Physiotherapy refers to the treatment of various medical conditions using manual therapy, exercises and modalities such as ultrasound, interferential, T.E.N.S. and laser therapy for pain relief.

Orthopaedic conditions treated include various sports/ work related injuries, acute/ chronic pain and injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents. Physiotherapy also plays an important role in the treatment of neurological conditions such as stroke, head injury, Parkinson’s, and paediatric conditions (e.g. Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida etc.) In the area of cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation, treatment is provided for various chest conditions (e.g. asthma, bronchitis, emphysema etc.) and postcardiac and thoraric surgery. The benefits of physiotherapy are also seen in the field of women’s health (e.g. pre-natal preparation, post-natal care, stress incontinence etc.).

Before any treatment is administered, t e p ysiot erapist will conduct a detailed assessment of t e presenting problem. In ort opaedic conditions, assessment procedures will include testing muscle strengt , joint range of motion, sensation, reflexes etc. Treatment will t en consist of an individualized program, w ic  will include pain relief modalities, manual t erapy, and exercises. Client education about t eir specific problem is also an important part of t e treatment. T is is to injure t at clients can learn  ow to prevent injuries from recurring. In neurological re abilitation, assessment will also include testing functional abilities.

As part of physiotherapy treatment, emphasis is also placed on caregiver education. This is because the clients may need assistance with their activities of daily living. In the area of women’s health, the physiotherapist will conduct classes to help mothers-to-be prepare for their delivery. Baby massage is taught to mothers who are keen on learning how to calm babies who are fretful or have problems with colic.

For physiotherapy treatments to be effective, it is essential that the clients follow closely the advice or instructions given by the therapist. Proper compliance will allow the therapist to monitor the clients’ progress and make the necessary modifications to the treatment. This in turn will enable the clients to obtain maximum benefits from the physiotherapy sessions.

(Raouf Hanna is Director of Physiotherapy at the Britannia Physiotherapy Clinic.)