How can you benefit from physiotherapy?

If you’re not an athlete or you’ve never experienced a severe injury, seeing a physiotherapist may have never crossed your mind.

However, various common problems are treated with physiotherapy, from chronic pain to simply keeping your body in top shape. A physiotherapist is trained and licensed to identify and treat concern areas, preventing more severe problems later on in life.

Physiotherapy is appropriate for patients of any age. It uses various joint manipulation, muscle stretching, and acupuncture, among other methods, to treat your musculoskeletal system (ligaments, joints, muscles and connective tissue) and other bodily systems. Physiotherapists help patients achieve maximum movement and physical ability by developing it in the first place or restoring it after losing physical ability due to illness, injury, or ageing. Physiotherapy can also relieve lingering pain or flare-ups from old injuries, incontinence, vertigo and other balance issues.

Reasons to Go to Physiotherapy

Pain Management

Pain management is probably the most common reason patients will seek out physio. Whether the pain stems from a recent injury, an old injury, or even just chronic pain from sitting at a desk all day, physiotherapy will specifically target the problem area and identify any underlying issues that could be making the pain worse. From there, your physiotherapist will use a combination of therapies to relieve the symptoms and prevent them from reoccurring.

Sports Injuries & Other Accidental Injuries

Due to the heightened risk of injury, many athletes seek out physiotherapy regularly. Sports injuries generally involve the musculoskeletal system, which makes physiotherapy the best course of treatment. When done regularly, it can also increase your range of motion, which reduces the likelihood of future injuries.

Similarly, physiotherapy can also help rehabilitate your body from other accidental injuries such as sprains, fractures and soft tissue injuries sustained in day-to-day life. Physiotherapy can help prevent injuries from flaring up later on and aid in healing.

Range of Motion

Contrary to popular belief, stiffness and limited joint mobility are not standard parts of ageing. These problems are pretty common due to the repetitive nature of most day jobs. Limited range of motion is also common among athletes. It’s easy to damage the ligaments, muscles, and nerves surrounding your joints, which can limit your ability to move in different directions.

A physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan for you using a combination of specific exercises. These exercises will move your body’s joints and soft tissues through their available ranges of motion, gradually stretching the muscle to achieve better mobility over time. This is usually done for several sessions, combined with prescribed at-home exercises.

Pregnancy and Post-Partum Exercise

During pregnancy and childbirth, a women’s body goes through many changes and a great deal of stress. Many expectant and new mothers opt for a personal trainer to help the body recover. A physiotherapist’s knowledge of the effects of pregnancy and birth on your muscles, ligaments, and joints gives them a deep understanding of appropriate treatment in the early months after having a baby, making physio a much safer option. A physiotherapist who has specialised in women’s health can also treat incontinence caused by a weakened pelvic floor, bladder, or bowel muscles that sometimes occurs after childbirth. Your physiotherapist will help you develop a plan to safely increase your activity and strengthen areas that have been stretched or weakened during pregnancy.

Chronic Pain

Whether it’s reoccurring dull pain or lingering acute pain, if you’re living joint or muscle pain that persists for more than a few days, it may be time to book a consultation with a physio. There could be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed – this is especially common with neck pain, which is often caused by bad posture. A physiotherapist can diagnose these issues and lay out an ongoing treatment plan specific to your needs.

Post-Operative Care

For operations requiring rehabilitation, your surgery’s success isn’t actually determined from the moment you leave the operating table. To fully regain your strength, flexibility, and motor functions, you will likely be prescribed a physiotherapy regimen to follow in the weeks/months following your procedure. You’ll likely require re-assessment and frequent check-ins to monitor your progress.

The Takeaway

A physiotherapist helps take care of patients in all phases of healing, from initial diagnosis through the restorative and preventive recovery stages. Physical therapy may be a standalone option, or it may support other treatments. If your symptoms have begun to affect your everyday life, it may be time to book a consultation with your local physiotherapist.

Whether you’re using it as a preventative tool, treat chronic pain, or help you recover from an injury, physiotherapy can treat a broad spectrum of medical conditions such as:

  1. Hand therapy for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger

  2. Musculoskeletal dysfunction such as back pain, rotator cuff tears, and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)

  3. Neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injuries

  4. Paediatric conditions such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

  5. Sports-related injuries, such as concussion and tennis elbow.

  6. Women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction including urinary incontinence and diastasis recti (torn tummy muscles).

Click here to book a consultation with physiotherapist Anita Naidoo.