What Is Physiotherapy?
Limited mobility, chronic pain, and overall stiffness and discomfort can significantly impede your quality of life and diminish the enjoyment you once experienced throughout your day. If you have a previous injury, health condition, or disability that interferes with your ability to perform everyday activities, it might be time to see a physiotherapist.
But what is physiotherapy? And what does a physiotherapist do?
Physiotherapy is a holistic treatment administered by your primary care provider and a physiotherapist. It is among one of the most effective treatments for a range of conditions. The benefits of physiotherapy go beyond healing the affected area and can minimize your chances of future injuries or illnesses. Physiotherapy is most effective when you make it a part of your daily routine.
There are several types of physiotherapy, and the treatment you receive will depend on your issue, diagnosis, and other factors. When you visit your doctor, they may refer you to a physiotherapist who specializes in a certain area, such as pediatrics, women’s health, or sports medicine. Within these are more focused areas such as:
- Musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy: Also known as orthopedic physiotherapy, this treatment is applied to patients with arthritis, muscle sprains, limited mobility, back pain, poor posture, an injury incurred during a sport or workplace accident, or post-surgery rehabilitation.
- Neurological physiotherapy: Physiotherapists use this form of therapy to help patients experiencing a nervous system disorder caused by a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s. It is also a beneficial outpatient treatment after brain surgery.
- Cardiothoracic physiotherapy: This type of treatment is used for patients with cardio-respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema.
What Do Physiotherapists Do?
Physiotherapists undergo specialized training and follow strict regulations. They typically work with multiple members of a patient’s care team in a range of settings, such as:
- Private practices
- Community clinics
- Certain GP surgeries
- Certain charitable organizations, workplaces, or sports clubs
In some cases, physiotherapists can even visit patients in their homes.
When you see a physiotherapist, they assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that takes your entire body into account, not just the affected area. Physiotherapists utilize various approaches to help their patients, including:
- Education and advice: They provide general suggestions about activities or actions that impact your day-to-day, like posture or proper bending and lifting movements to avoid injuries.
- Personalized exercise treatment plans: Physiotherapy focuses on alleviating symptoms through healthy lifestyle changes and strengthening the muscles around the affected area.
- Manual therapy: Physiotherapists use their hands to knead and manipulate muscles to ease discomfort and stiffness and promote better mobility and functioning.
- Electrotherapy techniques: Your physiotherapist may use a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit, laser therapy, ultrasound, or diathermy that emits small electrical pulses that disrupt the body’s pain receptors and ease pain.
These approaches help physiotherapists address prevention and recovery, which can greatly benefit your overall well-being.
Who Needs Physiotherapy?
You should see a physiotherapist if you deal with chronic pain or an injury that disrupts your quality of life and limits your ability to perform common activities. Your doctor can also refer you to a clinic as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Common problems physiotherapists address include:
- Neck and back pain caused by skeletal and MSK conditions
- Joint and bone pain caused by arthritis
- Asthma or other lung problems
- Disability caused by heart conditions
- Pelvic pain or bladder and bowel issues after childbirth
- Limited mobility due to spine or brain trauma, Parkinson’s, or multiple sclerosis
- Fatigue, discomfort, swelling, stiffness, or muscle weakness
When you see a physiotherapist, you will receive a personalized treatment plan. For this reason, each patient will have a unique experience during their sessions. But generally, you can expect your physiotherapist to:
- Ask about your medical history
- Examine and diagnose your issue
- Give you a treatment plan that includes specific goals
- Provide an exercise regime to perform at home
Your physiotherapist will encourage you to apply what you learn during your sessions into your routine, rather than doing them only during your sessions. Physiotherapy takes time, but being diligent about your health will expedite your recovery and get you back on track to a fuller, healthier life.
Physiotherapy In Calgary
It’s normal for the body to experience wear and tear over time, but injuries, health conditions, illnesses, or disability can accelerate this decline and impact your quality of life. Rather than dealing with chronic pain, stiffness, or discomfort, you should be proactive and take control of your health by talking to your doctor about physiotherapy.
The benefits of physiotherapy make it easier for you to move around, enjoy your favorite hobbies, stay productive at work, and more. But it all begins with the right diagnosis and treatment. Find out what physiotherapy can do for you by visiting Brentwood Physiotherapy for sports physiotherapy, lower back pain treatment, physiotherapy for shoulder pain, and more.