Whether you’re suffering from an injury, experiencing pain, or simply looking to improve your overall body function and movement, you’ll want to consider physiotherapy.
In this article we look at what physiotherapy is, why it’s beneficial, and what you can expect from physiotherapy treatment.
Physiotherapy, also known as Physical Therapy (PT), is the treatment provided to promote, maintain, rehabilitate, and strengthen your physical health and improve your overall well-being. Physiotherapists are registered university educated health professionals and movement experts who treat injuries and conditions that impact movement. Your physiotherapist's goal is to improve your quality of life. They take a holistic approach, addressing not only the physical aspects of your well-being, but also your emotional, psychological, and social well-being using rehabilitative interventions that include education, manual therapy, and other modalities. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages (even kids) to develop customized programs designed to restore and improve functional ability and movement.
They help individuals whose function and movement are impacted by:
Physiotherapists use the best available evidence to design treatment plans specific to your unique needs and goals. They help to:
Pain is a sensation triggered by chemicals released in the body where disease and injury have occurred. Not all pain is created equal. We tend to categorize pain as related to or coming from a damaged structure (acute, nerve, referred, mechanical) or primarily being centrally driven (typically chronic pain experienced by a heightened sense of threat from the central nervous system). Pain is multifaceted and complex, so physiotherapists use a combination of diagnosis and education to understand your pain and empower you to manage it, along with a combination of manual therapy, therapeutic modalities and exercise therapy to decrease your pain, modulate your pain perception, and promote healing. As time passes,your level of pain should decrease as the tissues have healed and as your physiotherapist has addressed calming down the central nervous system.
Although physiotherapists are not physical trainers or fitness trainers, they have extensive in-depth training in exercise prescription for special populations and effective physiotherapy treatment often involves exercise therapy by incorporating individualized exercise programs. Proper and consistent practice of these movements can improve your muscle and joint function and strength as well as your bone density and cardiovascular health.
Physiotherapy involves stretching and strengthening exercises to help restore your ability to move, maintain balance and stability, and prevent falls. Being able to move better increases your confidence, allows for independence, and gives you the benefit of enjoying all aspects of life's physical pleasures and demands.
There is almost always some level of discomfort after surgery, if not significant pain. The good news is that physiotherapy can use a variety of modalities to aid in post-surgery rehabilitation and pain management. To help yourself maintain a positive and focused mindset, you’ll want to set goals with your physiotherapist. This will keep your rehabilitation progress on track, and give you something to work towards.
Your return to pre-injury activity will vary depending on several factors, including: the severity of the injury, your pre-injury level of fitness, your age, and the demands of your activity. Physiotherapists target your injury from multiple angles to restore your functionality, strength and flexibility. The goal is to get you back to your pre-injury activity as quickly and safely as possible, while also reducing the odds of your injury or condition from occurring again.
Rather than relying solely on medication to manage a condition, physiotherapists combine exercise therapy, manual therapy, and various treatment modalities including shockwave therapy, ultrasound therapy, therapeutic taping, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), cryotherapy, and thermotherapy. This multimodal approach reduces your dependency on medicine, and instead offers a healthier and more sustainable method of recovery.
The goal of physiotherapy is to address your pain, help you recover, and achieve your lifestyle goals. However, many individuals suffering from physical pain or discomfort are often sitting in frustration regarding their progress and pain. The most common problem is an inaccurate diagnosis and a lack of understanding of what is going on and why there is pain. The most successful physiotherapists do a comprehensive evaluation and assessment right at the start to identify the root causes of your symptoms.
Athletes or physically active people who want to perform better in their sport or elevate their fitness, often look to sports physiotherapy as a way to maximize their performance potential. Physiotherapists use various strategies to improve body functionality and strength.
There is a strong fundamental link between mental and physical health. Everyone who has experienced physical suffering understands the impact it has on your emotional and mental well-being. Physiotherapy helps to improve your physical health so you can live a happy, pain-free, and enjoyable lifestyle.
Surgery may not be needed if physiotherapy helps you eliminate pain or heal from an injury. Even if surgery is required, you may benefit from pre-surgery physiotherapy. You’ll have a faster post-surgery recovery by going into a surgery stronger and in better shape.
Common Conditions that Physiotherapists Treat:
There are many types of physiotherapy. Some of these specializations can include:
During your initial appointment, your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough examination and assessment of your needs. It is a comprehensive intake of your health history, a full-body movement evaluation, and biomechanical assessment.
The objective of the assessment is to determine a diagnosis of your condition. This requires going beyond the surface-level issues that you’re already aware of, to look for deeper underlying issues that may be responsible for your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will also want to understand why you have the condition, including impairments that either caused or are a result of the condition.
As your physiotherapist learns more about your body, and gains an understanding of where your pain is coming from and its specific triggers, they’ll use their knowledge to educate you so that you are aware of how your body works, and even more importantly, feel empowered to manage your pain.
Once your physiotherapist has properly identified and diagnosed the issue, they’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. It will include your personal goals, and a robust plan with exercises and other treatments to help you reach them. To get the most efficient and impactful results, the best physiotherapists use a multimodal approach by using a variety of treatments to address your needs. Your rehabilitation program may include treatments like manual therapy, behavioural modifications, exercise prescriptions, and other treatment modalities.
Your physiotherapist may prescribe any of the following forms of therapy:
You will get the best results if you are invested and engaged in the treatment process. Ask questions, do your prescribed “homework”, and keep an optimistic attitude!
As your physiotherapist incorporates your new program, they’ll evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your treatment to make sure you’re on the right track. When you’ve met your goals, your physiotherapist will put together a maintenance plan that empowers you and suits your lifestyle! The goal is for you to enjoy lasting results.
Are you ready to get back to your best self? If so, get in touch with LIFT Physiotherapy to start experiencing the benefits of physiotherapy treatment!