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What Is Therapeutic Treatment?

By Hollie Thomas
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Therapeutic treatment is any form of treatment that is administered to treat or cure disease, physical disorder or injury. That said, a therapy or treatment that serves to alleviate the symptoms of a condition — as opposed to curing the condition — might also be considered a therapeutic treatment. There are many types of therapeutic treatments that can be delivered by a range of professionals, and they can include interventions such as physical therapy, vaccines, drug treatments and talking therapies that can help enable a patient to make lifestyle or behavioral changes.

In many cases, rehabilitation to full health after illness or injury might be the prime focus of a therapeutic treatment program. As such, a therapist can employ techniques that aim to facilitate a patient's well-being and restore health. One characteristic of therapeutic treatment is that it can be ongoing for a period of weeks, months or even years.

It is not uncommon for a patient to engage in a range of therapeutic interventions to successfully treat or cure a condition. An individual who has a back injury, for example, might be referred to a physiotherapist who can advise him or her about the physical exercises that might help alleviate the symptoms. In addition, physiotherapy might be combined with another therapeutic treatment, such as massage.

Some vaccines might also be considered therapeutic treatments. When some forms of cancer have been diagnosed or a patient has been identified as being at significant risk of developing cancer, a therapeutic program might include the use of vaccinations. In these instances, therapeutic treatments center on vaccination to protect the patient from the development of the disease or treating an existing condition by using a vaccine to help strengthen a patient's natural immunity against cancer.

By contrast, there also are some therapeutic treatments that do not involve the use of drugs or physical therapies. Cognitive and behavioral therapies, for example, illustrate how therapeutic treatment helps to restore or improve a patient's mental health. When a therapist aims to treat some forms of depression, the focus of therapeutic treatment might focus on helping the patient make better lifestyle choices. Part of this treatment might include developing a new social circle or finding new hobbies and interests, which in themselves could be deemed therapeutic. In addition, a counselor might also undertake work with a patient that involves altering patterns of thinking, such as replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, thereby developing self-esteem and a positive self-image.

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Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Oct 14, 2014

I have a bad back and experienced a serious back spasm almost a year ago. I was given cortisone, pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. I was also given a list of back exercises to do at home every day.

I'm now off the medications and the severe back pain is gone. But I still have symptoms in my leg -- pain that is on and off, as well as numbness and pins and needles.

I feel like my therapeutic treatment wasn't good enough. I should have gotten all better by now.

By donasmrs — On Oct 13, 2014

@fBoyle-- I don't think that we can generalize like that. It depends on the ailment and how serious it is. A sprain may be treated without using medications, but cancer, not so much. It can actually be dangerous to rely on alternative therapies when medications are far more effective.

I too am against the idea of taking several pain killers when one has a headache. A hot drink, a short nap, a cold pack on the forehead may be enough to relieve the headache. But when medications are required and prescribed, then there is no point in avoiding them.

By fBoyle — On Oct 13, 2014

I think that in our health system, there is a lot of emphasis on drug therapy. Drug therapy is very important and necessary in some cases. But I also think that other types of therapies are valuable and can be useful. These alternative therapies need to be utilized more often. Drugs should be the second resort if an alternative therapy seems promising for a condition.

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