What Is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a healthcare area involving treating and assessing patients affected by disability, injury, or illness, using a range of physical methods such as manual therapy, movement, and exercise. It also uses a more holistic approach, taking into consideration the person’s individual circumstances and lifestyle to manage pain, prevent disease, and maintain the person’s well-being and health.
Physiotherapists are skilled and highly trained health professionals, and most of them specialise in assisting people with various condition types, including:
Helping rehabilitate patients after they have experienced a heart attack.
Helping patients with lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Supporting patients with diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, MS (multiple sclerosis), and rehabilitating patients following a stroke.
Many people assume that physiotherapy is linked with the muscles and bones for conditions including sports injuries, arthritis, back pain, or rehabilitation treatment after joint replacements. This is known as musculoskeletal physiotherapy, which is the primary focus when it comes to this article.
Jack March, a rheumatology physiotherapist, says that there are virtually no limits to the problems and conditions that can usually benefit from the methods used during physiotherapy sessions. He also states that just about all injuries, weaknesses, pain, loss of function including the inability to twist or climb stairs, can also be helped significantly by physiotherapy. If you are looking for physiotherapy then I would recommend seeing ‘The Good Physio‘.
March says that certain symptoms might first require investigation, but this is usually uncommon. Some examples of this include pain in the back that radiates or spreads into both the patient’s legs, extremely inflamed joints, inability to handle or bear weight, or pain in several areas throughout the body.
Signs To Pay Attention To
One of the first signs that you may benefit from a visit to a physiotherapist is most often pain. However, intense pain does not always mean that the issue is serious. Jack comments that the pain severity itself is usually not an indication of how severe the injury is. In fact, it is common to experience high pain levels with very little damages to the surrounding tissue.
In most cases, regardless of the pain source, it is easy to treat at home using over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (anti-inflammatories), or paracetamol (analgesics). However, other problems or injuries that persist, deteriorate, or reoccur for many days may be a sign that visiting a physiotherapist may be beneficial.
It won’t always mean that treatment is a requirement, but assessments can give you advice on what you should be doing next, or reassurance that you shouldn’t be worried.
Symptoms including pins and needles, loss of sensation, pain, range of motion, or strength will also usually resolve over time. But when these symptoms are interfering with your day-to-day tasks or have persisted for more than 14 days, physiotherapy could be a great way to speed up your recovery or resolution process. It could also help you to regain function when your symptoms are still settling.
Jack March also adds that should you feel unbalanced or unstable when standing up, experience dramatically reduced function when it comes to movements such as gripping, bending, or you have issues with your fine motor tasks, then you should get an assessment right away.
Some conditions or injuries require immediate medical attention since they could be an indication that something a lot more complex or serious is occurring. For instance, if you are experiencing back pain along with sexual dysfunction or losing sensation in your genitals, numbness in the legs, pins or needles, or change in your usual toilet habits, contact your physician immediately. There are “red flags” when it comes to back pain, and this is when urgent medical attention becomes a requirement.
It is also important to see your doctor when the pain in your back radiates into both of your legs, you have extremely swollen or inflamed joints, pain throughout your body, or you start finding it difficult to bear weight.