One of the most important piece of equipment used by physical therapists is a physiotherapy couch, or bench. This flat cushioned, vinyl covered chair, bed, table, or couch on an adjustable frame is where the client lays or sits during a therapy session. It is usually comes on rollers for easy movability with foot sections and back adjustments that move in positive and negative degree positions. Some are sold with a small stool for the therapist. It is used in hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
The main part of the physiotherapy couch supports the body and lies in a horizontal position. Equipment comes with a head and neck rest that, depending on the model, may or may not be detachable. This allows the patient to comfortably lie on the back or stomach according to individual need. The couch may include manual adjustments, or electrical controls.
A physiotherapist may choose to use a physiotherapy couch for clients with a variety of ailments, injuries and disorders. Generally it is used in massage therapy for clients with back pain and injury, but is equally useful for working with patients with leg and foot injury.
Some companies, such as Delta, offer additional parts for their couches and tables. These include side supports for keeping the patient from falling, shoulder and arm supports, a vertical lift, manual adjustments for foot sections, a three to seven section table, and the option for thicker cushioning. An advanced physiotherapy couch can be adjusted so that the table lies horizontally flat or tilts up to a forty five degree angle.
Some medical equipment companies are trying to come up with better couch designs. This is due mainly to current couches, or benches being too short for a patient to comfortably rest his or her legs on. At present, therapy couches can be bought with a width up to eighty inches wide.
When a physiotherapist couch is unavailable, a physical therapist may set up a temporary arrangement, such as the use of a bed, floor or table. Pillows and blankets may be used for client support and comfort.
A portable physiotherapist couch is light enough for the physical therapist, or masseuse to bring straight to the client’s home or work place. Instead of an adjustable metal bar frame and system for support, lightweight portable couches are built on a metal, or wooden frame that uses a cable system. The cables tighten to support weight as it is put onto the cushions.
Physiotherapist couches, tables and chairs are sold in a variety of colors with, or without additional hardware. All are made with both the therapist’s and client’s needs in mind.