May is Physiotherapy month, the best month of the year! The weather is finally starting to warm up, flowers are beginning to bloom, and everyone is eager to learn more about physiotherapy.
Well look no further, in this post I will outline what physiotherapy is, common conditions/injuries it can help with, and when you should seek advice from a Physiotherapist.
My name is Colby Bucci, I am the lead Physiotherapist at The Centre for Fitness Health & Performance. I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy. Click here to read a bit more about myself.
WHAT IS PHYSIOTHERAPY?
Physiotherapy pays specific attention to the rehabilitation and pain management of acute and chronic injuries, as well as education and advice about health promotion, disease, and injury prevention. Physio focuses on how the body moves and functions as a whole, inside and out, to restore normal pain free movement.
WHAT DOES A PHYSIOTHERAPIST DO?
A Physiotherapist in a rehab clinic setting, such as ours, has many skills and equipment in their 'toolbox' of techniques. However the patient presents, the Physiotherapist will use these many skills and the patient's goals to create an individualized treatment plan specific to the person.
Treatments may include the following skills or modalities:
Strengthening and stretching exercises
Hands on massage techniques
Joint mobilizations and manipulations
Range of motion exercises
Dizziness and vertigo rehab
Health and lifestyle advice
Interferential current and muscle stimulation
And many others
Using these many skills, Physios can help a wide variety of injuries and conditions, both from a preventative and corrective point of view. Some common conditions we treat through physiotherapy include:
Low back or neck pain
Herniated disc and degeneration of the spine
Tennis and golfer's elbow
Post surgery rehab
Balance and dizziness issues
The list is endless as Physiotherapists can treat (to some extent) any issue which is being caused or worsened by a muscle, joint, or nerve issue. Even if these treatments are simply helping to cope or compensate with the symptoms of a more serious pathology that may be outside of the physiotherapy scope.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
To keep this one simple, seek advice from a Physiotherapist any time you feel pain, especially if there is a known cause or trigger of pain (ie. wrist pain after a fall). If the situation is more serious or concerning seek advice from your doctor or emergency first (ie. chest pain, slurred speech, potential fractures).
Physiotherapists are trained to assess every part of the body to determine a diagnosis. If your pain seems to be caused by factors physiotherapy can't resolve, appropriate referrals to other healthcare professionals will be made.
Getting assessed is the best practice to determine if your pain or symptoms are from a simple or complex injury. At times you may need just a bit of work, some exercises, and advice on poor habits and get better quickly, but you may also have conditions where issues have been brewing for years under the surface and need a more long term approach to correct.
You don't need a doctor referral to see a Physiotherapist, although some doctors may refer you to physio to deal with your injury or rehab after a surgery or break. Just give us a call and get on the road to a better, pain-free you.
In a nutshell, Physiotherapists thoroughly assess how your body is moving and functioning in order to determine the cause(s) of your aches and pains. We then create a personalized treatment plan with your goals in mind using our expertise in exercise, manual techniques, etc., to help you along the way to recovery. If you'd like to learn more about what physiotherapy can do for your specific situation don't hesitate to give the clinic a call and meet with myself for a consultation.
Have a wonderful May!