The idea of creating a section serving as a ‘Therapy Guide’ came with the intention of offering a comprehensive and practical overview of modern physical medicine and of providing at the same time a valuable reference guide for proponents of physiotherapy.
Articles have been selected to give readers the most up-to-date picture of the methods and materials currently employed in physiotherapy in a comprehensive and easy to consult format.
Additionally, we wanted to propose to readers, by synthesizing the numerous volumes, publications and journals consulted in the preparation of this guide, an authoritative overview of current physiotherapy techniques and materials, limiting space to trends and techniques that are less prominent and have not yet been tested thoroughly enough. We illustrate, for example, how often the effective outcome of a physical therapy relies on a careful choice of medical supplies such as electrodes and their shape, size and suitability for the various parts of the human body.
The ‘Therapy Guide’ section also aims to give physical therapy proponents a tool in the dissemination of methods representative of alternative therapies (e.g. magnetic field therapy) that may be considered both complementary and substitutive to medicinal and pharmaceutical therapy and that may also be the first preference of patients.
For instance, electro-medical physiotherapy treatments, compared with classical pharmacotherapy, are virtually completely devoid of side effects, though they obey just as strict rules in terms of dosage and clinical indications. Indeed, pharmacological treatments in orthopaedics and rheumatology often employ drugs that are poorly tolerated by the patient, that are sometimes harmful in cases with a high incidence of side effects and, in some cases, may not be prescribed at all due to comorbidities that contraindicate use.
We also wanted to provide this ‘Therapy Guide’ section with a rich iconography for an immediate visual approach to the latest physiotherapy applications (including TENS, Electrostimulation, Ultrasound, Laser Therapy, Magnetic Field Therapy, Pain Management, Urology Therapy, Tekra Terapix, Pressure Therapy, Vibrotherapy, Cryotherapy, Radar Therapy, Vacuum Therapy, Traction Therapy, etc.), with each chapter enriched by the theoretical information (e.g. anatomy, physiology, neurology) and technical information (e.g. electrostimulators, materials used, application techniques) that is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to practice and to better understand this medical art.
The ‘Therapy Guide’ section has been particularly enriched by a subsection on Electrostimulators with a ‘Course in Electrostimulation’ and an ‘A to Z of Electrostimulation’, both downloadable in pdf format, for furthering knowledge in the use of sport and fitness electrostimulators. There is also an ample bibliography that provides specific references to the reader seeking more information on a particular subject.
Electrostimulation is at the cutting-edge of equipment for passive gymnastics as part of rehabilitative and aesthetic medicine. The types of stimulation employed provide continuous therapeutic action in two different stages, the first contraction and the second relaxation, both using an electric current for therapeutic purposes that is converted into various waveforms with different effects. Main applications include relief for pain and inflammation, post-injury recovery, exercise and muscle strengthening, relaxation and improvement of circulation. Electrostimulation is used for healthy or denervated muscles in order to recover and improve tone and function and, in sport, for the strengthening and maintenance of specific qualities for each discipline. In cosmetics, it is used as an effective treatment for cellulite, localized slimming, lymphatic drainage and facial applications. Main contraindications concern pacemakers, heart problems, pregnancy, the front and side areas of the neck, skin lesions and tumours.