Various types of physical therapy are particularly helpful when you have an illness or sustain an injury. Mainstream treatment approaches include physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and exercise therapy. Each of these distinctly different methods has a long history, a basis in science and a track record of success. However, one may be better than another in addressing your specific physical issues.
Physical Therapy for Maintenance and Recovery
Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, is a clinical science that focuses on maintenance, recovery or improvement of your physical condition. Injuries often respond to this type of approach. Physiotherapy is effective in improving the flexibility and agility of elderly patients. It also helps ease the pain and maintain the joint function of someone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. If you have a chronic condition like a torn rotator cuff, addressing the problem with physical therapy may help you to postpone or possibly avoid surgery.
Recently, researchers have been combining vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) with therapeutic movement to help stroke victims recover a fuller range of motion. Strokes result in long-term physical impairment for up to 70 percent of patients. By adding VNS to physical therapy, practitioners help patients regain more of their lost physical agility and muscular strength.
Realignment for Pain Relief
Chiropractic therapists manipulate your spine, skeletal and muscular structures to relieve your chronic or short-term pain. They do not prescribe medications or surgery. Rather, chiropractors take a hands-on approach by manually adjusting your spine, sore joints and tissues to their natural positions.
Although considered an alternative medicine rather than a clinical science, chiropractic dates to the late 19th century. Many health insurance plans, including Medicare and workers’ compensation, cover visits to the chiropractor.
Tissue Manipulation to Relieve Soreness
Massage therapy manipulates your muscles and the tissues that connect them to banish soreness, improve muscular function and facilitate healing. The therapist exerts pressure combined with motion to treat painful muscle groups, tendons, joints or ligaments.
Massage influences your outlook as well as your aches and pains. After a session, you may experience a mood lift due to the release of endorphins in your body, and you typically feel more relaxed than when you went in. Massage therapy may even positively impact your blood pressure and cardiovascular functions.
Consistent Physical Activity for Better Health
Exercise therapy benefits your body in general while focusing on specific physical issues. If you are recovering from a broken leg, for example, swimming laps is a non-weight-bearing activity that strengthens your atrophied muscles without causing pain. Such exercise also improves your respiration, circulation, and equilibrium.
Exercise therapy includes flexibility training, resistance training and endurance training. It works to reduce chronic fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients and helps women at risk for osteoporosis increase their bone density and strength.
Each of the above treatment approaches is a viable option for natural healing. Depending on your condition, they may represent alternatives to drugs and surgery. To learn more about these treatments, check out CBI Health Group.