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General physiotherapy comprises a variety of treatment methods and techniques that affect the entire locomotor system of the body and are combined in a physiotherapeutic treatment depending on the patient’s problems and findings. For example, the passive movement and positioning of a paralyzed patient is just as much a part of it as teaching active exercises, mobilizing a patient after a heart attack or gait training after the implantation of a hip prosthesis or a stroke. For the functioning of our movement system, the optimal interaction of muscles, connective tissue, joints, nervous and organ systems is necessary; like a cogwheel, all systems interlock.
This means that a disturbance of one of these systems can have an effect on other parts of the body, e.g. a gait pattern changed by a foot injury can cause back pain, a ” blocked” rib joint can cause breathing problems, a problem in the stomach can cause neck problems due to the changed posture. In order to be able to choose the treatment techniques and exercises (= treatment plan), a detailed physiotherapeutic diagnosis (see treatment procedure) is necessary in addition to the medical diagnosis, in order to find out the causal disturbance in the individual structures involved in the movement system. To use the above examples, it is of little use to treat only the back if the gait disorder has not yet been corrected or to carry out respiratory therapy before the rib joint is treated.
During a series of treatments, the course of treatment and the patient’s reaction must then be monitored and the treatment plan modified if necessary. This means that comprehensive and qualified training and further training of a physiotherapist is necessary to cover the widest possible range of treatment. When choosing your therapist, you should therefore pay attention to additional qualifications and find out whether there is a specialisation in your problems.
Selection of exercises for general physiotherapy
- Mobilisation and stretching exercises to improve mobility without or with the use of small equipment, i.e. good mobility is the prerequisite for carrying out a movement sequence economically.
The exercises can be taught individually in a single treatment or in a group. When doing exercises in the exercise pool, you use buoyancy or water resistance. When choosing exercises, the therapist should make sure that as many functions as possible are trained in one exercise (high effectiveness) and that as many exercises as possible can be integrated into everyday life.
Equally important is comprehensive information about the origin of the problem, possible changes in behaviour and prevention. This significantly increases the motivation of the patient.