Many of us who haven’t experienced physiotherapy first hand, or simply don’t know a lot about it or what it involves, may be surprised at the complexities of physiotherapy and the range of treatments it covers. Some may assume it is a few stretches and exercises for those who have injured their muscles through sports – but it is so much more than that!
Here’s the thing: Physiotherapists are highly trained health professionals who provide treatment for people suffering from physical problems arising from injury, disease, illness and ageing. Their aim is to improve a person’s quality of life by using a variety of treatments to alleviate pain and restore function or, in the case of permanent injury or disease, to lessen the effects of any dysfunction.
What does Physiotherapy Treat?
As well as being used to prevent injuries in the future, typically, physiotherapy is used to treat the following:
Bones, muscles and joints, such as sports injuries, or back, neck and shoulder pain
The heart and circulation, such as rehab following a heart attack
The brain and nervous system, such as problems following a stroke or related to MS
The lungs and respiratory system, such as problems leading from cystic fibrosis
In addition to this, there are a facts about physiotherapy that you may not be aware of…
Professional physiotherapy was first established at the end of World War I in Canada, in order to treat the thousands of injured soldiers. Many required help restoring mobility and functions due to their war injuries, and physiotherapy was the most popular treatment for soldiers during this time.
The role of a physiotherapist is extremely varied with no two days being the same. He/she may have to assess the physical condition of a patient in order to diagnose problems and implement a treatment plan, or alternatively they could also be re-training patients to walk, or helping others to cope with crutches, walking frames, or wheelchairs. He/she will also be responsible for educating their patients and their families, (as well as the community at large) to prevent injuries and to help those people lead healthy lifestyles. In some instances the physiotherapist may be asked to plan and put in place community fitness programmes.
Our physiotherapist, offers variety of different types of physiotherapy, such as neurologic rehabilitation, cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, wound care, orthopaedic care, and post-operative care – to name but a few!
Physiotherapy can be a treatment you are assigned through a referral by your doctor, as well as simply booking an appointment directly with a physiotherapist to discuss a problem you have been experiencing. Many people book a session with a physio instead of their GP to chat about an issue they have, and to decide if physiotherapy would be a beneficial option.