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Learn about the advantages of Physiotherapy for health

Learn about the advantages of Physiotherapy for health
Another of its main benefits is that physiotherapy is capable of improving the development of children, since when they receive some physiotherapy treatment from a young age, it helps to improve muscle tone and correct any physical problems they may present.

What is physiotherapy?

The definition of physiotherapy was established as the discipline became consolidated and professionalized. In 1958 the World Health Organization defined it as the science of treatment through physical means, therapeutic exercise, massage therapy and electrotherapy. In addition, physiotherapy includes the application of electrical and manual tests to determine the value of muscle involvement and strength, tests to determine functional capacities, the range of joint movement and measures of vital capacity, as well as diagnostic aids for the control of the evolution.

Techniques used in physiotherapy

The techniques used in physiotherapy are multiple and varied, although a classification can be made according to the tools and means used.

Manual therapy

One of the main tools of physiotherapists are their own hands, so there are a series of techniques that can be included in manual therapy:

1. Massage therapy

  • It includes different massage techniques or modalities, such as therapeutic massage, sports massage, connective tissue massage or cryomassage (application of cold) and techniques such as therapeutic manual lymphatic drainage or manual neuromuscular techniques.

2. Kinesiotherapy

  • Healing method that is based on active or passive movements of the body or part of it. This is achieved by applying an external force that will produce a movement without the individual making a voluntary muscle contraction. It is indicated in processes where joint mobility is compromised.

3. Orthopedic manual physiotherapy

  • It focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries (hip, shoulder or knee injuries and neck and back pain).

4. Manual methods of re-education of postural behavior

  • It consists of performing stretching exercises, called postures, that take care of the joints and eliminate discomfort derived from muscle contractures and blockages, spinal deformities (scoliosis) or the consequences of trauma.

5. Analytical stretches

  • Therapeutic maneuvers intended to stretch shortened soft tissue structures to increase range of motion. This practice is indicated in muscle contractures, burns and retractile scars or in prolonged immobilization.

6. Neurological physiotherapy

  • It is based on the set of therapies to treat conditions of the nervous system in order to educate or re-educate postural tone, synergies and pathological neuromotor patterns. It is indicated in brain injuries (Parkinson's), peripheral injuries (peripheral nerve paralysis), spinal cord injuries (spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, ALS) or childhood neurological syndromes.

7. Respiratory physiotherapy

  • It consists of carrying out a series of procedures to clear the airways, respiratory reeducation and readaptation to effort with the aim of improving the functioning of the muscles of the respiratory system and gas exchange, as well as increasing resistance. Respiratory physiotherapy is recommended in cases of neuromuscular diseases such as dystrophies, multiple sclerosis or ALS, and also after surgical interventions.

8. Obstetric physiotherapy

  • This is a series of hypopressive myasthenic gymnastics exercises aimed at strengthening the pelvic floor. Its name comes from the fact that the exercises are performed in hypopressure, that is, canceling the pressure exerted by the diaphragm and abdominal muscles on the pelvic floor muscles.

9. Functional bandage and neuromuscular bandage

  • Functional bandaging consists of the application of elastic or inelastic adhesive strips whose objective is to limit movements that affect damaged structures without limiting other movements. The neuromuscular bandage is performed using cotton tapes with an acrylic adhesive that bandage the muscle from its birth to its insertion. The goal is to elevate the skin to increase subcutaneous space and thus help decrease fluid extravasation to reduce inflammation and pain.

10. Diacutaneous fibrolysis

  • Technique that consists of the application of hooks on the skin to alleviate the discomfort caused by the destruction of adhesions of the membranes that surround the muscles, such as the aponeurosis; The hook helps to join and fix these structures. Each hook has a different size and curvature to adapt to the contours of the body.

Therapy using physical agents

The other type of tools used by physiotherapy specialists are those related to physical and natural agents:

1. Electrotherapy and ultrasound therapy

  • They are techniques that consist of the application of electrical currents or ultrasound on certain parts of the body with the aim of enhancing neuromuscular action, improving trophism (development, nutrition and maintenance of tissues) and acting as anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

2. Thermotherapy and cryotherapy

  • Therapeutic methods that use heat (thermotherapy) and cold (cryotherapy) to alleviate acute and chronic rheumatic pain and visceral cramps. Cryotherapy also serves as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic in injuries such as sprains, and also as a destructive method to treat skin tumors.

3. Hydrotherapy

  • Techniques that use water as a therapeutic method; They include thalassotherapy (use of the marine environment and climate) and hydrokinesitherapy (performing exercises in the water). Hydrotherapy serves to reduce inflammation and pain, dilate blood vessels and relax muscles, in addition to having an antispasmodic effect.

4. Mechanotherapy and pressotherapy

  • Mechanotherapy refers to those treatments in which the use of mechanical devices is necessary, such as in patients with disabilities, patients in need of prostheses or orthotic children. Pressotherapy is performed using a machine that performs a compressive massage through special leg warmers that help expel excess fluid and improve circulation; It is indicated in the case of edema, varicose veins and postphlebitic syndrome.

5. Magnetotherapy and phototherapy

  • Magnetotherapy consists of the development of a treatment through electromagnetic fields that acts by helping to eliminate contractures, is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. Phototherapy is the treatment of injuries through the application of ultraviolet or infrared light; It is indicated in skin pathologies and diseases, such as acne, psoriasis, pressure ulcers and physiological jaundice of the newborn.

Health benefits of physiotherapy

The techniques, exercises and methods used in physiotherapy positively intervene in the patient's health in several ways. These are the main benefits of physical therapy:

  • Helps combat the symptoms of some pathologies: The techniques used act against pain and inflammation in muscle and joint injuries; In addition, it helps combat some diseases, such as skin diseases (acne, psoriasis and jaundice).
  • Prevents illnesses and discomforts: Many of the exercises used in physiotherapy are intended to re-educate postural behaviors and improve the body in order to avoid future illnesses and discomforts in people at risk due to certain factors, such as spinal deformities.
  • Helps stop the effects of degenerative diseases: Physiotherapy is indicated, in many cases, to cushion and stop the impact of some effects produced by degenerative diseases and brain injuries, such as multiple sclerosis, ALS or Parkinson's. Using techniques such as neurological physiotherapy, nervous system conditions related to postural tone and pathological neuromotor patterns can be treated, while respiratory physiotherapy can combat pathologies of the respiratory system caused by degenerative diseases.
  • Strengthens the body: Strengthens muscle, bone and joint structures, and facilitates range of motion and flexibility, which helps prevent injuries and recover sooner if you suffer one; In addition, it enables the body to tolerate exercise better since, through some techniques such as those used in respiratory physiotherapy, resistance can be increased.
  • Increases well-being and quality of life: It is one of the main objectives of physiotherapy. Professionals in this discipline are not only trained to diagnose, prevent and cure, but according to the WCPT, the physiotherapist can also help modify environmental barriers in the work and home environment with the aim of facilitating access to all social activities. possible.

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