Diagnosis and Therapy, Physical Therapy

Acquaint ourselves With These 4 Foundational Types of Physical Therapy

If you are suffering from restricted joints and limited range of motion, physical therapy is an excellent way that can help in...

Written by Trudy Sedger · 3 min read >
Physical Therapy

If you are suffering from restricted joints and limited range of motion, physical therapy is an excellent way that can help in restoring mobility and function. Physical therapy streamlines your recovery process post-surgery or in case of an injury or an accident by targeting specific muscle groups resulting in relief from pain.

Physical therapy can be divided into four broad categories: neurological, occupational, geriatric and pediatric therapy. The type of physical therapy that your therapist recommends depends on the ailment you suffer from.

The physiotherapy industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. It has improved physical therapy treatments’ efficiency and effectiveness, enabling patients to regain their normal body functions and independent mobility.

Let us explore the four types of physiotherapy and their benefits to help you make a sound and informed decision.

Neurological Physical Therapy

Neurological physiotherapy entails a comprehensive assessment and treatment of problems associated with the nervous system caused by a disease or an injury. Your physical therapist begins by conducting a thorough evaluation of your ailment’s severity, type, and location.

The most common conditions that use neurological physiotherapy as an effective way to relieve discomfort are:

  • Cardiovascular issues such as stroke
  • Trauma caused due to brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Guillain Barre Syndrome
  • Ataxia
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Polyneuropathies
  • Progressive neurological conditions
  • Spasticity

If you have been diagnosed with a neurological disease or suffered from an injury, neurological physical therapy can play a definitive role in your recovery and treatment. The brain and spinal cord are responsible for controlling our movements and sensations. An injury to these areas can result in cell damage and loss of mobility, pain, and inability to manage activities.

The inability to move freely can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, leading to chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, lung problems, dependence, and reduced quality of your life.

Physical therapists are trained professionals with extensive clinical experience and possess valuable insights into proper body mechanics. Their skilled assistance can help you attain your health goals and teach you to regain independent mobility. 

  • Helps restore free range of motion
  • Improves functionality and strengthens bones and muscles
  • Facilitates gait retraining
  • Improves postural deformities
  • Mobilizes restricted muscles and joints
  • Stabilizes core
  • Improves heart health

Neurological physical therapy entails low-intensity movements and exercises and is relatively less intense than other physical therapy types. The complexity of these exercises is gradually increased depending on the patient’s response to the physical therapy treatment plan.

Occupational Physical Therapy

Occupational therapy empowers patients with the knowledge, strength, and skill to regain their independent mobility and free range of motion. Occupational therapy enables patients to conduct their daily life activities without the hassle by teaching ways to improve their career, social interaction, and self-care.

Your physical therapist will begin with primary workplace and home assessments and evaluate your impairments’ type, location, and complexity. Some common conditions that can be relieved by occupational therapy are:

  • Muscle restriction in Upper Extremity
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Orthopedic and sports injuries
  • Splints
  • Neurological conditions
  • Vision problems
  • Self-care and ADL
  • Work enhancement

Occupational therapy involves physical therapists working closely with patients teaching them the correct way to lift objects and other ways they can enhance their productivity at work while reducing the risk of injury due to falls or accidents.

The most common cause of back and spine-related injury at the workplace is incorrect lifting technique, which directly impacts the lower back. Occupational therapists teach you the correct way to lift and help you increase your core and upper body strength.

Geriatric Physical Therapy

Geriatric therapy deals with helping older adults manage their physical problems effectively. It allows the elderly to gain strength and balance, enabling them to lead an independent life free from aches and pains.

As we age, our original strength and stamina get diminished over time, which leads to reduced functionality and limited mobility. Suffering from chronic diseases causes short-term and long-term degenerative changes. It can lead to a loss in muscle mass, bone density and hamper our overall quality of life.

Geriatric care is a preventative tool that can help put various diseases and health complications at bay. Some common conditions where senior care is used to provide relief from discomfort are:

  • Muscle and Joint pain
  • Generalized Weakness
  • Postural Instability and Strengthening
  • Balance Disorders
  • Gait retraining
  • Improve the overall quality of life

Geriatric care enables older people to regain independence by teaching them exercises combined with stretching and strengthening movements. It allows them to lead an active life and reduces the risk of chronic illnesses.

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric therapy deals with children’s physical problems, helping them attain their maximum level of fitness and well-being. Pediatric therapists specialize in treating babies and growing children with the common ailments prevalent in that age group.

The physical therapy treatment program may include soft tissue massage, joint manipulation, mobilization, stretching exercises combined with therapeutic activities, and postural retraining.

Pediatric therapy aims to improve the quality of your kid’s life by strengthening their joints and muscles and enhancing their flexibility and movement patterns. The physical therapy treatments are designed to maximize a kid’s free range of motion while maintaining the fun quotient.

Some common conditions that pediatric therapy has proven effective against are:

  • Recovery from injuries
  • Children experiencing delayed development, such as a child who should be walking
  • Failure to meet the milestone for their age
  • Genetic disorders like Down syndrome
  • Muscle and Joint weakness 
  • Balance and coordination disorders
  • Muscular and neurological conditions 

Pediatric physical therapy, in essence, is the opposite of geriatric physical therapy. It is specially designed to improve the lives of children suffering from various physical health issues.

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