Physiotherapy is a field of medicine that studies physiological and medical effect of natural and artificial physical factors and develops methods of their application for preventive and medical purposes; a group of physical methods of treatment and their practical application.
Physiotherapy includes electrotherapy, phototherapy, hydropathy, thermal treatment, treatment by mechanical effects. Balneology is an independent section of physiotherapy. Each of them includes a number of treatment modes based on application of one or another physical factor.
Electrotherapy includes the major number of modes (methods by electric field, direct and alternating, continuous and interrupting current, alternating magnetic field, electromagnetic field application):
- amplipulse therapy
- diadynamic therapy
- medicine electrophoresis
- electric stimulation
- interference therapy, etc.
Phototherapy includes methods involving the energy of light, incl. ultraviolet and infrared light. Methods of hydropathy and balneotherapy are based on application of fresh water (as showers, baths and other types of hydrotherapeutic procedures), as well as natural artificial mineral water. Thermal treatment includes methods based on application of heat delivered to organism by heated paraffin, ozokerite, therapeutic muds, sand, steam, dry air, etc. Treatment by mechanical effects includes ultrasonic therapy, vibrotherapy, massage, manual therapy.
Indications for physiotherapy are based on the facts that physiotherapy procedures improve peripheral, regional and central circulation, provide analgesic effect, improve tissue trophism, normalize neurohumoral regulation and disturbed immune processes. Physiotherapy is generally contraindicated to patients suffering from feverishness, acute inflammations, organism emaciation, acute infections, active tubercular process, malignant neoplasms and suspicion of their occurrence, systemic blood disease, susceptibility to bleeding and hemorrhage, cardiovascular diseases with insufficient circulation over Degree II, aortic aneurysm and aneurism of large vessels, CNS diseases with rapid excitement. Therapeutic and preventive application of physical factors is done at physiotherapy rooms and departments of hospitals, policlinics and other medical & preventive establishments and, if required, at wards and home.