the 'what' questions
Physio, what does it mean?
Physio is short for physiotherapist (physical therapist is the term used in the U.S.A. and some other countries) or physiotherapy . For the meaning of each term click the link below:
What does a physio do?
Musculoskeletal physiotherapy, which is also known as orthopaedic physiotherapy is a combination of many techniques used to treat conditions such as back pain, sprains, strains, arthritis, incontinence, bursitis, posture problems. It can be used for sport and workplace injuries or help with reduced strength, mobility and flexibility. Following surgery, physiotherapy is used to improve rehabilitation.
There are however many forms of physiotherapy e.g. respiratory, neuro and ??? but at our clinics we generally only have musculoskeletal physiotherapists.
Physio, what to expect?
On your first visit, your injury/pain will be assessed through lots of questions, the physiotherapist asking you to perform various movement to identify where and when it hurts and some palpation (experienced physiotherapists can tell a lot about the nature of your condition using their hands and the feel of your tissue - blind physiotherapists, yes they do exist, tend to be particularly good at this).
You will then be treated using various techniques, also known as modalities.
You may be asked to undress in order to be examined and treated properly.
At the end of the session you will be given exercises. If they are difficult or complex you will be taught how to do them properly before the session is completed.
Physio, what clinic?
One of ours, of course! But seriously, our advice would be to choose a clinic where the physio's are experienced, use hands-on techniques and have a good reputation. Word of mouth is often a great way to decide, so ask your friends and family for recommendations. The vast majority of our customers discover us this way.
the 'what questions
What do physiotherapists study?
In the UK a physiotherapist qualifies by gaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiotherapy. The degree usually takes three years and involves learning the theory and clinical practice, which is developed while on placement in hospitals throughout the UK. So a physiotherapy student will already have some experience of what the job involves prior to graduation. During the course the students learn all about human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry etc. as well as the latest research in treatment techniques for a wide variety of conditions.
Physiotherapy equipment questions
What tools and equipment do physiotherapists use?
Most musculoskeletal physio's will use a variety of tools and equipment ranging from the complex - electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrophoresis - to the more simple such as massage tools e.g 'gua sha' (a hand held massage tool) and seat belts (a strap that resembles a seat belt which assists the physio when performing spinal mobilisations - sounds much worse than it really is!)
What is ultrasound? What is ultrasound used for?
Technically speaking, ultrasound is acoustic (sound) energy in the form of waves, having a frequency above the human hearing range.
With regard to physiotherapy, an 'ultrasound machine' produces waves by means of mechanical vibration in the metal treatment head. The head is moved over the skin surface in the region of the injury, which transmits the energy into the tissues. This is thought to reduce the healing time of certain soft tissue injuries, possibly through the increased production of collagen (a protein component in soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments) and/or beneficially influencing the body's inflammatory response to promote healing.
The effects of therapeutic ultrasound are still disputed.
Physio tape questions