The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) defines manual therapy techniques as: “Skilled hand movements intended to produce any or all of the following effects: improve tissue extensibility; increase range of motion of the joint complex; mobilize or manipulate soft tissues and joints; induce relaxation; change muscle function; modulate pain; and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation or movement restriction.
Dry needling is a technique used to treat trigger points (muscle knots). It is often confused with acupuncture which uses the same needles but is based on a different theory.
Women’s health is not a well-known field of physio in South Africa. This means that it is under-utilised and many women are left thinking that things are “normal” and “just the way it is” when there is actually help out there!
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation or Simply IASTM is a manual therapy approach to musculoskeletal injuries using specifically designed tools.
No physio treatment is complete without exercise. Stretching and strengthening is a vital part of the treatment of any injury or condition - be it a broken bone, torn ligament, muscle strain, chronic back pain or headache.
Strapping is used as an adjunct to other treatments and is rarely used alone. There are various types of strapping which are used for different reasons.
Ultrasound therapy is used by physios to treat a variety of conditions. The “ultra-“ refers to the frequency of the sound waves which is above the range of human hearing. Ultrasonic waves are produced by the ultrasound machine and transmitted to the body by the transducer, or treatment head which is moved over the injured area. When the waves come into contact with air, they dissipate and so a gel is applied to the skin to ensure maximum transmission of the ultrasound waves to the injured area.
Low level laser therapy is used by physios to reduce pain and facilitate tissue healing. The photons of light emitted by the laser are absorbed by the cells and converted to energy which drives the healing process.