In this article, we will look at different types of physical therapy treatments. We will also explain how these therapies are used for treatment and rehabilitation of various physical disorders.
Physical therapy can be defined as the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by different methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise rather than by drugs or surgery.
Impairment in the musculoskeletal system can be caused due to various reasons. It can be a congenital disability or a result of an injury. Also, as we age, the muscle joints tend to become weak which makes it difficult for us to carry out day-to-day physical activities. Physical therapy or physiotherapy – as it is known outside the US – aims to treat these ailments with the help numerous methods.
Physical therapy in which the patient himself carries out treatment exercises (such as stretching, jogging etc.) under the supervision of a certified therapist is known as active physical therapy. The other branch – passive physical therapy, involves the therapist more actively as he is the one who carries out the therapy (such as massage, cold ice-packs etc.) on the patient.
Types of Physical Therapy
Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the deformities of the spinal cord, joints, tendons, and ligaments. This therapy uses a combination of balance exercises, endurance exercises, strengthening and stretching exercises, rehabilitation etc. to help a patient in recovering from an ailment. It is mostly carried out in the outpatient department of a hospital or a clinic.
This therapy focuses on the ailments related to the aging population. Some of the common disorders affecting old people are Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, balance disorders etc. In geriatric therapy, the doctor mainly focuses on restoring the mobility that may be affected by illness.
As the name suggests, neurological therapy concerns with neurological dysfunctions like Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke. Neurological therapy takes longer as it is specifically designed for people who need progressive recovery options.
4. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
This therapy focuses on ailments related to both heart and lungs. Patients who have had a surgery recently or are facing difficulty in breathing are mainly treated through this type of physical therapy to increase their endurance.
This treatment focuses on infants, young children and adolescents. Children in which mobility related health issues have been detected early on are treated through this therapy by teaching them certain exercises to improve their normal mobility.
This specialty is concerned with the treatment of burns, wounds, ulcers, abscess etc. Physical therapists use treatment methods like dressing, massages, electrical simulation, strengthening exercises to help patients recover from these ailments.
Sportspersons are highly prone to injuries and muscular damage due to the nature of their activity. Due to this reason, physical therapy for sportspersons has become a specialty area. Therapists who take care of the injury management, treatment, and rehabilitation are certified in this domain.
These are the specialty areas of physical therapy. There are other alternative therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, acupressure etc., which are effective in recovery and rehabilitation as well. People who need physical therapy should do their research before selecting a therapist. It is advised that you choose a reputed clinic or therapist. You can have a word with your family doctor to know if he can recommend you to a well-known physical therapist.