Physiotherapy (also known as physical therapy) employs a variety of exercise- and massage- based techniques to decrease pain, increase function and improve mobility following musculoskeletal injury.
POST-OP AND ORTHOPAEDIC
Rehabilitation after musculoskeletal procedures, like joint replacement, reconstructive surgery and rotator cuff repair, is common to complete the recovery process. It typically begins on an inpatient basis and then segues to outpatient therapy, and can include functional mobility retraining, neurological rehab, orthopedic rehab and wound care. Post-surgical rehab can help with work-related injuries involving the low back, neck, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Orthopaedic rehab evaluates and treats ailments of the musculoskeletal system, which comprises nerves, muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. It is frequently required after such surgeries as spinal fusion, hip or knee replacement, knee repair and ankle reconstruction.
Injuries, infections, age-related degeneration, structural defects, tumors and many other conditions can lead to neurological problems. Neurological physical therapy focuses on helping individuals who have a neurological disorder to achieve a high level of function and independence.
VESTIBULAR & COGNITIVE REHAB
Physiotherapy can be used to treat a range of diseases, including dysfunctions of the vestibular system (the inner ear, eyes and brain) like vertigo, imbalance, spatial disorientation and dizziness. Vertigo, in particular, affects upward of 30% of the general population. Fortunately, it often can be treated successfully with vestibular rehab, which includes repositioning maneuvers, balance training and strengthening and stretching exercises.
Aquatic therapy uses the resistance of water to assist with patient healing, muscle strengthening and mobility. Among the many benefits of aquatic therapy are: buoyancy, which supports the weight of the patient and reduces stress on the joints; warmth (in a heated pool), which helps relax tight muscles and increases blood flow to injured areas; and hydrostatic pressure, which decreases joint and soft tissue swelling. The program is ideal for post-surgical rehab, acute or chronic trauma or injury, and muscle spasms.
A variety of spine-related disorders, including vertebral fractures, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerve and arthritis, can cause dysfunction from the neck to the lower back. These conditions frequently cause pain and reduce mobility. Spinal orthopaedic rehab focuses on the spine and its surrounding structures (muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage) to reduce pain and get patients moving again.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist sprain and tendonitis of the elbow are just a few of the many disorders of the hand and upper extremity that can benefit from specialized hand therapy. Injury to this region of the body can involve damage to the ligaments, nerves, arteries, muscles, tendons, joints and bone, and hamper a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. Chiropractors employ massage, exercise and other techniques to maximize function.