What Is Physical Therapy

The term “masseur-physiotherapist” comes from the Greek words “massins” (to knead), “kinesis” (movement) and “therapeuein” (to heal).

The physiotherapist performs, manually or with the aid of instruments, rehabilitation and rehabilitation care aimed at preserving, restoring or supplementing the integrity, both structural and functional, of a person confronted with a trauma, illness or disability.

In France, the practice of physiotherapy requires obtaining a state paramedical diploma dispensed at the end of 4 years of training (plus 1 year of preparation). This profession is recent. Indeed, it was only after the Second World War, to treat and re-educate the war wounded that the diploma of masseur-physiotherapist was created. Later, the public health law of August 9, 2008 gave birth to the Order of physiotherapist masseurs.

If the physiotherapist treats benign ailments such as low back pain , stiff necks or sprains , he also treats trauma related to accidents or the consequences of aging. The field of application of physiotherapy is therefore very wide: neurological pathologies, trauma, rheumatic diseases, balance disorders, urinary and fecal incontinence, oncology, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, swallowing disorders, rehabilitation, etc. The physiotherapist intervenes at all ages in the lives of patients.

Physiotherapy is used for different purposes. From the ancient Greek “kinesis”, which means “movement” , to which is added “therapy”, which means the treatment of a patient, physiotherapy is therapy by movement. The main thing is to relieve the patient because he often comes to reduce pain, ” says Elodie Beltrame , sports masseur-physiotherapist. The masseur prefix then takes on its full meaning.

Manual therapy integrating into a therapeutic perspective –  “I can’t imagine not touching the patient in my practice because it allows us to understand how things” move “in him, to feel his limitations and to observe the compensations. Thanks to this, I can see if there is an evolution of the tissue qualities over the sessions ”-  physiotherapy can also be done in an instrumental way to treat patients, who all have different functions.

Caring for the patient is the basis of physiotherapy. Step by step, patients are asked if the pain has progressed and if new tensions have appeared ”.

The physiotherapist has the advantage of treating injuries without side effects. Indeed, through equipment or manual treatment, the specialist will remedy muscle or joint pain. It will help the patient to recover quickly or to rehabilitate painful muscles by means of gentle techniques, and will establish treatment priorities. “For a sprained ankle, for example, if the patient is really in pain, we will start the rehabilitation on a table, lying down or sitting down. Then, little by little, we will strengthen standing to prevent relapse of the sprain,  explains the specialist. I respect the principle “primum non nocere” which means “first, do no harm” “.

… but also preventive

But healing isn’t the only benefit of physiotherapy. It also makes it possible to act upstream of the pain, through preventive care.  I have some elderly people with whom I focus my work on maintenance, to allow them to remain active at home, but also to relax.”

Physiotherapists are ready to give advice to patients, so that they can perform certain movements independently at home, without having to come to the office. Knowing your body and its needs is essential to prevent the onset of any injury.

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