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What does a Physiotherapist do?

A Physiotherapist is a first-line or primary care practitioner.

This means that you do not need a referral from a doctor to consult us. 

By: Mariska Odendaal & Rebekah Hobbs

Physiotherapists are first-line or primary care practitioners. This means that you don’t need a referral from a doctor to consult us.  We are able to assess, diagnose and treat conditions in a variety of fields, such as: 

  • Orthopaedics (muscles and bones),
  • Neurology (nerves and brain),
  • Respiratory (lungs and sinuses),
  • Circulatory (heart, veins and arteries),
  • Obstetrics (pregnancy and birth care/rehabilitation),
  • Sports medicine (dealing not online with elite sportsman, but everyone that likes to move),
  • Paediatrics (children),
  • Geriatrics (elderly people)
  • General rehabilitation for daily function and sport.

Click Here to read why you should see a Physiotherapist

Different methods of treating your disease or illness are used, from manual (hands-on) therapy, exercise and electrotherapy to education.

Due to the width of our scope, many physiotherapists do extra certifications or have special interests in different areas. This doesn’t mean we can’t treat the other areas. Rather that we will be able to help you more thoroughly in an area that we have a special interest in.

At our practice, we are trained in Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy, which focuses in-depth on neuromusculoskeletal (bones, muscles and nerves) conditions. Individually, Mariska has a special interest in Chronic Pain Management. Rebekah has a special interest in Visceral Manipulation. Click on the topics to read more about it.

Here are some ways a Physiotherapist can improve your life:

Holistic Healing

One of our favourite things about being physiotherapists is our ability to manage patients holistically. Holistic management of an injury or illness consists of treating our patients as a whole. We take into account the physical, psychological and social aspects of your condition. Our goal is to take the journey with you from beginning to end.

Improve Your Quality of Life and help you return to function

Health-related quality of life is one of the most influential factors in your overall quality of life. Here we focus on improving your functionality. This can be broken down into Range of motion, pain, strength, proprioception and ability to perform tasks. Injuries, both old and new may affect your ability to play sport, perform optimally at work or socialize with friends and family. The same can be said of illness, especially chronic conditions. A physiotherapist can help guide you through the process of improving your quality of life concerning your health and function.

If Necessary we can refer you to other healthcare professionals that you may need. Such as general practitioners (GP’s), Specialist Doctors, Psychologists, Orthotists and Occupational Therapists etc.

Correct Your Posture and Ergonomics

Our posture is the way we hold our bodies when we sit or stand, and is the basis for all movement and function. When we look at Ergonomics, we assess the way you i.e. sit at your desk or perform your profession (the posture that you use majority of the day). Incorrect posture can create lots of annoying little injuries or pains. This might not bother you much individually but may predispose you to more serious injuries. A physiotherapist can assess your posture and the specific demands on your body from work and sport. Taking this into consideration we will prescribe the correct strengthening exercises to correct it.

Injury Prevention

People often think Physiotherapists only treat you after you have been injured, but our first goal is injury prevention. If you are beginning a new sport, job or are just prone to injuries, your physiotherapist can help you adjust properly and prevent injury. A new phase of life such as having children also requires physical adjustments for both men and women.

Prevent Surgery

Another way physiotherapy can improve your quality of life is by helping you avoid surgery. Surgery is an important part of healthcare and while it can be unavoidable, there are quite a few situations in which physiotherapy will be more beneficial. If however, you still need to have surgery, your outcomes will always be better with pre-habilitation and physiotherapy leading up to the surgery. 

In the event that we have treated your condition conservatively and have found that the improvement is not as we would have wanted it, we will refer you to the appropriate surgeon/specialist. 

Rehabilitation after surgery

Post-surgical care is even more important than the pre-surgical care and often is the single factor that determines the success of the surgery. Physiotherapy is the place you start this journey and it is essential that you continue with an outpatient physiotherapist once you have been discharged. Physiotherapists are experts on sub-acute rehabilitation and you need to be cleared by a physiotherapist before you return to any form of exercise or normal functional activities after discharge form hospital or surgery.

Here we focus not just on returning to normal function, but to make sure that our patients have good quality of movement. We strenghten our patients to prevent the risk of re-injury. 

Improve Your Athletic Performance

For all the athletes out there you don’t have to wait for an injury to visit a physiotherapist.

We can help you by assessing your bodies biomechanics (how your muscles and joints are working together) to improve performance and prevent injuries. Another thing that an athlete doesn’t always think about is how your day job affects your body and may work either for or against you in your sport; this is important to remember and physiotherapy can help you address this.

So athletes, whether for fun or professionally pack your takkies and visit your physiotherapist.

Offer advice

We are trained to not just assist in funcitonal training, but to assist with some of the psychological and social aspects of your injury as well. We are trained to asses you and look at the holistic picture (look at the biopsychosocial model) and offer advice as to how you can improve your pain, injury or condition. This includes exercise prescription, stress relieving techniques, breathing techniques as well as pain management. 

What does this mean for you?

In physiotherapy, we love what we do because it keeps you doing what you love. We often hear that people think that they have to stop doing something they love so that they don’t have pain or injuries. This is not the case; in fact you can optimise how you do what you love. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency visit us today so that you can live happily and healthily!

We work at your level – to ensure that we help you get back to where you need to be.