Are you looking for help with physiotherapy in San Francisco CA? The team at Louis Valencia, DC, CSCS is here to help.

request an appointment


Physiotherapy helps restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. Physiotherapy or “medically directed rehab” helps restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health. Our San Francisco CA patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy.

Treatment often includes exercise; especially for patients who have been immobilized or who lack flexibility, strength, or endurance. Physiotherapy helps encourage patients to use their muscles to increase their flexibility and range of motion. More advanced exercises focus on improving strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. The goal is to improve how an individual functions at work and at home.

Physiotherapy also helps treat a wide range of disorders; such as pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics, sports medicine, neurology, and cardiopulmonary physiotherapy.


Do I need to see a physician before I can receive physiotherapy?

  • No, all 50 states have direct access to Physiotherapy. This means that you don’t need to see a medical doctor or primary care provider before care.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and a physiotherapist?

  • Our physicians perform a comprehensive analysis of a range of motion, including identifying the joints involved, tissue limitations, muscular imbalances, and structural pathologies. A chiropractor will treat the spine and be able to order special tests like X-rays, MRIs, and blood tests.


Louis Valencia, DC, CSCS of San Francisco CA was designed to provide an ideal environment for healing your body, through chiropractic, massage, or physiotherapy. When you arrive at our office, our physicians will take a thorough history, and evaluation of the entire body including posture and biomechanics, range of motion, and joint mobility to find out the cause of pain or disability. You will then discuss treatment options and goals so that we can customize a treatment plan catered to you.

Each session will last roughly one hour. The frequency of visits and the length of treatment is determined by the physician who prescribed the treatment. The results are typically a result of the patient’s commitment. When the patient follows the plan, does their exercises as often as suggested, and uses the proper techniques, the treatment is typically very successful.


It is a good idea to arrive at your physiotherapy appointment properly dressed. It is best that you wear snug comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement. It is also a good idea to bring your insurance card, a form of identification, the prescription that your physician gave you, and if needed, your co-pay.


Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Electrical Muscle Stimulation is an exceptional way to help the body in the healing process. This is accomplished by sending a very small electrical current into the affected soft tissue injury or muscle spasm. The therapy utilizes this current in an effort to help reduce swelling and release trigger points that may have the muscle locked up. It does this by helping the body to release natural relievers of pain often referred to as endorphins.

This is a great therapy if there is a spasm in a back or neck muscle. It works well in relaxing the muscle and allowing it to return to its normal state rather quickly. Short therapy sessions are excellent at facilitating healing from acute and chronic pain.

Interferential Electro-Therapy

Inferential Electro-Therapy is an excellent method of helping the body deal with spasms, sprains, and issues related to soft tissues. This therapy accomplishes this with a very low simulated frequency that is put on the soft tissue. The feeling of this therapy is very light and most patients feel very comfortable during the treatment.

In addition to this therapy simulating the body’s natural healing method by helping it to produce natural pain-killing endorphins, it also helps with the release of these strains, spasms, and soft tissue issues.

Cold Pack Therapy

Cold pack therapy reduces pain by cooling off the area of injury and by slowing down blood circulation to the area. This helps to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. Cryotherapy literally means cold therapy and is typically used in the form of cold packs, but can also be applied in various ways, including coolant sprays, ice massage, and cold whirlpools, or ice baths. When used to treat injuries at home, cold therapy refers to therapy with ice or gel packs that are usually kept in the freezer until needed. These remain one of the simplest, time-tested remedies for managing pain and swelling.

Cold pack therapy may be particularly effective when you are managing pain with swelling, especially around a joint or tendon. Cold therapy is the “I” component of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). This is a R.I.C.E. is the treatment recommended for the home care of many injuries. Applying cold (ice) packs: lowers your skin temperature, reduces the nerve activity, and reduces pain and swelling. Putting cold packs or frozen items directly on your skin can ease pain, but it also can damage your skin. It’s best to wrap the cold pack in a thin towel or cloth to protect your skin from the direct cold to prevent frostbite. Stop applying ice if you lose feeling on the skin where you are applying it.

Acute injuries are those which result from traumatic incidents, for example, a fall, twisting movement, or direct blow for example, and are immediately painful. When an acute injury first occurs, bleeding, inflammation, swelling, and pain must all be controlled. Cold packs should be applied as soon as possible in order to cool the tissues, reduce their metabolic rate, nerve conduction velocity, and cause vasoconstriction of the surrounding blood vessels.

Hot Pack Therapy

The heat provided by hot packs has several important benefits. These may include:

  • Relaxes tight muscles, causing tissues to relax.
  • Decreases pain caused by muscle tension or spasms.
  • Causes vasodilatation of the blood vessels, which increases circulation to the area.

Increased circulation to your injured body part helps bring in nutrients, oxygen, and cells that promote healing. This increased circulation can also wash away metabolic waste materials that may be gathered around your injured body site. After an injury, heat helps to increase tissue extensibility and improve the way your muscles move. Moist heat pack therapy provides a different type of therapy than dry heating pads. While dry heating pads draw moisture away from the muscles and skin, moist heating packs provide a deeper penetrating heat than some users prefer for their aches and pains.

Contrast Therapy

Contrast therapy uses both Cold therapy and heat therapy by alternating from cold (ice) pack to heat pack or by using contrast baths treatment involves using both warm whirlpool and cold whirlpool on the same body part during treatment. Your injured body part is repeatedly moved from a heat therapy modality to cold therapy modality. You typically spend about one to three minutes in each bath, and a typical treatment lasts for 15 to 20 minutes.

The strategy of contrast therapy is to create a rapid opening and closing of the arteries around the body part being treated, thus causing both vasoconstriction and vasodilation. This creates a pumping effect in the body part, which helps to decrease swelling around the injured site by flushing out the inflammation in that area. Most importantly, end the treatment cycle on ice (unless you’re treating chronic conditions, such as recurring injuries, tightness, or muscle spasms). By ending on ice, the vessels will be narrowed and will help keep inflammation from re-entering the area. Following approximately the first 3-5 days of an acute injury, once bleeding has stopped and there are no signs of inflammation, you may wish to alternate cold and heat treatments, thus use contrast therapy to flush away any lingering inflammation that may not be visible to the eye.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle to moderate sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. Trauma, sustained out-of-neutral postures, repetitive motion, inflammatory responses, scar tissue, and/or surgical procedures can create myofascial restrictions that produce tensile pressures on pain sensitive soft tissue structures that attach to bones which can cause misalignments and joint restrictions as well that may not show up on standard special study tests. Each myofascial release session is performed directly on the skin in order to accurately detect fascial restrictions and so that the appropriate amount of sustained pressure can be used to facilitate the release of the fascia.

Manual Traction

Traction is a manual technique designed to reduce pressure on affected vertebral discs that are causing pain. Traction is a manual ‘stretching’ of the spine which reduces pressure on the discs and therefore reduces the individual’s pain. This assists the soft part of the disc to return within the disc. This decompresses the nerve and reduces pain. This also helps to rehydrate the disc.

Functional Rehabilitation

Functional rehabilitation is an extension of the traditional elements of physical therapy, the purpose of which is to return the athlete to highly complex movement patterns such as athletics. As well as the traditional elements of physical therapy such as strength and flexibility, the functional rehabilitation program incorporates agility and proprioceptive/kinesthetic training, which enables the athlete to participate at preinjury levels of activity while reducing the risk of recurrent injury.

The functional rehabilitation program is designed to progress the athlete from simple activities, such as walking or jogging, to highly complex sport-specific activities that require refined levels of proprioceptive acuity. The final phase of the functional rehabilitation program is determining when the athlete is ready to resume participation in their respective sport. This is a very important and sometimes overlooked component of the functional rehabilitation program. The decision for returning an athlete to participation should be made using objective assessments of function that simulate sport activity whenever possible. Last, return to sport activity should be done gradually. Progression into the sport activity is essential to a full and healthy return to participation.

If you are interested in Physiotherapy in San Francisco CA, call our Louis Valencia, DC, CSCS team today!