Physiotherapy is an essential part to full recovery of many conditions, disabilities, injuries and surgeries by helping to restore movement and function. It is also essential in preventing a variety of health problems.
By: Rebekah Hobbs
Physiotherapists help to encourage development, facilitate recovery and enables people to stay at work or perform independent functional tasks. We treat people of all ages, to maintain health, manage pain and prevent disease. All the treatment methods used are evidence based and we strive to remain up to date with research and new techniques to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
Let’s look at some ways your Physio can help to improve your life.
Assist in Alleviating Generalised Pain
Whether it is pain from an old injury, the demands of daily life or a syndrome that causes chronic pain such as Fibromyalgia, Hypermobility or an auto-immune condition, Physiotherapy is the key to overcoming your pain. Yes, that’s right; you don’t have to live with pain!
There are many statements that we hear from patients disregarding their pain, putting it down to “the usual stress” or reporting that other medical professionals did not have any new answers for them and that they have to “just live with it”. Fortunately, these statements are not true and your physiotherapist can help you build a plan and make lifestyle changes to live as pain-free as possible or even completely pain-free!
Physiotherapists assess your life, environment and the demands placed on you and your body and are uniquely skilled in the medical field to treat pain with manual (hands-on) treatment, exercise and education.
We look at our patients in a holistic way, which means that we like to listen to your stories, hear of the things that are bothering you and work with you to find the suited solution to get you back to full function.
Flexibility is a term we often don’t associate with daily function, but flexibility is more than stretching after strenuous exercise. In general there are two types of people – hypomobile and hypermobile.
Our lifestyles have become more sedentary from sitting for long periods at work or school, in traffic, in front of the TV or on our phones. What we don’t realise, is that long periods of sitting can cause tightness in the lower back and hamstring muscle groups. To do regular movement and simple stretches can make a big difference to work-related aches and pains. Some people are genetically less flexible than others which is a term called hypomobile. Your physiotherapist is an expert in musculoskeletal health and wellness and we can create a detailed mobility/stretching routine that fits your lifestyle and needs.
On the other side of the scale there are people who are very flexible or as it’s often called “double-jointed”, the correct term to use is rather hypermobile. People who have increased flexibility naturally do not have enough muscle support deep around the more flexible joints. In response the brain signals the big, superficial movement-muscles to assist with stabilising the joint. There for overloading the muscles by making them do tasks that they are not designed to perform. In this case, stretching will not help and may worsen the problem. Your physiotherapist has the expertise to assess your body and prescribe the correct stabilising exercises for you.
Heal From A Complicated Surgical Procedure
There is a saying “A surgery it only as good as its rehabilitation”.
After surgery, you will experience weak muscles and pain from both the surgery itself and the period of inactivity it may require for healing. Your physiotherapist will develop a post-surgical rehabilitation program specifically for you, helping you to regain your muscle strength and fitness safely and effectively.
Immobility is more detrimental to the body after surgery than just the surgery alone. It is important to consult with a physiotherapist sooner rather than later following surgery, even in the same week after surgery gentle mobility and strengthening can commence. We work with the surgeons to get you back on track in no time!
Recover From Joint Replacements
Recovery after a joint replacement is a complex process involving many components.
Aside from pre-habilitation (conditioning before the surgery), physiotherapists work with patients to heal from joint replacements and return to optimum function post-surgery – doing re-habilitation.
Physiotherapy is your gateway to a full recovery post-joint replacement.
Sometimes the surgeons or Doctors do not mention that physiotherapy is an integral component to the recovery, this is still extremely important. To prevent long term problems consult your physiotherapist before or as soon after your surgery as possible, we will assess you and create a treatment plan specifically tailored for you.
Management of a Medical Condition
In the medical field today, there are an increased number of chronic diseases and syndromes that are diagnosed, more than ever before. You may have been diagnosed with a disease or syndrome that is common or not so common and the only option given to you was to manage the disease/syndrome with medication. This is NEVER your only option! While medication is an important part of treatment, there are many ways you can literally take your life back from the disease/syndrome.
Some examples of these conditions are: Type II diabetes, heart disease, different types of arthritis, lung conditions such as COPD or emphysema; and less common conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Motor neuron disease (MND). These are all conditions in which patients are taught to “manage” rather than overcome and live an optimum life with them – this is where physiotherapy comes in. Your physiotherapist can help you find ways to improve your health-related quality of life by building a lifestyle and exercise program with you, following a detailed assessment.
To be treated by a multi-disciplinary team (where medical professionals work together i.e. doctor, physio, psychologist, dietician etc.) can help you more than you can know. Medical Doctors are skilled in how a disease may affect your body and how to treat that on a biological and physiological level, physiotherapists are skilled in how the disease affects your whole life: considering the effects on your body, function and quality of life.
These two skill sets complement each other and enhance each other dramatically.
Each medical professional has their own skill set to add to your treatment, and we love to work with others to enable our patients to truly get better completely.
There are over 100 types of arthritis and it is one of the most common conditions that affect our muscles, joints and connective tissues. This pain and discomfort can be quite burdensome and draining on your daily life and function. Physiotherapy will help to treat you in a holistic way to manage pain and improve function, when you have any type of arthritis.
Pre-Natal, Antenatal and Post-Partum Exercise Conditioning
The female body is designed for pregnancy and birth; however the sedentary lifestyle we live has weakened our bodies. Aside from direct complications in specific cases, the “normal” pregnancy aches and pains are not something you just have to suffer through. This extends to post-partum function as both natural delivery and caesarean sections places demands on the body that you need to recover from. Safe return to exercise and daily function is very important. Your physiotherapist is uniquely positioned to understand the changes that the female body undergoes during pregnancy and how to assess what you need to do to make your pregnancy the healthiest and happiest it can be, along with your return to normal life.
Physiotherapy is truly our passion
There are so many ways in which us as physiotherapists can help you. The main thing to understand is that a physiotherapist is not just someone that offers massage and then you walk out feeling great. Physiotherapy is a journey between therapist and patient to reach the full potential of the patient in terms of function, pain, movement and quality of life.