Orthopaedic physiotherapists use a variety of treatments to relieve pain, improve function, and prevent further injury. Common treatments include:
One of the most important things a physical therapist can do is educate you about your condition and your treatment options. Having a good understanding of the contributing factors to your injury and the strategies you can incorporate to improve your function is incredibly important. As they say, knowledge is power!
When you look at the scientific literature, exercise is the most effective treatment option across almost all musculoskeletal conditions. This includes low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff pain, tennis elbow, ankle sprains and many more. Your physiotherapist will teach various exercises to improve your mobility, strength, function, balance and to improve your pain. These exercises will come in the form of stretching, self-mobilizations and resistance training. As you improve your condition, your therapist will progress your exercises to allow for even further recovery.
Joint mobilization is used to treat pain and stiffness in joints. It is also used to increase range of motion and to improve function. Joint mobilization involves using a therapist’s hands to move the joint through its natural range of motion. The therapist may also use special instruments to help with the mobilization. Joint mobilization is a gentle technique that is often used for people who have osteoarthritis or other conditions that cause joint pain. It is safe for most people, but it may not be appropriate for everyone. If you have any concerns about whether joint mobilization is right for you, please ask your doctor or physiotherapist.
Muscle stretching is an orthopaedic physical therapy technique that helps to lengthen and relax muscles. It is often used to improve range of motion and relieve muscle tension. Muscle stretching can be performed manually or with the help of devices. It is important to stretch muscles gradually and avoid excessive force, which can cause injuries. When performed correctly, muscle stretching can help to improve flexibility, reduce pain, and prevent injuries.
Electrical stimulation, also known as E-stim, is a treatment that uses electrical signals to relieve pain. The electrical signals are generated by a device that is placed on the skin. They interact with the nervous system to provide relief from pain. Electrical stimulation has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including back pain, migraines, and arthritis. It is also used to improve circulation and to promote healing after an injury. Some people find that electrical stimulation provides long-lasting pain relief, while others find that it only provides temporary relief. However, electrical stimulation is generally safe and well-tolerated. Side effects are rare but may include skin irritation, muscle soreness, and dizziness.
Soft tissue manipulation
Soft tissue manipulation is a type of massage that is used to treat muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is a form of manual therapy that uses pressure and stretching to release tension and improve range of motion. Soft tissue manipulation has been found to be effective for treating a variety of conditions, including back pain, repetitive strain injuries, headaches, and migraines.
Research has shown that soft tissue manipulation can help to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve range of motion. In addition, soft tissue manipulation is often used as a preventative measure to help avoid injuries. For example, massaging muscles before exercise can help to warm them up and increase blood flow. As a result, soft tissue manipulation can be an important tool for maintaining your health and wellbeing.
Dry needling is a type of physical therapy that involves inserting thin needles into the skin and muscles. The goal of dry needling is to release trigger points, or knots that form when muscles are tightened or injured. Dry needling is often used to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and increase blood flow. The needles used in dry needling are much thinner than those used in acupuncture, and they do not remain in the skin for very long. Dry needling is usually performed by physical therapists, but it can also be done by massage therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. While dry needling is generally safe, there is a small risk of bruising, bleeding, or infection. If you are interested in trying dry needling, be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare provider.
Laser or light therapy
Physical therapists sometimes use light therapy to help their patients recover from injuries. Light therapy, also called laser therapy, uses low-level lasers or LEDs to stimulate the healing process. This type of therapy is thought to work by increasing local circulation and reducing inflammation. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, tendonitis, and back pain. In some cases, it may also be used to speed up the healing of wounds. Physical therapists will often use light therapy in conjunction with other treatments, such as massage and exercises. By using light therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, physical therapists can help their patients recover more quickly and robustly from injuries.
Kinesiology tape is a type of therapeutic tape that is used to relieve pain and help rehabilitate injuries. The tape is made from a stretchy, hypoallergenic material that can be applied directly to the skin. When applied correctly, kinesiology tape can help to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote healing. Additionally, the tape can provide support for muscles and joints, making it an ideal treatment for athletes or anyone who suffers from chronic pain. Although kinesiology taping is relatively new, it has quickly become a popular treatment option for many people. Kinesiology taping can be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, making it a valuable tool in any healthcare provider’s arsenal.