Introduction to Physiotherapy Services 物理治療服務簡介
What is Physiotherapy? 物理治療是什麼?
Physiotherapy (abbreviated to PT) is defined by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) as “providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan”.

In order to achieve therapeutic outcome, PT is using the beneficial effect of human physiological response to physical stimulation. For instance, the physical modalities which will be commonly used including electricity, water, cryotherapy, heat, light, magnetism, exercise, manual technique and … etc.

With the skillful practice of scientific evidence and integrate this with the art of empathy, PT will apply the principle of physical, psychological, pathological and anatomical sciences, in order to achieve a common goal of safe and effective clinical outcome on the patients.

In summary, PT will enhance patient’s physical activity and functional movement recovery, improve the muscle strength, prevent disease and improve quality of life.
Clienteles: 服務對象:
PT in Hong Kong is characterized by the harmonious integration of modern Chinese medicine and advanced Western medical approach.

The service domain is extensively covered rehabilitation, health education, disease prevention, health and scientific research and other health related issues.

Clienteles included patients of all ages, various diseases ( such as orthopedics, brain , heart, lung , surgery , internal medicine, pediatrics , geriatrics , gynecology , oncology and psychiatry and … etc. ), non-government-organization, public and private service  sectors.
香港物理治療發展薈萃中西,工作涵蓋臨床醫療、復康、教育、預防疾病創傷、保健及科研等範疇。服務對象包括各年齡人仕、市民大眾及各類疾病(例如骨科、腦科、心肺科、外科、內科、兒科、老人科、婦產科、腫瘤科及精神科等) 的患者。  

Examples of Physiotherapy Services


Example 1: Care of Repetitive stress injury of spine and pain management  例一:脊椎勞損及痛症物理治療
For neck pain and low back pain, PT will be helpful in pain easing, protective care and relapse prevention.
The following modalities may be useful: traction therapy, manual therapy, electrotherapy, heat and cryotherapy, exercise therapy, acupuncture, stretching and muscle strengthening exercise.
Example 2: Care of sports injury 例二:運動創傷物理治療
Sports physiotherapy is targeted to serve elite or amateur athletes. The general objectives of the service are to improve performance, facilitate earlier recovery, timely return to the game and prevent re-injury. 專為因運動受傷的運動員或業餘愛好者而提供的運動創傷治療及專效運動鍛鍊,使傷患者能恢復或提高運動水平,預防再度創傷。  
Example 3: Neurological rehabilitation 例三:腦神經系統復康物理治療
The approach of physiotherapy in neurological rehabilitation is comprehensive and holistic.
The diseases management included stroke, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy and other patients.
The therapy may extend from restore physical activity to prevent from complications and home environmental assessment. By using the adaptive or compensatory method, the aim of the service is to help patients overcoming obstacles, ensuring patient could live independently as much as they should be and reducing the burden of the care-giver.

Example 4: Care of heart and lung diseases
The diseases management for heart and lung included chronic obstructive lung disease, pneumonia, lung cancer and various heart diseases.

The cardio-pulmonary (related to heat and lung) therapy may introduce to patient in order to prevent and treat complication after surgical procedure. It also enhance the function of heart and lung, as a result the patient could have earlier recovery and return to life of better quality.
Example 5: Care of upper limbs and hand injury 例五:上肢及手部功能復康
The medical problem included congenital and traumatic upper limbs or hand diseases. A tailor made therapy may base on the age and the occupation of the patient. 對先天或創傷性手部疾病患者提供的臨床及電腦儀器檢查,繼而進行整套切合病者特質(如年齡或工作需要)的治療。  
Example 6: Care of Burn Injury 例六:燒傷復康
The beauty of physiotherapy to burn injury patient is to promote wound healing and enhance the flexibility of scar. Electrotherapy such as ultrasound and micro-current may be useful.
Exercise therapy and manual technique may be useful too in order to prevent joint stiffness and muscle tightness. The ultimate goal is to improve the mobility and promote earlier return to community.

Example 7: Care of women’s health 例七: 婦產科物理治療:
The therapy may provide to pregnant women in the occasion of prenatal and postnatal exercise classes.
Right before and after production or during hospitalization, PT will provide appropriate services , such as treatment of wrist pain, lower back, pelvis girdle pain, urinary or bowel incontinence .
There is a rehabilitation program specially designed for women with breast cancer. The rehabilitation program may reduce complications such as lymphoedema, shoulder stiffness and promote healing after breast surgery.
Example 8: Care of Newborns, Children and Adolescent 例八:兒科物理治療:
The target clienteles is newborns, children and adolescents.
The focus is on client’s health, physical, mental development and growth issues. For instance, the service may include cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, weight management, promote physical conditioning and enhance developmental milestone.
Example 9: Care of elderly 例九:老人科綜合物理治療
PT provides comprehensive care of the physical, psychological and cardio-vascular conditioning for elderly.
For instance, the service may include fall prevention, risk assessment, pain management, physical re-conditioning, enhance self-care and maintenance of good quality of life.

Commonly used methods and modalities:


Exercise therapy: 運動療法:
Exercise is medicine. Such therapy is based on the scientific advancement in biomechanics, kinetic and kinematic and pathophysiology clinical evidence study.
The ultimate goal is to improve cardio-pulmonary conditioning, range of motion and muscle strength.
For example, cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program
Electrotherapy: 電療法:
Electrotherapy is based on the application of high, medium and low frequency electrical current and also wide spectrum of light wave to achieve therapeutic effect.
The clinical outcome may be anti-inflammation, pain modulation, improve circulation, reduce swelling, increase muscle strength and … etc.
The electrotherapy machine and operation procedure which used by physiotherapist in Hong Kong is following the stringent safety standard as governed by international and Hong Kong law.
For example, Inter-ferrential electrotherapy
Hydrotherapy: 水療:
Hydrotherapy is applying the unique property of water which included buoyancy, resistance and temperature to attain the treatment effect such as improving joint range of motion, circulation, easing muscle spasm and modulate pain.
Moreover the buoyancy, resistance could also strengthen the muscle power and facilitate balance training.
For example, use of buoyancy in swimming pool to facilitate lower back exercise
Manual therapy 手力治療:
Manual therapy in Hong Kong is characterized by the integration of modern Chinese and advanced Western scientific approach. The following therapeutic outcome may exhibit: joint mobilization, muscle and ligament lengthening, correction of spine alignment and enhance functional movement restoration.
For example, manual therapy to lower back pain
揉合中、西方手力治療的專業治療方法,主要療效為鎮痛、舒整關節及筋腱,以促進功能的恢復。 例如:腰部關節舒整治療
Motion and gait analysis training 平衝和步態評估及鍛鍊:
The pattern of how a person walks is called the gait. Different types of walking problems occur without a person's control. Most, but not all, are due to a physical condition. PT may use observational or instrumental motion analysis method to identify the problem and design a training program accordingly. Instrumental motion analysis is aided with high speed camera, electromyogram and force platform to collect the data which related to the motion and gait cycle. The data will then processed by computer to produce a report for easier decision making. 物理治療師以臨床及先進的電腦化儀器作平衡及步態的評估,繼而設計合適個人需要的訓練程序、有關的家居安排和步行器的使用。
Physical reconditioning and functional capacity evaluation 體適能評估及訓練:
Physical reconditioning and functional capacity evaluation are used to identify the physical condition deficit, design the training program and evaluate the ability of the patient in order to facilitate returning to work.
In the case of lower back pain patient who may clinically presented with back muscle wasting and deranged physical condition after prolong bed rest. PT may use resistive exercise and aerobic exercise to improve muscle strength and cardio-pulmonary function correspondingly.
For example, physical reconditioning and functional capacity evaluation for lower back pain patient.
Acupuncture 針灸治療:
HKPA is a designated organization to provide accreditation by Hong Kong Law for physiotherapist acupuncture practitioner. PT in Hong Kong is using modern acupuncture practice which is emphasized on scientific evidence-based support. Acupuncture is commonly used for pain management, improve muscle strength and enhance soft-tissue healing.
For example, acupuncture for tennis elbow
Physiotherapy in community and primary health care  家居/ 社區健康 物理治療:
Patient empowerment is one of the themes in community and primary health care physiotherapy. The goal of physiotherapy health education is to promote healthy life style and manage risk in certain decease group such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes through physical conditioning and resistive exercise.
Fall prevention program is also an example in the care of elderly.
例如:家居評估及治及 社區活動能力訓練。
Assorted Physiotherapy Service: 其他服務:
Apart from the previously mentioned PT services, physiotherapy may also include traditional thermal therapy, use of advanced assistive technology, biofeedback and ergonomic, robotic therapy, diagnostic ultrasound scanning and virtual reality technology.
Physiotherapist may also provide clinical education and intelligent transfer to other health care providers such as nurse and health care assistant.
For the general public, PT may deliver consultation service, seminar and workshop according to the specific topics such as stretching exercise and prevention of musculo-skeletal pain for office worker.
Physiotherapy for neonate, children and adolescent 兒童物理治療:
With respect to heart and lung diseases (e.g. pneumonia and asthma), chest physiotherapy may be indicated.
Physiotherapy for the children with neurological and developmental problems such as cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and developmental delay are aimed at chasing developmental mile-stone and promote physical fitness.
例如:兒童健體班的水療運動、 初生嬰兒胸肺治療及 兒童步態訓練。
Physiotherapy for senior citizen 老人科綜合治療:
Aging population is a common phenomenon all over the world. Physiotherapy care for elderly is using holistic approach which included training of physical fitness, mental health, and balance and fall prevention. The goal is to maintain meaningful, respectful and enjoyable life despite of inevitable aging process. 為年老人仕提供全人健康的治療,包括身心、體力、平衡和預防摔趺等鍛鍊,達致老有所為的目標。 例如:老人肢體鍛鍊。  
Physiotherapy for osteoporosis 骨質疏鬆綜合治療:
Deceleration of calcium drain from bone and symptomatic relief are the objectives of physiotherapy management for osteoporosis.
The intervention included pain management, good postural control, exercise therapy and vibration therapy. The patient empowerment activities such as health care seminar and exercise class are the platforms to promote self-care and symptom management skills.
例如:軀體姿勢改善伸展運動及 專題講座。
Physiotherapy provided at home 家居物理治療:
Domiciliary or community physiotherapy service means physiotherapy take place at patient’s home. It may be more accessible for the one who is not feasible to transport to ambulatory care facilities such as out-patient clinic.
The characteristics of such service are that the intervention may be tailor-made to the resident’s needs and based on environmental limiting factors. The beauty of such care model is allowing earlier integration of patients to their community.
例如:家居評估及治及 社區活動能力訓練。