significance of physiotherapy and its approach

Significance of physiotherapy and its approach

What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a method of treatment which focuses on the human body movement, and helps people to restore, maintain and maximize their physical function, motion, strength and endurance.

The terms “physiotherapy” and “physical therapy” are the same and are used interchangeably. Physical therapy plays a vital role in prevention of diseases and helps in health promotion.
Physiotherapists or physical therapists are health care professional, who have hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose and treat symptoms of conditions, injury and disability. Basically, physiotherapists are movement specialists.
Physiotherapists treat acute or chronic pain or physical impairments resulting from any injury, trauma or illness which may be of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and neurological origin. Sports injury needs special attention of the physiotherapist.

Ways in which physiotherapy can help:

  • Preventing injury and disability
  • Managing acute and chronic pain conditions of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and neurological origin.
  • Improving and maintaining optimal physical performance
  • Managing a chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritisRehabilitating injury and most importantly, the effects of disease or disability
  • Providing education to prevent re-occurrence of an injury.
  • Help in gaining confidence after a long injury or illness.

Stages to make a physiotherapy treatment plan:


Assessment is a critical element in order to design an appropriate, individualized treatment program. It also helps to determine whether the patient requires further medical evaluation from a physician.

Physiotherapy assessment includes –

Patient history

It includes all the details about patient’s medical history including current as well as past. If patient has undergone any major or minor surgery. Whether under any current medications. Also about the occupation of the patient, his lifestyle and work culture.

Sign and Symptoms

This is one of the vital things to notice. What the sign and symptoms are?

  • Onset and nature of pain
  • Any swelling, redness or rise in local temperature.
  • Stiffness or restriction in joint range of motion
  • Muscle strength
  • Any deformity or disability
  • Aggravating as well as easing factors


The cause of the injury and/or condition helps to find out the anatomical structure and other possible contributing factors that are causing pain. Certainly, this step is critical in determining the appropriate treatment plan.

Examination for physiotherapy treatment

Based upon the assessment and interpretation of the data from the patient history, the physical therapist proceeds for the examination. In other words, the whole treatment process depends on the assessment of the patient.


  • Firstly, Gait pattern, posture and movement patterns are analyzed.
  • Physical examination of the affected area or part is done.
  • Active range of motion (AROM), Passive range of motion (PROM), and strength of the part are checked.
  • Special tests/hands-on clinical skills are used in order to make accurate diagnosis. These tests are also helpful for differential diagnosis.


Apart from Special tests/hands-on clinical skills, sometimes imaging tests and blood tests are also used to make an accurate diagnosis.


Based on the assessment, examination and diagnosis, treatment plan is decided. On the other hand it will include your personal goals like functioning and feeling better, plus exercises or other treatments to help you reach them.

You physiotherapy treatment might include:

  • Exercises or stretches guided by your therapist
  • Massage, heat, or cold therapy
  • Electrical nerve stimulation: Small electrical currents delivered to affected areas, therefore helps to get relief from the pain.
  • Ultrasound to ease muscle pain or spasms
  • Manual manipulation: Moving joints and soft tissue helps to improve circulation, drain fluid from the body, in addition also helps to increase active range of motion to affected joint.
  • Tapping: Helps to provide dynamic stability to the muscles.
  • Rehab to help you learn to move or stay balanced with gadgets, like a cane or walker

If required, your treatment plan will be adjusted according to your progress.

A set of home based exercises are taught to the patient or his/her family members. Lifestyle modifications are taught and in addition, instruction for do’s and don’ts related to the condition or injury are given to the patient.

If you are experiencing issues with movement or function or are just seeking to optimize your health, a visit to a physiotherapist/Physical therapist will absolutely help you a lot.

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  54. Before starting any treatment, have an initial consultation or assessment with the physiotherapist to discuss your condition, goals, and treatment plan. This will help you determine if the therapist is the right fit for your needs.

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