Physiotherapy is the use of physical agents and exercises to treat injuries, pain, and other conditions. Depending on the condition being treated, a physiotherapist may use a number of different techniques at the same time. Treatment may also be customized for each individual patient, depending on their needs and preferences. Here are 5 common items that physiotherapists carry with them when treating patients:
Stair Climbing Test
Physiotherapists test patients’ stair climbing ability by asking the patient to walk up a set of stairs while their physiotherapist tracks their movements. Patients who have difficulty climbing stairs may have a condition called ataxia. A patient who has ataxia may also have poor coordination or balance. Ataxia is most often caused by injury or stroke, but it can also occur as a result of certain medications. A physiotherapist may be able to identify ataxia by measuring the patient’s balance and coordination during the stair climbing test.
Thera-Band® Wrist and ankle support
Physiotherapists often use wrist supports to treat wrist pain. Wrist pain may be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or an ulnar nerve entrapment. Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome often experience pain and numbness in the hand and wrist. Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome may include wrist splints, wrist exercises, wrist massage, and wearing a wrist support made of polypropylene. Physiotherapists may also use ankle supports to treat ankle pain. Ankle pain may be caused by arthritis, ankle sprains, or osteoarthritis. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory drugs, foot orthotics, exercises, and wearing an ankle support.
Thera-Cane® Heel/Knee Wedge
Physiotherapists often use heel wedges to treat heel pain, which may be caused by heel spurs, a high arch, or a flat foot. Treatment may include wearing a heel wedge and heel elevating exercises. Physiotherapists may also use toe wedges to treat toe pain. Toe pain may be caused by Morton’s neuroma, a hammer toe, or a toe that is in too much of a toe-up position (flatfoot). Treatment may include resting the toe, changing the shoe position, or wearing a toe wedge.
Physiotherapists often use a pill wrap to treat stomach pain. Gastritis and reflux are the most common causes of stomach pain. Treatment may include reducing stress, eating smaller meals, taking antacid tablets, avoiding acidic foods, and wearing a stomach wrap.
Squatty Potty® (Toilet Training Aid)
Physiotherapists often use the Squatty Potty® to treat constipation. Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, affecting approximately 70% of children and 20–30% of adults. Physiotherapists may use a stool softener to treat constipation. If a child is using the Squatty Potty®, they may need to switch to a softer stool. A child who has not passed stools may have a condition called megarectum. Physiotherapists may also use the Squatty Potty® to treat diarrhea. Diarrhea is a condition affecting the large intestine (colon). Patients with diarrhea may have a GI virus, a change in diet, or a bacterial infection.
If you, or someone you know, experiences any of the conditions above, it is important to seek medical attention. Physiotherapy can help alleviate pain, improve mobility, and increase strength. There are many items that physiotherapists carry with them, each with its own set of benefits. While it may be difficult to see the items in action, they are all crucial components in strengthening your body and mind. Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.