What Is Medical Treatment?

medical treatment

Medical treatment involves the application of procedures and systematic therapeutic measures for the prevention, diagnosis, control and cure of illness or injury. It is provided by health professionals who are trained in the scientific basis of medicine, and can be applied at the bedside or through other interventions. It is usually delivered in a hospital or clinic but may also be offered by non-hospital care providers. It is normally accompanied by health education and preventive strategies. Medical treatment is generally considered essential for human life, and most societies provide some form of universal healthcare to their populations through either single-payer systems or compulsory private or collective insurance (with access based on need rather than ability to pay).

An important component of medical treatment is the use of medicines that treat the symptoms of disease, such as analgesics to alleviate pain, antibiotics to fight infection, diuretics to reduce fluid retention, or sedatives to induce sleep. The term “supportive therapy” is used to describe these and other treatments that do not directly address the underlying cause but improve symptoms and overall quality of life, especially in cases where cure is unlikely. This is in contrast to destination therapy, which is a final or better treatment option that aims to overcome the disease once and for all.

A doctor may also prescribe certain therapies that are not conventionally considered to be part of mainstream medicine, such as acupuncture or balneotherapy. The latter involves using hot or cold applications, pressure and massage to stimulate circulation and relieve pain. Other non-conventional medical treatment options include nutritional science or dietetics, which is the study of food and its effect on the body, pharmacology, photobiology (the interaction between light and living organisms), and radiobiology (the interaction between radiation and living tissues).

Medicines are also used to prevent disease by immunization or vaccination. This includes vaccination against infectious diseases such as measles and polio, and against conditions such as cancer, which is often treated with chemotherapy or radiation. Other medications are used to help people stop drinking or drug-taking, such as antidepressants and narcotics.

Other kinds of medical treatment are provided for patients with psychiatric disorders, such as psychotherapy and the administration of drugs to control seizures or mood swings. Medicines are also used to assist patients in overcoming addiction to alcohol or illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, by controlling the symptoms of withdrawal.

Surgery is a medical specialty that uses manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate or treat pathological conditions, to improve bodily function, appearance, or comfort, or to repair damage caused by trauma, accident, or illness. It is a major sub-discipline of internal medicine.

Other medical specialties that employ surgical techniques include anesthesiology, which is concerned with the perioperative management of the surgical patient; ophthalmology, which deals with eye diseases and injuries; dermatology; and otolaryngology, which deals with the ear, nose and throat. Surgical techniques are also employed in some of the medical emergency departments, such as urology and gynecology.

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