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Physiotherapy (Greek physis - nature + therapeia - treatment) is a field of medicine that studies the therapeutic effect of natural and man-made natural factors on the human body. Physiotherapy is one of the oldest therapeutic and preventive areas of medicine, which includes many sections. The purpose of physiotherapy is to achieve the best possible effect in treating any disease, with the least possible burden on the patient's body, using mainly physical methods of treatment. Natural factors have been used for treatment since ancient times (water and heat therapy, massage, etc.). However, only the development of natural sciences served as a basis for physiotherapy. For example, the discovery of the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction in the 19th century marked the beginning of electrotherapy. In parallel, other sections of physiotherapy emerged and improved. The works of outstanding Russian physiologists I.M. Sechenov, I.P. Pavlov, as well as the works of the founders of national clinical medicine S.P. Botkin, G.A. Zakharin, G.A. Ostroumov and others were of great importance for its development. Basics of physiotherapy in our country were laid by A.E. Scherbak, A.V. Rakhmanov, S.A. Brushtein. In subsequent years a great contribution to its development was made by A. P. Parfenov, A. N. Obrosov, K. N. Zavadovsky, E. I. Pasynkov, N. S. Molchanov, A. I. Nesterov, A. P. Speransky and others.



Physiotherapy is an integral part of the complex treatment of a number of diseases mainly in the phase of initial or complete remission. However, in recent years, physiotherapeutic methods are also used in the acute phase of the pathological process. Physiotherapy is well compatible with other therapeutic means. Just physiotherapeutic methods can be widely and effectively combined with each other. Physical factors do not usually have toxicity, do not cause side effects and cause allergies.

The advantage of physiotherapy is its long-lasting effects. Its essence is that the therapeutic effect not only remain for a fairly long time, but even increase after the end of the course of treatment. Therefore, the long-term results after physical therapy are often better than the immediate ones. The after-effect period can range from a few weeks (for drug electrophoresis, diadynamic therapy, etc.) to 4-6 months (mud treatment, balneotherapy, etc.).

One of the important advantages of physical methods of treatment is their availability and comparative cheapness. In this regard, physiotherapy can be considered a mass treatment.

Physiotherapeutic methods are divided into 3 main groups:
1. Natural methods (light therapy, air therapy, climatotherapy, climatotherapy, balneotherapy);
2. artificial methods (electrotherapy, magnetic therapy, light therapy, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy);
3. methods based on the principle of movement (massage).

1. Electric currents: direct current (galvanization, medicinal electrophoresis), pulsed currents (electrosleep, diadynamic therapy, amplipulse therapy, interference therapy, fluxuorization, electrodiagnostics, electrostimulation), high voltage electric currents (ultra-current therapy, local darsonvalization, inductothermy, ultra-high frequency therapy, microwave therapy);
2. Electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (franklinization, magnetotherapy);
3. Electromagnetic oscillations of optical range (infrared therapy, visible light therapy, ultraviolet therapy, laser therapy);
4. Mechanical vibrations of the medium (therapeutic massage, ultrasound therapy, drug phonophoresis);
5. Altered or special air environment (aerosol therapy, electroaerosol therapy, aeroion therapy, halotherapy, hyperbaric oxygenation, climatotherapy);
6. Heat and cryotherapy;
7. Hydropathic factors (fresh water, natural mineral waters and their artificial analogues).


  • malignant neoplasms and suspected neoplasms;
  • pulmonary tuberculosis, if the process has not been stabilized and there is no "cover" with at least three tuberculostatic drugs;
  • systemic blood diseases;
  • Severe cachexia;
  • grade 3 arterial hypertension;
  • bleeding or suspected bleeding;
  • severe psychosis;
  • epilepsy with frequent seizures;
  • febrile states;
  • individual intolerance to the physical factor;
  • acute phase of myocardial infarction; acute phase of cerebral circulatory disorders;
  • pronounced atherosclerosis, especially of coronary and cerebral vessels;
  • aortic aneurysm and other large vessels;
  • complicated and severe disorders of heart rhythm and myocardial conduction;
  • presence of large metal fragments in the zone of exposure, 8 if they are in the area of large vessels and nerve trunks.

List of references used:
1. general physiotherapy (textbook). Authors: D.R. Rakita, O.M. Uryasyev, A.K. Ushmarov.
2. Physiotherapy and physioprophylaxis (textbook). Authors: Safronenko V.A., Hasanov M.Z. Under the general editorship of Professor Chesnikova A.I.
3. Physiotherapy. Authors: L.M. Kliachkin M.N. Vinogradova

The literature on this topic you can download from our site in the appropriate section: Literature. Physiotherapy.