Physical therapy as a concept can be defined in several ways, but it is most commonly used as a term that encompasses all procedures for applying physical agents in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Physical therapy is indispensable and irreplaceable in the treatment and rehabilitation of a person’s locomotor system injuries, whether they are carried out immediately after the injury or as any treatment that is applied as a rehabilitation process after immobilization or surgical treatment.
Often it is necessary to implement physical therapy while waiting for a surgical procedure to prevent the formation of joint contractures or muscle atrophy. This way, high-quality physical therapy actually predisposes your body for good results post-surgery.
There are a number of physiotherapy methods that are used in physical therapy. It is important that for each individual, the most effective therapy is chosen to treat injuries and to help as soon as possible for maximum rehabilitation effect. This article will attempt to explain the method of treatment for a few of the most common injuries.
Tennis Elbow (lateral humeral epicondylitis)
Non-exaggerated physiological stress and repetitive movements of the forearm muscles (including excessive stretching of the periosteum nerve endings) lead to degenerative changes and increased pain that creates tension in the lateral feeders of the epicondular muscle (extensor) tendons in the elbow.
Classical physical therapy in many cases does not produce the expected results. Therefore, shockwave therapy is recommended, which has proven to be a much better solution. If the soreness during treatment is very strong, it is recommended to use cryotherapy shortly before the shockwave.
Achilles tendon injuries often later lead to pain in the heel. This injury usually occurs in people who are engaged in long-distance running and a variety of sports such as soccer, tennis, volleyball, basketball, badminton and handball. It is estimated that Achilles tendon inflammation affects about 11% of runners, 9% of dancers, 5% of gymnasts, 2% of tennis players, and less than 1% of soccer players. We can distinguish insertion (where the tendons attach to the calcaneus) and non-insertion which may occur throughout the length of the long side of the rear leg tendons and usually in its lower third.
Electric Shockwave Therapy, like with other tendinopthies, has proven to be a successful therapy for Achilles tendon in its chronic stage. Once you have exhausted all possible physiotherapy and kinesiotherapeutical methods in the acute stage, the next stage begins with the realization of the therapy in the chronic stage. Shockwave is one of the most common techniques of choice because of its two-directional action. The first is to reduce the sensitivity of receptors for pain, and with it a reduction in total pain. Second, and more important, is to encourage the natural healing process in the body that is missing in chronic pain conditions.
Calcification in the Shoulder (tendonitis Calcarea)
Calcifying of the shoulder occurs when there is an increased concentration of calcium in the shoulder tendons. Surrounding tissue near the deposition can become inflamed, causing a great deal of pain in the shoulder. This situation is quite common and usually affects people over the age of 40 years.
Calcifying tendinopathy, or simply calcification in the shoulder, is just a description of X-ray or ultrasound, and does not necessarily constitute a problem in the shoulder. Moreover, various studies suggest that in the general population, micro calcification can be found in every five people over the age of 20.
The mere presence of calcification does not mean that there is pain in the shoulder or that it will become painful. One part of calcification passes through all three of its stages without a single symptom. On the other hand, a sore shoulder where calcifications are found needs to be thoroughly examined by a specialist in order to determine whether the calcification causes pain, or pain with limitation of motion caused by other unrelated factors. When it is determined that the cause of the symptoms is calcification, then the treatment can be determined that is different to the cause.
Back pain is very common, but also usually the most ignored. The pain may be almost unnoticeable but always present and especially pronounced during specific movements or postures. Pain affects all age groups and the causes may vary, sometimes professionally conditioned and sometimes as a result of trauma.
Treatments by way of classical physical methods sometimes do not give the desired results. The problem is that these methods work to relieve symptoms but not the cause of the problem, which is mechanical pressure on the nerve root. When neither medications nor physical therapy work, then unfortunately, surgery is the next recommended step, with questionable results however. Non-surgical, non-invasive spinal decompression therapy is very effective and a good way of dealing with pain and problems related to the entire spine.
The whole rehabilitation process must be under constant supervision of a qualified rehabilitation professional that tailors the intensity and extend of exercises to the individuals abilities.