Physiotherapy is often associated with sports medicine or the alleviation of pain. While this assumption is correct, there are SO many other reasons people consult physiotherapists. For example, your grandma may have limited mobility or a friend may need rehabilitation after surgery. Similarly, some physiotherapists can assist people with cardiorespiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease and hypertension.
Let’s get physio, physio
Practicing physiotherapists have relevant tertiary qualifications. They are also registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. Physios may help ease pain or repair function for people from all walks of life. Some examples of conditions physiotherapists can assist with are below:
Physiotherapists are able to help you improve strength, flexibility, range of motion and endurance. They can also help with reducing stiffness, improving gait and training in the use of mobility aids to name a few.
In fact, physios employ a holistic approach in diagnosing and treating patients to ensure they receive the best care possible. Treatment approaches vary from patient to patient and often involve a combination of techniques to achieve the best result. Some common techniques used are joint manipulation, muscle stretching, massage, taping (to prevent injury), acupuncture and dry needling (to assist with muscle function) and neurodynamics.
One size doesn’t fit all
While physiotherapists see many patients with similar problems, no two patients are alike. This means physios adopt a customised assessment and treatment approach to each and every patient and condition. Additionally, a standard consultation can vary depending on the scope of your physiotherapist’s practice specialisation. Having said that, a ‘typical’ session may include:
In Step 3, physiotherapists take into consideration information like a patient’s family history, daily activities, type of work and preexisting illnesses or conditions. The treatment plan may include exercises and the use of physical aids as required. Physical aids are equipment that assists people with injuries and disabilities by improving their functioning.
The benefits of physiotherapy
For a painful musculoskeletal complaint that won’t go away, physiotherapy should be your first option, for many reasons.
You don’t have to take strong painkillers: Painkillers are highly addictive and have been found to have side effects such as nausea, dizziness, acid reflux, and more. In addition, with prolonged use of painkillers, you might develop a resistance to them, which will require you to take stronger doses each time. With physiotherapy, you should be able to reduce pain in a natural and long-lasting way.
You work on the root of the problem: Muscular spasms, stiff or locked joints, painful areas in the body – these are all symptoms of something that is not working the way it should. With physiotherapy, instead of taking medicine to quell the pain, you’ll be working towards fixing and healing the problem instead.
You avoid surgery and medical procedures: One of the biggest benefits of physiotherapy is that it allows you to avoid surgery. As a rule of thumb, you want to try everything else before resorting to surgery. With physiotherapy, you are using a series of natural techniques like exercise and massage to manage and reduce pain, and to treat the injured or dysfunctional area. A great example of this would be foam role stretches.
You learn how to manage pain: With chronic pain, there may not always be a treatable cause. If you’re suffering from this, along with reduced mobility and being unable to perform some activities, you may feel frustrated or as if you are not in control of your body. With physiotherapy, you learn which exercises reduce the pain and can formulate your own routine to manage and reduce reoccurrence. Many patients even learn how to predict the onset of pain and can do the exercises that will delay or stop it.
You prevent more severe injuries: When a part of your skeletal system is weak, it doesn’t function as it should, and the strain on the surrounding joints causes damage and pain. This can become severe over time, resulting in fractures, sprains and severe spasms. One of the benefits of physiotherapy is that it helps you identify the weakness in your frame, and helps you work to improve it.
Whether you need a physiotherapist for a sports injury, pain from an accident that happened many years ago or bad posture, Avaana has you covered. Book an appointment with a physio near you now!