Physical therapy techniques cover a wide range of therapeutic processes utilized by various practitioners. To go into all methods of physical therapy techniques would take up far more space than can be covered in the scope of this article. However, we will touch on some of the more common physical therapy techniques that are utilized in the therapeutic field.
Obviously, the most widely implemented of physical therapy techniques involves massage. This is used in cases where spasms and pain in the muscles are present. Massage physical therapy techniques serve to increase blood flow; ease discomfort caused by scar tissue and put the patient in a relaxed state. Be advised though that some massage techniques involve very hard pressure and may be uncomfortable to some patients.
Your therapist will know if you are up for receiving intense massage as a physical therapy technique. There are also physical therapy techniques involving what are referred to as modalities. These are only utilized for the short term though and are mainly to decrease discomfort and pain, swelling, inflammation and may also be used in trying to improve functions of the joints and muscles.
Ultrasound and electrical stimulation are also popular modality methods of physical therapy techniques. When we mean ultrasound in a therapeutic manner, we are not talking pictures here but rather its use in manufacturing heat deep into the tissues and muscles. Ultrasound is one of the best physical therapy techniques to help in breaking scar tissue up and providing overall relief from pain.
With electrical stimulation there are a few different ways it is used. On top of helping keep inflammation reduced it also aids in muscular tone maintenance. One of its uses is by way of a process called iontophoresis. This is when a mild current electrical in nature zaps ions of medicine deep into the tissue, beginning on the surface of the skin. It is mainly used for bursitis, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
And of course, what discussion of physical therapy techniques would be complete without mentioning heat and cold? Prior to range of motion and stretching exercises, heat packs as high as 160 degrees are used to prepare the physical therapy patients. However, there are times when it is also used at the end of your physical therapy techniques training session to help keep soreness at a minimum.
And then we have ice. In addition to its usual uses on pain, swelling and/or inflammation it is often used in what is called cryotherapy. This is when massage is done using ice or perhaps even in a whirlpool or other type of water machine in a circulating fashion. These are but a few of the many physical therapy techniques you may encounter when undergoing physical therapy. Your particular practitioner will know which one suits your needs the best.