Pain is generally the symptom that brings a person to a healthcare practitioner looking for relief.
Our physiotherapists attempt to utilise a combination of strategies to bring pain relief to their patients. They know that pain is not only subjective, but an objective experience.
Range of motion of the affected and unaffected parts this may be directly impacted due to anatomical insult or maybe impaired due to protective spasm, guarding or faulty positioning. Range of the joint is not limited to the peripheral joints but the therapist also may need to assess the joint mobility of the vertebral body(ies) in the various anatomically available ranges. A working knowledge of the available joint play in each direction for different levels of the spine is essential to determine a decrease in range of motion..
This includes observation during and after the evaluation and includes the origin/onset, site, pattern, quality, intensity, radiation, characteristics, contributing and relieving factors, previous treatments and their effectiveness, and other visceral signs and symptoms.
Functional assessment is probably the most important element that our physiotherapist include in a patient's assessment; the impact that pain has on the person's functional abilities can uniquely be addressed by our physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy involves directing the treatment interventions to the physiological and anatomical aspects. Healing the tissue that was damaged due to injury, disuse, etc. is the main focus. This is often the target for relief in acute pain that is due to a very recent injury or recurrent and repetitive physiological stress. Such physical interventions are often passive and the effect may be limited to a short duration.
Behavioural changes on part of the patient are probably the most effective methods to bring about long term pain relief. Exercises, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, etc. are examples. There is a learning period where the patient is trained to perform these methods and when trained is able to perform them independently.
Commonly used physical agents in physiotherapy are heat, electricity, light, sound, and cold. Most of these agents are used to improve the lymphatic and blood circulation to the area due to a local vasodilation effect and possible muscle relaxation.
Heat to deeper tissues can be delivered using energy conversion techniques such as diathermy or ultrasound. Shortwave diathermy uses a constantly reversing and oscillating magnetic field which heats up the tissue temperature
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), as the name suggests, employs electricity to control pain