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What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy Videos

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What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a treatment that aims to help people affected by illness, injury or disability recover movement and function. Physio takes a holistic approach to treatment and encourages the patients to take part in their own care.

There are many approaches to physio, the main areas being: movement, exercise, manual therapy and aquatic therapy.

Movement and Exercise

Therapeutic physical exercises are used to strengthen the injured area. They need to be repeated daily for a number of weeks. In addition to specific exercises, low impact cardio like walking and swimming can be recommended to help increase mobility. There is strong evidence to suggest that physical activity can help prevent more than 20 different health conditions.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy involves the physiotherapist using their hands to mobilise the injured patient’s joints or tissues. It is used to stimulate blood flow, decrease fluid retention, improve flexibility and relieve pain.

Aquatic therapy

Aquatic therapy, or hydrotherapy, is carried out in a warm shallow pool of water. With the guidance of a therapist, the patient is asked to perform various exercises in the pool. Using the resistance of water instead of weights, it is thought to improve blood circulation, relieve pain and relax the muscles.

Sometimes physiotherapists may include acupuncture, ultrasound and hot and cold compresses as part of your treatment. These can all help with pain relief. If you have any questions about the therapy you are receiving then ask your physiotherapist or GP.

10925 Published February 2013 

Review Scheduled February 2014

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