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Overview

Physiotherapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Physiotherapy helps to restore mobility and normalcy in a patient's life after he/she is affected by any injury, disease or disability, in general.

Components of a physiotherapy session include manual therapy, advising and educating the patient. Physiotherapy can help a patient of any age to manage further pain and prevent subsequent injuries or diseases. In a nutshell, physiotherapy helps a patient improve and maximize his/her physical strength, functioning and general well-being while taking care of the underlying issues.

It adopts a more holistic approach to a patient's treatment process by taking into consideration his/her lifestyle and other dimensions of their lives.

Physiotherapy helps prevent disability and injury, manages chronic as well as acute health conditions, manages and betters physical performance of the patient, provides rehabilitation from the injury and educates patients on how to prevent any further recurrence.

How is the treatment done?

A physiotherapist may employ a variety of techniques, determined by the nature of the injury sustained and the particular problem that is being treated. The commonest of them are:

  • Manual manipulation: Moving the soft tissues and the joints betters circulation, flushes excess fluids from the body and relaxes overtly tight muscles and spasms.
  • Electrical stimulation of the nerves: Delivering electric currents in controlled intensity to the affected part helps to contain the pain signals, thus preventing them from reaching the brain.
  • Acupuncture: This is a great way of stimulating the CNS while dulling the pain and relaxing tight muscles.
  • Demonstration: Teaching and demonstrating proper movement patterns to the patient help them to recuperate on their own.
  • Functional testing: This involves examining the patient with regards to their physical movements to better assess his/her condition.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Few conditions that can benefit from physical therapy are:

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There is nothing as a non-eligibility criterion for physiotherapy. Anybody who has sustained an injury, disease or has been rendered disabled from a trauma can go for physiotherapy for improved functioning and mobility, obviously after due consultation with the doctor in charge.

Are there any side effects?

Yes, there are a few side effects associated with physiotherapy. It is absolutely essential to address these by talking it out with the physiotherapist. Some of the common side effects are:

  • Pain: It may happen that your pain increases while you recuperate and recover. To address such pain, oral pain medicines might be administered prior to a session of physical therapy. Heat/cold therapy or other topical methods can work as well.
  • Swelling: This is very common; it's because of the fact that the tissues, muscles and ligaments are stretched in order to strengthen them. This can result in swelling and further pain because of it. What are the post-treatment guidelines? The basic guideline here is to stick to the course and complete it. While there might not be fool-proof guarantee of outcome or resolution of the pain post physiotherapy, getting demotivated because of this and discontinuing the course prematurely can have adverse effects on the body. This can result in further pain and absolute non-resolution of the condition whatsoever. It is best to talk to the concerned physiotherapist and tell him/her precisely about your own personal objectives. The physio can then tailor the treatment plan according to your objectives and recommend you to make certain lifestyle modifications for quicker recovery. How long does it take to recover? It is important to keep in mind that every problem is different and the rate at which individuals recover will always vary. Physiotherapy may take longer to bring results in case the problem being dealt with is severe and on the other hand, may require a much shorter downtime if the patient had only sustained a minor injury. Typically, the body's softer tissues take about 6-7 weeks to heal completely; hence, physiotherapy will last for that time period. What is the price of the treatment in India? The cost of physiotherapy in India ranges from Rs.250- Rs.1500 per session. Are the results of the treatment permanent? While there is no fool-proof guarantee of results, physiotherapy is very important for holistic recovery of the patient post injury or disability of any kind. If stuck to the entire treatment course and done with diligence, physiotherapy usually helps the patient in ways more than one. To put it simply, the effects of physiotherapy are permanent, given the patient is clear about his/her personal goals and expectations and lets the physiotherapist know about the same as well. What are the alternatives to the treatment? The alternatives to physiotherapy are:
    • The intake of carbs should be kept in check as increased consumption of carbs results in inflammation because of spiked blood sugar levels.
    • Oils that are rich in LDL should be avoided. Also, foods rich in trans-fats and saturated fats should be cut out from the diet.
    • Eat more of plant-based foods and items rich in anti-inflammatory properties such as green tea, onion, garlic, lemon, mustard, horseradish, parsley, celery, etc.
    • Acupuncture
    • Acupressure
Safety: Very High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Recovery Time: Medium Price Range: Rs.250 - Rs.1500 per session.

Popular Health Tips

Knee Replacement - Is Second Surgery Actually Required?

Fellowship in Joint Replacement, M S Ortho, DNB (Orthopaedics)
Orthopedist, Chandigarh
Knee Replacement - Is Second Surgery Actually Required?

Of all the joints in the body, the knees probably see the maximum wear and tear. In cases of severe osteoarthritis, or injuries which destroy the knee joint, a total knee replacement surgery may be advised. This procedure involves the replacement of diseased cartilage and bone in the knees with artificial materials.

In cases of osteoarthritis and other such degenerative conditions, this procedure is performed only when the adjacent joints such as the hips are strong and healthy. Before the procedure, you may be advised to discontinue any blood thinning and anti-inflammatory medication. Your doctor will also conduct blood and urine tests to check for signs of anaemia, abnormal metabolism and infections. You may also be asked to lose weight if you are on the heavier side to reduce the pressure on your knees.

A total knee replacement surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia. The lower end of the femur bone or thigh bone and the upper end of the tibia or calf bone are removed and replaced with a metal shell and plastic piece respectively. In some cases, a plastic ‘button’ may also be placed on the surface of the knee cap. If the posterior cruciate ligament in intact it is left as is or it is replaced by a polyethene post to stabilise the joint and prevent the calf from slipping backwards.

In most cases, a patient is discharged after 3-5 days of hospitalisation following the surgery. Post-surgery, it takes about a month for the patient to experience notable improvements. For optimal results, total knee surgery must be followed by physiotherapy and regular exercise. This helps prevent scarring and keeps the muscles strong enough to maintain joint stability. Exercising can also reduce recovery time. However, not all exercises are advisable. Avoid running, jumping, climbing stairs and contact sports which have a high risk of knee injury. Swimming is highly encouraged as it boosts endurance and muscle strength without putting any pressure on the joint.

In some cases, a second surgery may be required in cases of total knee replacement to fix fractures, loosening or complications of the artificial joint. As with any other surgical procedure, a total knee replacement surgery also has risks. Some of these are:

  1. Formation of blood clots that can cause shortness of breath, chest pain and shock
  2. Urinary tract infection
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Knee pain and stiffness
  5. Nerve damage
  6. Internal bleeding in the knee
  7. Increased risk of infections

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2683 people found this helpful

Does Physiotherapy Help Reduce Back Pain?

MBBS, D.Ortho, FCPS
Orthopedist, Mumbai
Does Physiotherapy Help Reduce Back Pain?

Back pain is a common ailment faced by men and women of all ages. It can range from a periodic dull ache to a constant stabbing pain. A pain in the lower part of the neck is also often categorized as back pain. This may be caused by a number of factors. Some of these include:

  • Lifting weights incorrectly
  • Handling excess stress
  • Staying in one position for too long

Patients suffering from frequent episodes of back pain or pain that lasts for more than six weeks are often advised to undergo physiotherapy. In cases of severe back pain, the earlier you start your physiotherapy, the more effective it will be.

Physiotherapy aims at finding a way to reduce the pain being experienced and prevent it from recurring. When it comes to treating back pain, there are usually two parts of a physiotherapy program. The first is a passive physiotherapy that helps reduce the pain being experienced. The second part of the program involves exercises that help strengthen the muscles and keep the pain from recurring.

  1. Passive physiotherapy: This part of physiotherapy is termed as passive as the patient need not do anything himself. Using an ice pack or a heat pack to deal with the pain is one example of passive physiotherapy. This helps reduce inflammation and relieves pain. Hot packs and cold packs are usually used alternatively. Other examples include ultrasound therapy and a therapy that involves the use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit.
  2. Active physiotherapy: Once the pain has been brought under control, the next step is to strengthen the muscles and nerves in the back. Stretching exercises are a basic element of active physiotherapy. These exercises need to be performed every day and should be made a habit. In cases of severe back pain, these exercises may need to be practiced under expert supervision in a hospital. But otherwise, it may be done at home. Along with stretches, dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises and exercises that strengthen the core muscles are also important. Some form of low-impact aerobics may also be prescribed to improve flexibility. Unlike the other exercises mentioned above, this need not be practiced every day.

Physiotherapy can be a very effective way of treating back pain as long as it is used the right way. For example, when using a heat pack or an ice pack, the packs should not be placed in direct contact with the patient’s skin. Similarly, when practicing physiotherapy exercises, the patient must not over-exert the muscles and stop immediately, if he/she experiences any pain or discomfort.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2545 people found this helpful

Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery - Know Everything About It!!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Guwahati
Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery - Know Everything About It!!

The cervical discs are protective cushions that allow the free movement of the neck. The intervertebral disks located between the cervical vertebrae (7 bones, C1-C7, that constitute the cervical spine) function as shock absorbers.

However, any damage and injury to the cervical disc, or an ailment can narrow the spinal canal. As a result, the intervertebral cervical discs exert pressure on the spinal nerves (responsible for movement and sensation in the upper body). There may be weakness and loss of sensation, causing pain (moderate to chronic) and discomfort in the neck. The free movement of the neck also gets affected (restricted).

In many cases, physiotherapy and other nonsurgical medications can help improve the condition. Cervical Disc Surgery comes as a blessing in extreme cases, where the non-surgical medications fail to provide any relief.

For long, the cervical disc surgery involved the surgical removal of the affected disc, followed by the fusion of the vertebrae located above and below the affected cervical disc (Traditional Fusion Surgery).

The advancement of technology has increased the effectiveness (higher success rate) of the cervical disc surgery. These days, the surgery is simple and involves replacing the affected cervical disk with an artificial one (Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement).

Triggers for a cervical disc replacement surgery:
Any damage to the cervical disc can affect the spinal cord and the neck adversely. A person may need to undergo a disc replacement surgery in case;

  1. There are pain and stiffness in the neck.
  2. Pain that gradually spreads into the arms and shoulder.
  3. One experiences extreme weakness in the arms, legs, hands or shoulders.
  4. There is a loss of sensation (numbness) or "needle prick" like sensations in the arms.
  5. There is a headache (moderate to severe).

Advantages of cervical disc replacement:
People have benefitted immensely from cervical disc replacement.

  1. In comparison to the fusion surgery, disc replacement has a faster recovery time.
  2. Disc replacement has a higher success rate (remarkable improvement in the shoulder and neck movement).
  3. It retains the cervical motion.
  4. It reduces the stress on the spinal cord and spine nerves greatly.

Risks involved in the cervical disc replacement:
With merits come the demerits. Though effective, there are some risks involved in the surgery.

  1. A person may experience some difficulty in breathing and swallowing of food.
  2. There may be some reactions to the anesthesia.
  3. The disc replacement may result in an infection, nerve injury, bleeding or leakage of the spinal fluid.
  4. Post replacement, there may be a stroke, voice modulation.
  5. In some unfortunate cases, there may be no improvement in the condition.
  6. The artificial disc may be affected (fractured or broken).

Recovery and Precaution:
A little alertness and precaution can speed up the recovery process.

  1. The first three weeks post-surgery, avoid strenuous work.
  2. For a better recovery, start walking after the surgery. However, do not overdo yourself.
  3. It is not advisable to start driving immediately after the surgery.
  4. Avoid rigorous exercise for as long as recommended by the doctor.
  5. Rest as much as possible.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1907 people found this helpful

Knee Joint Replacement Surgery!

MBBS, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), DNB (Orthopedics)
Orthopedist, Bangalore
Knee Joint Replacement Surgery!

Knee is a hinge joint where the lower leg bone tibia meets the thigh bone femur. During osteoarthritis, cartilage or ligament defects and degenerative arthritis, knee replacement surgery is recommended worldwide to get relief from extreme pain. Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroscopy, is a surgical procedure, in which the affected knee joint is replaced with synthetic material. The most likely candidates for total knee replacement are the patients with severe destruction of the knee joint coupled with progressive pain and impaired function.

Modern technological advances have made computer assisted knee replacement surgery extremely popular around the globe. In this surgery, the surgeon is assisted by a computer to remove the optimum amount and angle of the bone, which otherwise is done by inspecting manually. This is an excellent example of surgery through a small incision and it eliminates the chances of human error. A perfect alignment and balance is achieved and hence longevity is also increased to 20 - 30 years. Knee replacement surgery is also specific to gender as the anatomy of male and female patients is different.

There are many types of knee replacements, most common being the Total Knee Replacement or Total Knee Arthroplasty. In addition, there is a partial knee replacement, bilateral knee replacement, revision knee replacement and knee arthroscopy.

In knee replacement surgery, the worn out surfaces of joints of knee are replaced with artificial implant of plastic and metal. The lower end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The upper end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic implant with a metal stem. A plastic ball is also added under the kneecap depending on its condition. These artificial components are commonly referred as prosthesis. The design of these highly flexible implants replicate knee, with the rotating knee replacement implants assist in backward and forward swing of the legs.

Patients whose knee joints have been damaged by either trauma or progressive arthritis should consider total knee replacement surgery. Post-surgical hospital stay after knee joint replacement is usually three to five days. The surgery has a very high success rate and shows dramatic improvement after a month. This improvement is most notable one month or more after surgery. The pain caused by the damaged joint is reduced significantly when the new gliding surface is constructed during surgery. Initially, patient will walk with the help of a walking aid until the knee is able to support full body weight. After six weeks, patient can walk comfortably with minimal assistance. Patients with artificial joints are prescribed to take antibiotics during the course of any elective invasive procedures including dental work. Physiotherapy is an essential part of rehabilitation and it will increase the muscle strength and patient can enjoy most activities, except running and jumping. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.

2808 people found this helpful

Torn Cartilage - Best Way You Can Deal With It!

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship in Arthroscopy & Arthroplasty Shoulder & Knee
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
Torn Cartilage - Best Way You Can Deal With It!

Torn or damage cartilage is not just a problem for the sportsmen. It can occur to anyone. It is generally caused due to a direct hit on the body parts. Its treatment is far more complicated than a simple bone injury. The best sign to know whether or not you have injured your cartilage is to check out your activities. If you have hurt your joint and don’t notice major symptoms, like if you are still capable of putting weight on and move the joint, you might have had a cartilage injury. It doesn’t hurt you a lot in the beginning, but might get worse later. 

Here are the initial care and self-treatment procedure: 

  1. Protection: It is the first thing that has to be kept in mind. You must protect the affected area from any further injury. Thus, providing an external support, for example, use a knee brace. 
  2. Rest: Provide complete rest to the affected joint. The rest is must during the first two or three days. Crutches may help the situation if you’ve got an injury around your knee or ankle. It is then advisable to return back to light activity over the next few days or weeks, as prescribed by the doctor. 
  3. Ice: It is best to apply an ice pack to the injured area for about 15 to 20 minutes in every two to three hours. This must be repeated in the first two to three days. 
  4. Compression: Use a bandage to provide the needed compression to the injured area to avoid any swelling and movement. This will not let things go beyond control. 
  5. Elevation: You must keep the injured area raised. Keep it supported on a pillow to reduce swelling. 

If there is an unbearable pain, take painkillers such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If your condition doesn’t improve after the initial therapy, you must consult a doctor immediately. 

  1. Physiotherapy: It can be helpful in treating the affected joint. If there is any difficulty in moving the affected joint, you must opt for physiotherapy. A professional will be able to teach you exercises that will strengthen your muscles and provide support to the joint. This will help you in getting rid of the pain. It can be also beneficial at a time when you are recovering from any surgical procedure. 
  2. Surgery: If physiotherapy doesn’t work, it means you have severe cartilage damage. In that case, you might be advised to take up surgical procedures to set things in proper shape. Surgery is done either by opening the joint or by Arthroscopy. There are various types of surgery which can be done. 1st the old and successful surgery wherein damaged part of the cartilage is debrided and filled with normal cartilage from the non-weight bearing part of the joint. 2nd is ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) is a 2 stage procedure wherein chondrocyte is grown using stem cell and implanted in defect part in 2nd stage. 3rd is multiple drilling of the area usually done in children. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.
4804 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 30 Year old women having spine (disc) issue. According to my MRI report “Posterior and left paracentral disc extrusion at L5-S1 level superior migration causing compression on left existing nerve”. Due to this the toes of my left foot has lost power restricting dorsiflexion. There is no back pain and I am able to move and walk freely without any issue. The numbness and sensation have shown recovery after 15 days of physiotherapy. My doctor has advised for surgery but I am reluctant to go for it. My two questions are 1) Whether it is possible to get recovery without surgery? If yes what precautions should be taken? 2) I fear further damage due to this nerve compression. Whether there are chances of further damage due to this if I don’t go for surgery?

MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
Hello madam, The symptoms described by you and the MRI report corelate. It means that you have significant disc problem. It is considered as a strong indicator of surgery if you have weakness of muscle. Generally for disc related problems conservative treatment by medication and physiotherapy will work, but when muscle weakness is present, then there is high risk of progression and chances of recovery of muscle power cannot be predicted. If you recover from this problem without surgery it will be great, but have to be lucky. But if it gets worse then you may have to be only sorry. Unfortunately no test or no Surgeon can predict if someone in your position will recover or not. Ifeel the doctor who has seen you in person has more information about you than me, so my advice would be to get your self treated as per his decision. If you have any questions contact me on this platform.
2 people found this helpful

My father is 66 years old. From last 1 year he is suffering from frozen shoulders. But from last 6-7 months he is suffering from weakness in both hands. No pain though. He is also going for physiotherapy but only 10% improvement is there. Got his NCV done and its between 40-46. Emg is pending. Really worried. He is suffering from diabetes from last 21 years. HBA1C is 7.3.

Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
Shoulder pain & armIt is called as peri arthritis shoulder and for that you can do hot water fermentation and ice therapy at home. If you have shoulder pain then the stiffness will develop more that might make the arm to have less improvement which might make you to feel more pain the arm. And also cervical pillow can be used which might make you to have better posture of the shoulder neck and arm.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
Play video
Know More About Injuries
How Physiotherapy helps manage Injuries?
Play video
How Physiotherapy Is Beneficial For You?
How Physiotherapy helps manage different types of pain?
Play video
Spinal Cord Injuries
Hello, I am Dr Gaurav. I am senior Physiotherapist and HOD in Anaath Clinic. I have worked in different multi speciality Hospitals and and clinic before. I have around 10 years of experience. I this time, I have seen many kinds of cases. Today, I will discuss Spinal cord injury.

In Spinal cord Injury, patients generally do not go to Physiotherapist for a longer duration or they just go for few days in the starting injury phase. At that time they are not able to walk or depending upon their level of injury and everything. They might not able to take care of themselves also. But here we try to make them independent as much as they can to help them move their body accordingly. We try to make them stand. We try to focus on their sitting and their walking also. So, it will be more of the confidence increasing for those kinds of patients.

We generally prescribe patients to do movements and increase their strength and motivations. In this condition, if they do not move, there might be different kinds of serious problems like bed su, the stiffness of the joints which will again lead to major issues which will hinder their improvement and progress. So, we prescribe our patients to move as much as they can to help them and gain their mobility soon.

In our clinic, we are just not focusing to maintain the range of motion in their body. We focus to make them motivated, to help gain them the confidence so that they will be able to do their own work.

For any query or treatment, you can contact me through Lybrate.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice