Physiotherapists make use of a number of treatment modalities to achieve the best possible outcomes. The type of treatment prescribed and carried out by the physiotherapist, takes into account the patient's goals and prior level of function. Treatments to address pain may include physical agent modalities such as ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and hydrotherapy as well as various forms of soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, muscle stretching and joint manipulation. Exercise forms an important part of nearly all physiotherapy rehabilitation programmes.
By using the modalities mentioned above and several other treatment techniques, we aim to relieve pain and help our patients regain full functional movement and strength. Physiotherapists have a large knowledge base of treatment techniques and exercise programmes. Some of these will be dealt with in greater detail in the pages following. A few of these treatments may not be part of some physiotherapy clinics’ treatment modalities, however your physiotherapist can refer you to someone who can help you if a specific type of treatment not on offer with them is recommended for your recovery.
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In this section
The Bowen technique is a series of rolling, gentle movements across muscle and connective tissue. It was designed by Australian osteopath Tom Bowen. Read more →
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle non-invasive, manipulative soft tissue technique derived from osteopathy and discovered by Dr. John Upledger in the 1970s in the USA. Read more →
The word acupuncture comes from the Latin word for needle (acus) and it means “puncturing of bodily tissue for the relief of pain”. Read more →
Exercise is essential to recovery from sports injuries, following surgery, after an acute trauma, in the management of acute and chronic low back pain, neck pain and headaches and in the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis. Read more →
The Feldenkrais method is an education method that teaches its students how to move with less effort in order to achieve better function. It is a system of re-introducing often rarely used movement patterns in a flexible manner. Read more →
Hydrotherapy is physiotherapy prescribed exercise which is performed in a pool that is therapeutically heated to 34 degrees Celsius. Read more →
Ice therapy (cryotherapy) is the use of ice in the treatment of acute and chronic injuries. Read more →
Interferential therapy is a type of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) which has two alternating currents that are applied to the skin. Read more →
When a physiotherapist manipulates a joint, it means we take the joint to its end of range and then we perform a quick thrust movement to which takes the joint past its normal range of movement. Read more →
Joint mobilisation is a “hands on” physiotherapy technique commonly used in a clinical setting to improve the range of movement of a joint in order to lessen stiffness and pain. Read more →
Low powered (cold) laser is a modality used in physiotherapy clinics in the treatment of soft tissue injuries. Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Read more →
Lumbar stabilisation involves strengthening your core stabilising muscles to protect the spine from injury and prevent low back pain. Read more →
Massage therapy, which physiotherapists commonly refer to as soft tissue therapy, is a popular treatment choice in many clinical settings. Read more →
Muscle energy techniques are osteopathic techniques used by physiotherapists to assess and correct asymmetry and dysfunction in the body. Read more →
Pilates exercises have been simplified and broken into stages and have become a major tool used by physiotherapists to treat shoulder, spine and hip injuries. Read more →
Athletes regularly perform exercises to maintain or improve strength. Read more →
Therapeutic exercise is a form of bodily movement aimed at correcting a physical impairment, restoring normal function and promoting a state of well being. Read more →
An ultrasound machine, which is very commonly used in physiotherapy, works by using high frequency sound waves (that can’t be heard by the human ear) to effectively treat deep tissue injuries. Read more →
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