Some Indications and Contraindications of Physiotherapy Treatments

Physiotherapy is a safe treatment method to heal injuries and relieve pain, but if you think it is safe for everyone, you are wrong. At first place, it is not recommended for people who are suffering certain conditions or disorders at the moment. Why? Because some treatment methods like massage and ultrasound therapy can aggravate existing pain or wounds and can only make the condition worse and not help the patient at all.


In physiotherapy, traction or spinal decompression therapy is a set of painless mechanisms applied by physiotherapists to straighten broken bones and to relieve pressure on the spine and skeletal system. Traction is effective for back pain, neck pain, degenerative disc disease, spondylitis, Facet syndrome, nerve root compression, disc herniation, spinal stenosis and other stiff and painful spinal and skeletal conditions. Physiotherapists have been using this technique for so long. However, physiotherapists cannot administer traction therapy to people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, vertebral artery disease, joint and ligament instability, fracture and bone disease. Traction would only aggravate the pain and condition stemming from the aforementioned disorders.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is one of the most beneficial physiotherapy methods ever known to many people including dancers and athletes. Physiotherapists administer massage to relieve stress and depression, alleviate muscle pain, loosen up stiff and tight muscles and aid in injury recovery. Though common and very popular, massage therapy is not recommended for certain conditions including:

Burns and open wounds – You have to wait until they are healed. Muscle ruptures – A massage would only increase bleeding and tissue damage and in the process, prolong your recovery. Tendon injuries and ruptures – Complete ruptures need surgery, not massage. Broken bones – Massage will only just worsen the pain. Periostitis – Periostitis is an inflammation of the sheath surrounding the bones. Massaging directly to the bones can cause irritation. Rheumatoid and gout arthritis – Massaging on such inflammatory conditions can only cause further inflammation. Skin and soft tissue infections – Massaging carries the risks of spreading bacterial, viral or fungal infections to other parts of the body. Pregnancy

Ultrasound Therapy

With ultrasound therapy, the physiotherapist applies sound waves into the tissues to relieve pain, heal torn tissues, relax the muscles and improve blood circulation. Therapeutic ultrasound is effective in treating muscle strain and spasm, ligament sprain, muscle tension and tightness, swelling and chronic inflammation.

Though therapeutic ultrasound sounds safe, it is not recommended for a number of situations.

The heat from the ultrasound can cause the eyes to suffer retinal damage and cataracts. Not recommended for pregnant women because the therapy could overheat the foetus, which can possibly result to birth defects. If the therapy is applied over the testicles, it could result to short-term sterility. Therapeutic ultrasound should never be administered to cancerous patients to prevent cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body. This applies the same for patients with localized tissue and bone infections. Ultrasound should never be administered to patients with metal implants (for high risk for burns), blood clots (for risk of clot dislodging) and pacemaker (interference from sound waves).

Taking Caution When Undergoing Physiotherapy

Before undergoing any physiotherapy treatments, make sure to inform your therapist beforehand about any health condition that you may have. All treatments are safe when administered by the right therapists and administered to the patient according, but it is not recommended for everyone. If you happen to suffer a condition contraindicated by Physiotherapy Sydney, you should wait until you recover or else do not proceed with the treatment.