What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is the practice of using physical techniques to treat an injury, disease, and a wide range of health conditions over medication and surgery. It is aimed at improving a patient’s quality of life by increasing mobility and restoring functional ability, reducing pain and easing stiffness, recovering from injury and rehabilitating after surgery, and reducing risks of further damage to the body, among others.
How can physiotherapy help you?
A physiotherapy patient may come from all stages of life. Whether you are an athlete or working at a desk from 9-5, everyone will experience some form of physical pain or discomfort in their lifetime which may benefit from a consultation with a physiotherapist. People seek professional help from physiotherapists for several reasons, some of which include the following:
An injury can cause damages as simple as sprains, aches, and pains, to serious and complex conditions that may affect the functions of the brain and impact bodily movements. Athletes are prone to injuries due to the physical demands of sports activities, but even the most mundane tasks of everyday life can also lead to injuries. Some repetitive physical activities that require constant movements of specific body parts over long periods may also cause aches and pains. A physiotherapist can help you recover from your injury, providing treatment such as soft tissue mobilisation, joint manipulation, and personalised rehabilitation programs.
Physiotherapy can help treat patients who are having difficulty with their motor skills because of an illness. A client’s ability to move naturally without pain and stiffness may be impacted by many conditions including arthritis, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Chronic health condition
In many cases, chronic health conditions affect a patient’s ability to move naturally or pain-free. Some of these conditions that would benefit from the expertise of a physiotherapist include diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, chronic bronchitis, high blood pressure, stroke, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and obesity. Physiotherapists will often work with other doctors and health professionals to manage and execute the needed treatment for patients with chronic health conditions.
Major health condition
A major health situation like a heart attack or traumatic brain injury can easily affect a patient’s motor skills and balance, hence, their ability to perform simple and strenuous bodily functions. With the help of physiotherapy, the effects of these major health events can be corrected, offset, or regulated.
The body undergoes numerous changes as people age, some of which involve the joints, bones, nerves, and muscles. These body parts play major roles in balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength, among others. With fewer nerve cells, stiffer joints, brittler bones, and weaker muscles, ageing individuals will experience a gradual decline in mobility. These changes in an ageing body are also accompanied by pain, inflammation, and stiffness, especially when performing bodily functions. An ageing body also becomes more prone to injuries because of weaker bones, joints, muscles, and nerves. Any damage that may occur in an injury is likely to become more severe because of these deteriorating body parts.
Physiotherapy can help patients make up for the gradual loss of strength, balance, and flexibility brought about by ageing. Individuals can learn how to counteract the effects of an ageing body, how to regain their physical capability, or how to perform their usual physical activities with lower risks of having injuries despite a weakening body. Physiotherapy helps to make it possible for people of old age to perform bodily functions with ease and flexibility.
Can physiotherapy help with post-surgery rehabilitation?
Absolutely! Undergoing physiotherapy after surgery is integral to a patient’s recovery. Using various physiotherapy techniques that will target affected body parts, a patient can regain muscle and overall strength, joint motion, mobility, balance, and flexibility.
Surgery can leave the body weak or functioning very differently from before the operation. Physiotherapy not only helps patients recover from injury but also after surgery. Post-surgery physiotherapy is often given to patients who went through orthopaedic surgery, cardiac surgery, cancer-related surgery, and other major surgeries. Physiotherapists work with surgeons and other doctors to help a patient recover faster from surgery, allowing them to perform their usual physical activities. They give proper education on how to execute these activities carefully and without the risk of further hurting themselves.
Physiotherapy is also effective in reducing swelling and ensuring proper circulation of blood which is needed to prevent blood clots, proving to be significant in reducing pain, teaching patients how to manage pain, and reducing any risks of pulmonary complications after surgery.
What type of treatment methods do physiotherapists use?
Physiotherapists may use a variety of treatment methods depending on the needs and conditions of a patient. They will initially perform an assessment and diagnosis of the health condition. From there, they will plan the best treatment methods and execute an individualised treatment plan which may include one or more of the following:
Physical methods through exercise and rehabilitation programs
These are tailored exercises and physical activities that strengthen muscles, improve mobility, and reduce discomfort.
Physiotherapists sometimes use their hands to massage and stretch the muscles. This method also involves joint manipulation, soft tissue mobilisation, and stretching to reduce pain and stiffness. Manual therapies improve the circulation of blood and provide relaxation.
This physiotherapy treatment method uses fine acupuncture needles to insert into muscles to reduce pain and improve function.
Aside from treatment and rehabilitation, physiotherapists also work in other phases of healthcare including:
- Education, prevention, and intervention
- Assessing lifestyle, activities and general health
- Provide lifestyle advice and self-management care
- Teach proper posture and correct movements, even for everyday activities and at work
- Prescribe aids and appliances such as crutches, splints, walking sticks, frames, and wheelchairs
- Teach patients how to reduce risk and further injuries in everyday life
The work of physiotherapists does not only involve the patients but also the caregivers, families, and community. They provide health education, behavioural advice, and occupational health assessment while also addressing the risk factors that come with different health conditions and physical limitations.
Here at QSMC, we offer a range of Physiotherapy services aimed at helping patients achieve the freedom to move and function with ease and pain-free. If you are unsure which service or clinician is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team and we can guide you down the right treatment path. We can be reached by calling 07 3891 2000 or by emailing email@example.com.