When an illness or injury interferes with the body’s ability to maintain its overall internal balance, a condition referred to as homeostasis, it may require outside aid. Therapeutic methods are the specialized techniques and procedures used to return normal functioning to the body. These types of therapeutic treatments can range from medical interventions such as surgeries or medications, to therapy venues like physical therapy, massage or bodywork, and psychological counseling or techniques.
The choice of therapeutic methods is determined through the medical problem and its effect on the body. An ankle sprain, for example, is treated in the acute stage by rest, ice, compression and elevation of the injured body part. Once the body begins the healing process, physical therapy modalities such as ultrasound or electric stimulation can ease pain issues whereas a stretching and exercise program can improve range of motion and strength. If the sprain becomes chronic or occurs frequently, other therapeutic methods may be necessary, such as surgery, splinting or work hardening where frequent repetitive movements are examined and coping skills are crafted to decrease the stress on the body.
For illnesses and disease processes, therapeutic methods may include the administration of medications or treatment procedures such as chemotherapy and radiation, as indicated for certain types of cancers. Often, for longstanding issues like chronic pain, a medication regiment is used as one part of the therapeutic methods that may aid in a return to normal functioning. Other therapeutic methods that can complement traditional methods of treatment involve such things as acupuncture, biofeedback, and psychoanalysis.
Acupuncture is a form of therapeutic treatment based on specific placement of needles into the body to reduce pain. Biofeedback, a therapeutic procedure in which the body can re-learn coping techniques by having the ability to “see” the problem in a color demonstration, is another option when determining effective therapeutic methods. Psychoanalysis gives the individual the ability to gain insight into the unconscious forces attributing to the health issues as a way to cope with the changes in function.
Treating an individual with health problems requires a team of specialized healthcare providers to assess goals and create helpful therapeutic methods to be used to achieve maximum overall health. Each individual’s needs are unique, therefore every method of treatment should be catered to those needs. This means the timing, both when to administer and for how long, need to be taken into consideration and altered according to progress.