examples of conditions that physiotherapy can treat are listed below.

  • pain caused by muscle and skeleton problems
  • asthma and other lung problems
  • arthritis and after-effects of amputation
  • bone, joints, and ligaments problems
  • traumatic brain injury (including the spine)
  • disabilities caused by heart problems
  • bladder and bowel problems related to childbirth
  • fatigue, stiffness, and pain on cancer treatment
  • loss of mobility because of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy has many benefits in reducing pain and strengthening parts of the body. Other benefits of physical therapy include

  • pain management and wound care
  • improved mobility
  • improved balance
  • recovery from injury
  • recovery from paralysis
  • surgery avoidance
  • fall prevention and injury prevention
  • infection control

Injury Management

Injury management consists of activities and procedures to facilitate a safe, timely, and durable return to work for workers that are injured. It includes the elements below.

  • rehabilitation back to work
  • treatment of the injury
  • management of the compensation claim

Management of injury is based on the belief that injured workers can safely perform productive work during their period of recovery and still be connected to the workplace.

Physiotherapy Techniques

At your first appointment, health care professionals in allied health such as physiotherapists may give you any or all of these three techniques.


Education and Advice

A physiotherapist gives general advice on improving the wellbeing of a person. This can include how someone handles their in-home care. For example, if you have back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or hip and knee pain, you will be advised on correct carrying techniques, good posture, avoiding awkward twisting, or prolonged standing.

If you have repetitive strain injury from typing for long hours, for example, physiotherapists may provide a therapeutic exercise physiology program for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Movement and Exercise

Movement and functional exercises reduce muscle stiffness and promote joint mobilization. If muscles are less stiff, it’s less painful if you exercise your limbs or other parts of the body (less hip and knee pain and reduced muscle atrophy). Also, exercises improve circulation and
promote healing.

At Westcoast SCI – Active Physiotherapy, we focus on getting people moving. It is the foundation of getting people better for the long term. Your physiotherapy treatment can and will likely comprise of more than simply exercises. There may be some elements of manual therapies, education, Kinesio taping and more. However, it is a physiotherapist’s goal to encourage range of motion exercises to prevent stiffness, muscle wasting, and postural problems. This is of particular importance after immobility to promote recovery from surgery. ROM or range of motion exercises promotes movement and function, facilitates circulation, and encourages joint mobility.


Manual Therapy

This type of therapy, also known as manipulative therapy, treats musculoskeletal pain and disability. Manual therapies commonly include manipulation of muscles, kneading, and joint mobilization for carpal tunnel syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, hip and knee injury disease, etc.

Read more about Manual Therapy here.


Physiotherapy session

At the first meeting, the Canadian physiotherapy provider (with accreditation in physical therapy from a Canadian Physiotherapy Association) will provide an intake form (medical history, etc.) for the client to fill out. The patient may be asked to perform some movements, with the help of therapy assistants that can help identify body issues with the goal of creating a treatment plan. The session may include rehabilitation exercises, manual therapy, and therapy education or advice on the workplace and lifestyle.

Finding a physiotherapist

If you have whiplash, pain, and headaches; find a physiotherapist near you. Physiotherapists working in a private practice clinic (who have graduated from a school of physiotherapy and are licensed to work in Canada and particularly the province in which you live) will assess your medical history and recommend medications and treatments that can effectively help you.

If you suffer from pain or immobility, physiotherapy can help you by creating an exercise program, and provide education and advice to get you better. In all of these treatments, the most basic element of physiotherapy treatment is improved quality of life.