Physiotherapy Exercises and Techniques

Most of us who hear about physiotherapy often think that someone has been injured. We tend to associate it with needing help after an accident, but did you know you can benefit from methods of physiotherapy even if you’re not injured? People can suffer from a strain just from sitting or standing for long periods of time. Muscles become stiff and sore, and they don’t behave the way they should.

Different Type Of Exercise and Techniques

Once you’ve been assessed, your physiotherapist will tailor a physio treatment plan just for you. Depending on your needs, your form of treatment can vary slightly from the next person.

Each exercise and technique targets a specific area, strengthening and supporting you where you need it and the surrounding area. Therapeutic exercises are designed to build muscle, help with injuries, and improve your overall well-being.

The type of exercise or physiotherapy that you receive may be:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Aerobic and endurance exercises
  • Stretching and agility exercises 
  • Coordination and balance exercises
  • Breathing exercises
  • Neuromotor development or retraining
  • Perceptual training
  • Soft tissue stretching
  • Relaxation exercises

Depending on your specific needs, you may need to perform several different exercises. Each has its own benefits and can yield even greater benefits when combined with other types of physio treatment. For strength and endurance, your exercises will often involve resistance training. This can include lifting weights, resistance bands, resistance machines, and your own body weight. 

These are used to strengthen a specific muscle group. Legs, backs, and arms are common areas that need this type of work. It can be done slowly and with fewer repetitions to make sure the muscles get worked completely. Deep stretching will be used for improving flexibility. This is helpful for muscles that have not been used for long periods of time. An arm or leg injury will have to be held in one place in order to heal. Endurance can be improved with aerobic exercise. These start out slowly and gradually build as your endurance improves. This can be done on treadmills, stationary bikes, or swimming.

Yoga can help with your balance and coordination. It also helps with flexibility and strengthening muscles. Yoga or deep stretching is often included with other types of physiotherapy exercises. Your physiotherapist may also recommend using electrotherapy. This is an electric charge used to stimulate muscles for people who have a limited range of mobility or paralysis.

Heat and cold therapies are also used as treatments for people who have muscle strains or stiffness. Most of us have used these methods at home for a small injury or sprain.  Acupuncture can be used to help with chronic pain. Massage in physiotherapy is also very popular. It can help you relax and allow your muscles to loosen up, making them easier to work with. A combination of several types of exercises helps heal and improve your injury or impairment. Many physiotherapists will alternate these exercises with you as part of your healing journey.

Difference Between Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy

chiropractic adjustment

It’s not uncommon to hear both physical therapy and physiotherapy used when referring to this type of treatment. As long as the treatment you receive is from a licensed physiotherapist, then you will get the care you need.

People receive treatment through a variety of methods of physiotherapy. You don’t need to have an injury to reap the benefits of this type of treatment. It is designed to help you with your whole well-being. It is not uncommon for people to experience work-related stiffness, aches, and even minor injuries just from sitting or standing all day. Your muscles start to stiffen up and it becomes painful and difficult to move them.

The clue is in the name, and both help you with your physical impairments and help you move better, breathe better, and sleep better. All of these help you function better in your daily life.

The terms are interchangeable, so don’t worry too much about what your physiotherapist calls the treatment as long as they are licensed and insured. Your medical care professional will have the right recommendations for you.

Education and advice

physiotherapy North York

One of the reasons your treatment involves all these different types of exercises is because physio treats the whole body, not just the isolated injury. This is how physiotherapy works because it is the most effective.

An injury to your neck will have an effect on everything else. You start to hold your neck in a way to prevent more injury or pain. This will mean you walk differently, sit differently, and sleep differently. Soon, you may find other areas of your body are starting to hurt or get stiff and sore. Physiotherapy takes all of that into account and your physiotherapist will give you exercise to combat all of these issues.


But physiotherapy involves more than that. Your diet and weight play an enormous role in how you were injured and how quickly you will recover. Your physiotherapist will discuss these issues with you.

Understanding what the exercises do is important. Once you see how they all connect, you may be more included to keep doing them. Regular exercise of any kind is the best prevention to avoid other injuries. If you are frequently in pain or getting injured at your work, your physiotherapist can show you different techniques of physiotherapy that can help you avoid them moving forward.

Movement and exercise

We may associate stiff or sore muscles with those who live sedentary lives, but it can happen with people who are active. Professional athletes need to exercise every muscle group in order to maintain their peak performance. Muscle atrophy refers to a loss of muscle mass. It can happen as we age or it can be due to immobility, medications, injury, malnutrition, and various diseases. It can happen quickly in some cases.

For someone who is bed-bound due to illness or injury, muscle atrophy can take a major toll on the body. However, if the patient is meant to be in bed for an extended period of time, physiotherapy should begin immediately. This can happen even if someone is somewhat active but isn’t using all their muscle groups. Over time, this can lead to difficulties with general mobility and overall strength.  Even people who cannot walk around will still benefit from movement and exercises. Arms, leg lifts, stretching, and breathing exercises will help improve their well-being and health.

For those who sit for long periods of time for most of the day, just getting up and walking around will help keep your muscles from shrinking. It will also keep your circulation flowing.

Aerobic exercise will help to increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. This doesn’t need to be high-impact exercises, just enough to keep you breathing heavily. Swimming, walking, skipping, or climbing stairs can help.

Your physiotherapist may also recommend you start hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy. Working in water adds a bit of resistance, but it also helps to support you while you exercise.

Not all exercises or therapy methods will be appropriate for everyone. Your physiotherapist will help you find the perfect balance for what you need to get back to where you should be.

How Physiotherapy Can Help You

You don’t have to go through a major accident to benefit from techniques of physiotherapy. It can be used to help you with minor ailments and as a preventative measure against future injuries.

These are just some of the ways that physiotherapy can help you:

Knee pain

It’s not uncommon for our knees to hurt as we age. You may have pulled it, strained it and it now hurts when you walk, climb stairs, or if you move it the wrong way.  Heat, massage, and some strengthening exercises can help get rid of the pain and increase the usage of your knees. It needs to be done regularly to keep it up and keep it working.

Back pain

Back pain can be chronic but it is often muscular. You may have pulled a muscle in your back lifting or due to an accident. A sore back can affect everything else in your life. With continued treatments from your physiotherapists, there are many treatments that can help, like chiropractic adjustments, massage, and stretching. Heat or cold may also help.

Joint pain

Joint pain often feels like your bones ache. This can happen anywhere in your body. It is often caused by osteoarthritis. This is when the cartilage becomes too thin to protect your joints. This can be treated with massage, applying heat and cold, losing weight, and light exercises. This will help to relieve the pain and increase the mobility and range of movement.

Shoulder pain

You may experience shoulder pain from a few different causes. A broken bone, tendon tears, tendon inflammation, or arthritis. If your shoulder was ever dislocated, you may still have lingering pain from that. Heat and cold may be applied, mobility and movement exercises can be used to increase the range and loosen up the surrounding muscles, and massage in physiotherapy is often effective for relieving pain.

Soft tissue damage

If you experience soft-tissue damage, that refers to your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can happen quickly and is often painful. It can also accompany a break or fracture of a bone.  There is often swelling and bruising when this type of injury happens. Your physiotherapist can help you through exercise, massage, and helping you to keep it properly protected.

Sports injuries

Sports injuries are common and often very painful. Depending on the severity of your injury, surgery may be required.  Methods of physiotherapy can help you get you back to your sport much faster. Heat, cold, various exercises, and massage in physiotherapy will help you heal much faster.

Strengthening muscles

Physiotherapy is a great way to rebuild muscle strength. There are several exercises that increase the range of motion exercises to help increase core muscle strength. People often seek help from their physiotherapist to increase or rebuild muscle strength if they have difficulty walking, squatting, climbing stairs, and lifting heavy objects.

Neck pain

Chronic neck pain is difficult to cope with. It could be the result of an accident, post-surgery, or even something that is recurring. If it is not due to something critical, then physiotherapy can help. It’s important that the neck keeps in motion. Your physiotherapist will help you with exercises designed to help with the mobility and range of motion in your neck, or heat, cold, or massage. 

Ankle sprains

We have all twisted our ankle or stepped off the curb and sprained our ankle. It can be very painful and will likely start to swell up and even bruise. It will be tender for some time. Your physiotherapist will help you keep it wrapped to prevent further injury and show you the best treatments for getting it back to normal. They may use motion exercises, massage, or apply heat therapy.


Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is extremely common. It is treated by physiotherapists more than almost all injuries. It often causes pain, numbness, and can affect the hand, wrist, and move up the arm. Your physiotherapist should recommend that you alter the way you work if possible, to prevent more injuries. Exercises to increase movements and range of movement, along with heat or massage in physiotherapy can be effective. 

Pain relief

You may be interested in finding alternatives to pain relief than taking pain medication. Pain medication can be addictive and have severe side effects. Methods of physiotherapy can help relieve pain and regain mobility without the use of drugs. By strengthening the muscles that are injured and the muscles around the injury, you are far more likely to recover faster. When a specific area hurts, we tend to favour it and that makes the surrounding area sore, as well.

Knead Wellness

Here at Knead Wellness, we understand how frustrating chronic pain can be and we are here to help. We offer professional and effective injury and mobility rehabilitation services.

Contact us today for all your physiotherapy needs.

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