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Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy and its Role in today’s Lifestyle

Physiotherapy uses evidence-based techniques to help restore movement and function to anyone who is affected by injury, illness or disability.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy uses evidence-based techniques to help restore movement and function to anyone who is affected by injury, illness or disability. A physiotherapist will assess, diagnose and treat injuries and conditions that affect people of all ages and social groups.

Physiotherapists are ‘first line practitioners’, which means that you do not need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist, although some medical aids may require this. All physiotherapists must complete a four-year under-graduate degree and attend courses yearly to keep up with the latest practice. Physiotherapists at Lamberti Physiotherapy Practices are further encouraged to do a one-year post-graduate course in orthopaedic manipulative therapy in order to hone their ‘hands-on skills’.

What conditions do physiotherapists treat?

  1. Neurological (strokes, Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s etc).
  2. Neuromuscular skeletal (general back pain, whiplash disorder, headaches, pain associated with arthritis, sports injuries, back pain in pregnant women, TMJ disorders (jaw pain), post-operative rehabilitation & other joint pain).
  3. Cardiovascular (chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack etc).
  4. Respiratory (asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia etc).
  5. Woman’s health (pre/post pregnancy, cervical prolapsed, osteoporosis etc).
  6. Paediatrics (neurodevelopmental delays, chest conditions etc).

How does Physiotherapy help these conditions?

Lamberti Physiotherapy staff can treat most physical conditions requiring attention, but their special interest is in sports and orthopaedic physiotherapy, as well as minimal hospital orthopaedic work.

A sports/orthopaedic-trained physiotherapist will go through the following procedure when seeing a patient:

physio-patient-consultation

  1. Firstly, they will assess your injury with a thorough, objective interview, then
  2. Assess the relevant area(s) of pain to diagnose an injury or dysfunction.
  3. Not only do physiotherapists help with treating the pain, they will investigate symptoms to discover what structure or biomechanical fault is causing a particular condition.
  4. Thereafter, a physiotherapist will use a variety of techniques to assist in getting patients back to their previous level of daily function.

What kind of techniques are used in Physiotherapy?

Techniques that a physiotherapist may use on you are:

  1. Manual therapy working on the bones.
  2. Myofascial release of the muscles and fascia in the body.
  3. Dry-needling to assist with loosening muscles and getting rid of trigger points (knots).
  4. Various methods to alleviate tension or imbalance in the neural structure.
  5. The use of machines such as ultrasound, or shock wave therapy to help with inflammation.
  6. Not only is therapy provided at the Physiotherapist’s consulting room, but ideally patients can also be provided with an exercise programme to assist with maintaining the work that has been done in the session.
  7. In cases of respiratory malfunction, the physiotherapist will listen to the patient’s lungs to identify the area and problem leading to the relevant condition. Thereafter, the physio may use hands-on techniques to open the lungs and improve oxygen flow to the entire lung, as well as mobilisation and removal of secretions (mucus) in the lungs. Exercise techniques will also be given to improve breathing pattern and overall quality of life.

As can be seen from the above, Physiotherapy is a profession with extensive treatment therapies. In most instances, different practices focus on different areas of physiotherapy, so it is wise to choose your practitioner with care.

If you are unsure whether physiotherapy can help with a painful or concerning condition you are experiencing, call any one of the six Lamberti Physiotherapy Practices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, or use the handy Appointment Form to book a consultation. All Lamberti physiotherapists are qualified to advise, help or refer queries to a specialist medical practitioner if so required.

This article was submitted by Bonny Davidson who practices at the Dainfern branch of Lamberti Physiotherapy.

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