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What is physiotherapy and How does it work ? 

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The definition

Physiotherapy includes all therapeutic processes using natural techniques such as water, heat, cold, electric currents to improve the physical health and motor skills of patients. …These sessions can be prescribed by different professionals: physiotherapists, general practitioners or specialist doctors such as rheumatologists. 

Physiotherapy can also be used in cases of respiratory, circulatory and neurological diseases. Several techniques are used, each of which has its specificities and contraindications. It can be massages and rehabilitation (manual therapy), but also treatments with heat (thermotherapy) or cold (cryotherapy), with water (hydrotherapy or thalassotherapy) or even with ultraviolet or infrared rays. . Some physiotherapists also use ultrasound, electrostimulation and ionization, a technique that allows the local and direct application of an anti-inflammatory solution to the painful area in a very precise way.

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For who ?

It is a technique that can relieve many pathologies, including: 

Trauma-related pain: A fall can damage joints and cause daily pain. 

Joint diseases: Osteoarthritis or arthritis are chronic diseases that are debilitating on a daily basis, both for performing everyday actions and for practicing a sport. Find our article on osteoarthritis, by clicking on this link: Living with osteoarthritis on a daily basis.

Common ailments : They can be due to different pathologies such as lumbago, torticollis…

Paralyzes: For people who suffer from hemiplegia or multiple sclerosis. 

Cardio-respiratory diseases: People affected by bronchitis or asthma, physiotherapy is often recommended.

Circulatory conditions:  Diseases related to blood circulation problems, whether arrhythmia or heart failure. 

To find out if you can benefit from these treatments, you need to ask your doctor to find the solution that corresponds to your situation. 

Warning: It is important to consult a health professional before starting a treatment and to respect the recommended medical prescriptions.  



How does it work ? 

Many methods are used to practice this alternative medicine. It includes in particular: 

 Electrotherapy : It represents all the techniques using the properties of electricity for therapeutic purposes. For example, for chronic pain due to muscle problems, this treatment is often recommended to relieve pain. In addition, electro-therapy devices are also available for individuals at home.

Attention: It is however recommended to seek the agreement of your doctor to be sure of not having any contraindications to use it. They are not recommended for people with a pacemaker, an intracardiac defibrillator or suffering from epilepsy.

Mechanical waves: Generally known with the term ultrasound, these mechanical waves release heat in the ligaments and tendons, which helps relieve pain, they are often proposed for back pain. 

Hydrotherapy: This includes all treatments using water for therapeutic purposes, whether in different gaseous, liquid or solid forms. Generally, it is practiced in thermal cures or in thalassotherapy. These centers offer baths, jet showers, walking baths (walking against counter-current water), thermal water drink cures, wraps, etc. These techniques are known to prevent and relieve many pathologies : osteoarthritis, asthma, digestion problems…

Thermotherapy and cryotherapy: These non-invasive therapies are based on the benefits of temperature change on the body, the application of heat for thermotherapy and cold for cryotherapy. They can be prescribed in the form of hot or cold compresses, cold or hot bath. They provide many benefits, the reduction of pain, the improvement of the quality of the skin, it also promotes blood circulation. 

To feel the benefits of this care, it is generally recommended to carry out several sessions and to accompany them with a drug treatment (if prescribed by the doctor).

What are physiotherapy clinic treatments like?

A physiotherapist helps care for patients in all phases of healing, from the initial diagnosis to the restorative and preventive stages of healing. 

During a patient’s first visit, the physiotherapist will take their medical history and perform a physical exam. Some of the treatments used by physiotherapists are:

– Mobilization or manipulation of the joints;

– Exercises to strengthen weak points;

– Application of heat to improve blood circulation;

– Ultrasound therapy to relieve muscle spasms;


– Electrical stimulation to help muscles contract that cannot do so effectively on their own.


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