What types of physical therapies are there?
At The London Clinic, we offer access to a wide range of expert therapists who are very experienced in offering the following physical therapies:
- Physiotherapy, including specialised therapies such as aquatic rehabilitation, exercise therapy, clinical Pilates, women’s health physiotherapy, falls prevention, and strength and conditioning coaching
- Joint mobilisation and manipulation
- Specialised rehabilitation services for vestibular (balance) disorders and breathing disorders
- Complementary treatments, including acupuncture, osteopathy and clinical massage therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Special assistive technologies such as the Biodex isokinetic system, AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, extracorporeal shock wave therapy and electrotherapy.
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What are physical therapies used to treat?
Physical therapies provide effective treatment for a wide range of different conditions and as part of the recovery from joint injuries or surgeries.
They can help treat many causes of joint pain and stiffness, including arthritis and sciatica (a pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve which can cause pain in the lower back, buttock and down the legs). Physical therapy for sciatica usually involves strengthening exercises, stretching, and aerobic conditioning.
Our team at The London Clinic are also able to offer targeted therapies for conditions that cause more generalised pain and fatigue, such as chronic widespread pain (fibromyalgia) and cancer.
In these cases, gentle and appropriate movement can help prevent muscle deconditioning and help maintain strength and mobility. Exercise-based therapies can also be very helpful in managing and treating stress-related illnesses and mental health problems.
More specialised physical therapies can be used to target certain conditions. For example, vestibular rehabilitation can be used to treat conditions affecting the inner ear that cause problems with balance and vertigo.
Speech and language therapy can be used to treat a number of problems from simple speech defects to airway disorders and neurological conditions (such as stroke) that affect swallowing.
What do they involve?
Before starting treatment, a specially trained therapist will ask questions about the symptoms and carry out a thorough clinical examination of the problem area(s). They may also discuss the shared treatment goals to help put together a tailored plan.
The therapy sessions themselves will vary depending on the treatment. Any hydrotherapy or aquatic rehabilitation will take place in our fully equipped and heated swimming pool. Other therapies usually take place in a quiet clinic room or dedicated physiotherapy gym.
The majority of sessions will involve completing targeted movements, stretches or exercises under the supervision of the therapist. These exercises can be practiced at home between sessions to speed up recovery time. The therapist will assess progress at each session and modify the exercises and treatment accordingly.
What are the risks?
There are very few risks associated with physical therapies that are supervised and monitored by trained experts.
After treatments that involve exercise or stretching, some people may feel a little joint or muscle soreness. This is normal, and can last for a few days until the muscles and joints have fully recovered and started to strengthen.
For people receiving physical therapies due to joint pain or injury, it may help to take painkillers beforehand so that they can complete their session without being hindered by pain.
How effective are they?
Lots of studies show that physical therapies are very effective in treating many conditions that cause chronic (long-term) pain. For some conditions, this is the mainstay of treatment.
For more complex conditions, physical therapies often work best alongside appropriate medical treatment, surgery or psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
As well as being essential for recovery following surgery or joint injury, they can also be used to delay or prevent the need for surgery. This is seen if physical therapies are started early enough and followed appropriately under experienced supervision.
Why Choose The London Clinic?
At The London Clinic, we are committed to offering rapid access to quality, patient-centred care that is at the cutting edges of innovation. As a charity, we re-invest in our state-of-the-art facilities to ensure we give our patients the very best treatments available. Our leading multidisciplinary team has expert specialists in the field of physical therapies, all dedicated to supporting patients through their recovery.