What can Physiotherapy help in?Physiotherapy can help a wide variety of problems that affect an individuals ability to be mobile.
Physiotherapists are trained in the treatment of:
- Musculoskeletal problems------ i.e. sprains, fractures, joint replacements.
- Neurological problems------ i.e. stroke, head injury, cerebral palsy.
- Cardiorespiratory problems------ i.e. heart disease, asthma, pneumonia.
What does a Physiotherapy Appointment involve?An appointment with a physiotherapist will involve taking a relevant clinical history from the patient. The injured area is then assessed as well as other areas that may be related to the problem. Accordingly, a treatment programme is devised. Treatment may include modalities, i.e. ultrasound, interferential current, “Hands on” treatment, specific exercises, or simply advice on how to manage the problem.
What to do about swollen ankles during pregnancy?Swollen ankles tend to occur later in pregnancy. The ankles swell when the enlarged womb presses on the veins that come up from the legs; this in turn leads to accumulation of fluid around the ankles. The only thing that can be done is to elevate your feet by putting them on a footstool when you sit down.
What is osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis is a common problem for many people after middle age. Osteoarthritis is degenerative, wear and tear of the joint. It may result from an injury to the knee earlier in life. Fractures involving the joint surfaces, instability from ligament tears can cause abnormal wear and tear of the knee joint. The main problem in osteoarthritis is degeneration of the articular cartilage that covers the joint. This results in areas of the joint where bone rubs against bone. Bone spurs may form around the joint as the body's response. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are mainly pain, swelling, and stiffening of the knee. The pain of osteoarthritis is usually worse after activity. Early in the course of the disease, you may notice that your knee does fairly well while walking, then after sitting for several minutes the knee becomes stiff and painful. As the condition progresses, pain can interfere with even simple daily activities. In the late stages, the pain can be continuous.
How is Osteoarthritis treated?In the early stages, treatment for osteoarthritis is usually directed at decreasing the inflammation in the joint. Anti–inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are useful in decreasing the pain and swelling from the inflammation. If the symptoms continue, a cortisone injection may be used to bring the inflammation under better control and ease your pain. Cortisone is a very powerful anti–inflammatory medication, but does have secondary effects. The major drawback in use of intra–articular injection of cortisone is the fact that it may actually speed the process of degeneration when used repeatedly.
There are also braces on the market that can reduce the pressure on the side of the knee that is most involved. These braces have been designed mainly for the more common condition of early wear and tear in the medial compartment (inner half) of the knee. Various kinds of elastic supports do little to improve the pain.
Physiotherapy also has a little role to play in this condition. Its role is like painkiller, while you are on it, it does give you some degree of pain relief but does not necessarily change the course of the condition. Exercises may be helpful to prevent stiffness in a painful joint, but it has no role in improving the condition of the joint.
Arthroscopy is sometimes useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Debridment of the knee joint is done. During the debridment any loose fragments of cartilage are removed and the knee is washed with a saline solution. The areas of the knee joint which are badly worn may be roughened with a burr to promote the growth of new cartilage – a fibrocartilage material that is similar scar tissue. Debridement of the knee using the arthroscope is not 100% successful. If successful, it usually affords temporary relief of symptoms for somewhere between 6 months to 2 years.