Physiotherapy and rehabilitation has been the most commonly used treatment method since ancient times. It is applied as one of the basic treatment methods for dysfunctions that develop in individuals due to various diseases and disabilities. Hippocrates aimed to improve dysfunctions due to injuries by using massage techniques.
What is physiotherapy?
According to the World Physical Therapy Confederation, Physiotherapy is defined as the field of health science responsible for maintaining, improving and renewing the maximum mobility of individuals throughout their lifetimes. It is a health science that helps people maintain, maximize or regenerate their strength, movement, and general well-being. Physiotherapy and physical therapy are words that have the same meaning. It is aimed to improve and correct mobility by using physical methods.
Who is physiotherapy applied by?
Physiotherapy is applied by physiotherapists. Physiotherapists are entitled to work as a physiotherapist by obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the 4-year Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. What emerges as one of the most confusing situations among the public; It is the difference between Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialists and physiotherapists. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialization is a medical science. These people first receive 6 years of medical education, then pass the Specialization Examination (TUS) in the field of medicine and become a Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist by specializing for 5 years. To summarize simply; Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation specialists evaluate the patients, decide which treatment method is needed, if physiotherapy will be applied, which physiotherapy method will be applied, and physiotherapists are responsible for applying these methods.
What does physiotherapy do?
In order to improve the mobility of individuals with neurological, neurosurgical, orthopedic, rheumatological, muscular or skeletal diseases, and to reduce pain, physiotherapy necessarily develops at some point in their lives.
• Passive exercises are performed by physiotherapists to prevent contractures in the joints of patients who cannot move a certain part of their body in any way, and active exercises for patients with partial paralysis to regain their lost mobility.
• In cases of paralysis due to spinal cord injuries, to relieve pain or to correct loss of strength due to spinal cord tumors or diseases involving the nervous system,
• In the rehabilitation of muscle or joint movements after the treatment of joint, muscle injuries, fractures or direct injuries due to sports injuries,
• Pain relief of patients with rheumatological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoporosis, degenerative joint disease,
• Today, it is very common due to stress, especially in women, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome due to pain, movement limitations and thus increasing the quality of life of patients,
• In the treatment of pain in patients with waist and neck hernia, in rehabilitation to return to daily activities more quickly after the operation, in correcting the loss of strength in patients with loss of strength in the limbs due to hernia,
• In the treatment of headaches caused by pain in the neck muscles, in the treatment of pain due to acute muscle spasms,
• In the non-surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome with numbness in the hands,
• For the regaining of the joint range of motion after the fractures and dislocations healed with plaster, to restore the former normal functions of the limbs and joints
• In the treatment of movement disorders that may develop due to nerve damage that may develop after orthopedic surgeries,
Various physiotherapy methods are used. These patients should be evaluated primarily by Physical Therapy Specialists, and the necessary and appropriate physiotherapy methods and how many sessions of physiotherapy the patient needs should be determined. The determined methods are applied to the patients by physiotherapists.
What are the types of physiotherapy?
Today, there are many physiotherapy and rehabilitation methods defined. According to the individual needs of each patient, which of these methods will work is determined by the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Physician and applied by the physiotherapists. These applications should generally be done in sessions.
Exercise: Exercise is the most commonly used form of physiotherapy aimed at strengthening the musculoskeletal system. Exercise method is used to increase the mobility of the non-working limbs in patients with paralysis, to prevent the development of contractures if there is a total loss of motion, to correct the restriction of the joint opening after fracture and plaster applications, to strengthen the tissues in the weakness of the muscle tissue that develops in various neural or muscle diseases. Actively or passively, muscle groups are exercised manually or by exercise equipment, based on muscle groups, on a programmed basis. Exercise methods are used to strengthen the muscles to relieve the pain associated with posture disorders.
Thermotherapy: Thermotherapy, which means treatment with heat, is one of the common methods in physical therapy applications. Superficial or deep heat applications, especially in painful areas, are based on the principle of heating the tissues using hot water, thermal packs, short-wave radiation, high-frequency electric currents, ultrasound or microwave, infrared rays, sun rays or paraffin bath. In addition to its ability to relieve pain in tissues, heat has effects such as edema dissolving, increasing blood flow and nerve conduction speed, as well as increasing collagen production and increasing tendon growth rate.
Manual Therapy: Manual therapy is actually very similar to massage that has been applied since Hippocrates. It is a treatment method that is applied directly with the hands without any tools, heat or light source. Manual therapy is used to reduce pain, increase circulation speed and prevent muscle spasm.
Electrotherapy: Electrotherapy is planned to eliminate the pain by using low or high voltage electrical current. In addition, stimulation and acceleration of nerve healing with electrical current in tissues with nerve damage is among the areas of use of electrotherapy. It reduces edema in areas where electric current is applied and increases blood circulation.
Phototherapy: It is a treatment method performed by applying laser and UV rays to unhealthy areas. In fact, the most common area of use is the treatment of jaundice that occurs in the neonatal period, but it can also be used as a physiotherapy method by targeting an increase in temperature in deep tissues.
Hydrotherapy: All physiotherapy methods with water are included in this group. The healing power of water has been known since ancient times. Hot water bath, contrast bath applications, hot water treatments in hot springs are among the hydrotherapy methods. Whirlpool applications, defined as whirlpool baths, are local baths in which extremities are immersed in rapidly circulating water. It benefits from both the heat effect of water and the stimulating effect of hydrostatic pressure. It is thought to reduce scar tissue development in tissues, cause vasodilation, reduce pain by compressing skin receptors, and increase healing.
Mechanotherapy: It is a physical therapy method in which pressure, traction and manipulations are applied as well as waist and neck pulling movements using various tools.
Cryotherapy: The cryotherapy method, which has become very popular in recent years, is a type of physiotherapy applied to the painful area with a cold water pack, ice pack, spray, liquid nitrogen and cold compresses. With this method, which is also known as freezing among the people, by cooling the deep tissues, cellular metabolism is reduced and the increase of blood circulation and connective tissue healing is planned.