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What Private Physiotherapy Treatments Are Available?

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 27 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Private Physiotherapy Private Hospitals

Physiotherapy is available on the National Health Service in the UK but services can be limited and waiting lists can be long. For some conditions, it is preferable to opt for private physiotherapy as this is widely available in private hospitals and clinics up and down the country. Physiotherapy involves a detailed assessment and then treatment, usually physical manipulation and exercises, to solve a range of mobility problems.

Who Needs Private Physiotherapy?

If you have a serious sports injury or another form of accident, broken bones and torn muscles take a while to heal. If that healing takes place while you are constantly immobile, it is doubtful that your body will recover to have the full range of movement that it had before the injury. Although it can be painful to keep moving, exercising the muscles and keeping them and the associated tendons, ligaments and bones in good condition can mean that the final outcome is much better.

People who have had a stroke or spinal cord injury need special care and long term physiotherapy to try to regain as much function in their limbs as possible.

Private physiotherapy clinics can provide this long term care but also offer a range of other treatments for more minor injuries and ailments, and to keep you mobile if you start to suffer from any form of arthritis.

Types of Private Physiotherapy

Exercise is key to most physiotherapy treatments. Keeping limbs mobile by manipulation, special exercises and guided stretching can be passive at first, with the physiotherapist doing most of the work. As your muscles and joints strengthen and become more flexible, your physiotherapist will encourage you to do more active exercise yourself.

Physiotherapists offer advice and instructions on doing follow up exercises at home and may also apply massage techniques as part of your treatment at the clinic. Other specialised treatments include electrotherapy using TENS machines, which can help to reduce pain and increase blood circulation, and ultrasound, which is often used to help injuries to soft tissues.

Hydrotherapy is a very popular treatment as bathing in warm water helps the muscles to relax, relieves joint pain and is, overall, a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. This type of treatment done on a regular basis can help many chronic painful conditions, such as the residual pain left after a shoulder reconstruction or a torn ligament.

Alternative Treatments and Private Physiotherapy

Most private physiotherapists also offer a range of alternative and complimentary treatments. These include acupuncture, reiki, reflexology and head massage. Done in combination with the medical treatment that is recommended for your condition, such alternative treatments can help you to relax and have been shown to help you cope with pain and discomfort better.

Full Private Rehabilitation

Individual treatments are available for many conditions and it is possible to book a short series of sessions, as and when you need them. At the other end of the spectrum, larger private physiotherapy centres also offer a complete rehabilitation service. If you have a major operation, such as a hip or knee replacement, a back operation, or reconstructive surgery after a serious accident, your rehabilitation may well begin before your surgery. Your private physiotherapist will assess your range of motion and recommend exercises and movements to help strengthen your joint before surgery, helping to relieve pain and stiffness. Once the operation has been done, your rehabilitation will then continue as soon as you have recovered from the anaesthetic. For most operations, this could be the same day, but, if not, it will certainly be the day after.

Costs of Private Physiotherapy

These will vary depending on the private clinic and the treatments involved but expect to pay between £35 and £60 for an initial consultation and assessment (which usually lasts an hour) and then around £35-£40 for each follow up session (usually 30 minutes to an hour). You can choose to fund the physiotherapy yourself, as a pay-as-you-go patient but many forms of private physiotherapy are covered by health insurance policies. It pays to check with your insurer beforehand, just to make sure they are happy with the treatments you have in mind.

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