– What is physiotherapy?
– Can physiotherapy be helpful for me?
– What happens in a session?
– How long is a session?
– How many sessions do I need?
– What is functional movement?
– What is Barefoot Training?
– What is mobilization?
– What is the difference between mobilization and manipulation (“cracking joints”)?
– What is deep tissue release?
– What is acupuncture?
Physiotherapy (or physical therapy) is a healthcare profession with a science foundation. The range of work is very broad and varied and involves working with people to promote their own health and well-being.
Physiotherapy can be useful in a wide range of injuries, disease processes, and other conditions, such as:
– Back and neck pain
– Postural problems
– Rheumatic conditions
– Spinal cord injuries
– Neurological conditions
– Asthma management
– Stroke rehabilitation
– Amputee rehabilitation
– Sports injuries – strained or torn muscles, plantar fasciitis, sprained ankle, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, achilles tendonosis, shoulder tendonosis, ischias, meniscal and cruciate injuries, SI joint dysfunction, trochanteritis, cervical brachialgia, compartment syndrome
A physiotherapy treatment can be anything from pain relief to advanced training. It all depends on the client’s problems and needs, and where the client is in the process. A good physiotherapist sees the whole picture and does not only treat the symptoms, but also tries to find the cause of the problem to prevent future issues.
For most clients physiotherapy is a process of 3 steps:
– The first step is pain relief. Most clients wait (too) long before seeking help, and to even be able to start working on the real problem, they need to get rid of the pain. Pain relief can be done by the help of acupuncture, stretching or different kinds of deep tissue techniques.
– The second step is to attack the real problem. By understanding the problem and causes of the symptoms, we start some kind of rehabilitation. This is usually done by training and/or mobilization.
– When the pain is gone and the problem seems to be “treated”, the third and last step is to prevent for the problem to come back. By learning and understanding your body, You yourself are in control over it, and can prevent future issues.
1. Pain relief
2. Rehabilitation (strengthening)
Most physiotherapy sessions are 1 hour long. But depending on what you’re doing during a session, it might be shorter, it might be longer. If you don’t hear anything else, assume it is 1 hour.
The number of sessions that will be needed is impossible to say. It all depends on the problem, and what you are willing to put in. For some clients 1 session can be enough. For some clients 3-8 sessions will be required, due to level of skills and awareness. And some clients will need 10+ sessions, due to level of skills and awareness.
Functional Movement is the ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement. Learning how to be bio-mechanically efficient with everything you do, whether it’s for sports and athletics, general fitness, or daily life activities, is very important for maintaining good health and avoiding injury.
When we hear the words Barefoot Training most people think about walking around barefoot or in minimalist footwear. But Barefoot Training is more than that.
Barefoot Training is a whole-body approach, with the foot as the starting point. With the foot as the only contact point between the body and the ground, its complex structure plays a critical role in the way in which our body stabilizes during dynamic movement.
Barefoot Training is about getting to know your foot, strengthening your foot, and learning how to choose the shoe for your specific foot. With Barefoot Training you can learn how to use your body more efficiently, increase your performance, improve your posture and prevent injuries.
Mobilization is the type of treatment that most people associate with physiotherapy. Just as deep tissue release, mobilization goes under the category manual therapy, which means that the client is passive in this treatment and any movement of the body is performed by the therapist.
Mobilization is almost stretching. But instead of stretching stiff muscles, we focus on joints and ligaments. The mobilization is done in a slow pace, the patient can feel the movement, and will be in control. If joints are really still, the physiotherapist may hold position for a while, and then try to push even further.
Mobilization of joints should not be confused with manipulation of joints. While mobilization is done very slowly, manipulation is done fast. Manipulation will often end with the classic “pop” sound. This is why manipulation is sometimes referred to as “cracking joints”. (The “pop” or “crack” sound is not necessary for a good manipulation. And the sound is not made from bone on bone contact, but from the collapse of a bubble of gas that escapes from the joint fluid. The “pop” sound can also occur during mobilization.)
Deep Tissue Release
Deep tissue release is a type of massage that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders.
Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the therapist uses direct deep pressure or friction across the muscles and connective tissue. At certain points during the treatment, most people will experience some discomfort and pain.
A deep tissue massage performed by a physiotherapist should not be confused with what some masseurs call “deep tissue massage”. At the masseur you will get a body massage with sustained deeper pressure than normal. At the physiotherapist the deep tissue massage is usually just a part of the session, and the “massage” will only be applied to the areas involved to your problem.
Acupuncture is a collection of procedures which involves the stimulation of points on the body using thin needles. It is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine, and is among the oldest healing practices in the world. When the western world adopted the technique, a new theory was born (based on western medicine), and today you can find both eastern (Chinese) acupuncture and western acupuncture almost everywhere.
Thin needles are inserted into muscles or connective tissue. The needles are then manipulated by manually twisting them in the tissue or by using electric stimulation.