The Top 10 Ways that Physiotherapy can Improve your Life
Physiotherapy is not a relatively new area in healthcare; rather, it has been around for many centuries in some form but in Australia it was established as a formal association in 1906. With the now substantial amount of scientific research to support the profession and the high profile role that sports physiotherapists play in all forms of amateur and professional sport, physiotherapy has been gaining a considerable amount of popularity over recent times.
While many see physiotherapy as a part of healthcare that is mainly aimed at healing the injured and helping athletes to improve performance, there is so much more to this highly specialised field.
Considering that a physiotherapist holds a university degree which may range from a Bachelor to a Doctoral degree, you should expect that they can do quite a bit when it comes to recommending ways to improve your daily life.
There are clinics popping up all over, but what should you expect from physiotherapy and how can it help with your daily life? Listed below are 10 ways that physiotherapy can improve your overall lifestyle so that you can continue with your usual activities of daily living.
One of the basic things that physiotherapy can do, is to help with healing, but in a holistic way.
Holistic healing is an approach to healing illness, injury, or a way to improve health by considering physical, psychological and social impacts on your health. Physiotherapist do not prescribe medication but work with your body and mind to promote healing and health. Many people tend to enjoy this perk and seek out the healing approaches of physiotherapy as a result.
So what can a physiotherapist help with when it comes to holistic healing? For starters, physiotherapists can help to alleviate pain, improve your body mechanics to reduce pain, aid in injury rehabilitation, prevent and decrease headaches, and help to improve blood circulation, decrease blood pressure, and promote overall wellness. Not bad considering physiotherapists do not prescribe medications for the healing process.
Physiotherapy Can Prevent Surgery.
One common way physiotherapy can improve your lifestyle is by avoiding surgery. Surgery is a critical part of healthcare and while it is needed in many aspects, there are certain situations when physiotherapy may be a better approach than surgery. If you consistently have pain in your body and it is caused by some variable (let’s say lower back pain as an example), many adults tend to go the surgical route as a way to “fix” the issue.
Sometimes this works and it is the best method of healing for the patient, but would you still do the surgery if there were options that a physiotherapist could help with?
For starters, physiotherapists are able to find the issues that could be causing your lower back pain and can recommend and guide you through a series of exercises, stretches and postural activities. Some techniques and advice can provide immediate pain relief and in other situations positive results develop over the course of a few sessions. This is only one example, but if you are considering surgery for something that a physiotherapist can look at, why not give it a try?
Improve your Athletic Performance.
Not everyone who sees a physiotherapist needs some sort of healing. In fact, many athletes (professional and amateur) seek the assistance of physiotherapy to help improve performance. After all, physiotherapists are experts on muscles and body mechanics, so this would be the best source of any fitness “guru.”
Physiotherapy uses technologically advanced machines, gadgets, and tools to find the best way to utilise muscles in the body. Some clinics may use biofeedback devices and have their own gym facilities. Consider physiotherapy as an effective method for improving your athletic ability and for improving your active lifestyle.
Manage a Disease.
When you are newly diagnosed with a disease, it can be a bit scary to face it in the eye immediately after leaving the doctor’s office. There typically are many questions that are left unanswered and many are unable to be answered for that matter. However, there are certain diseases that physiotherapy can help with while you go through the treatment process.
For starters, physiotherapy is a great option for diabetics and for patients with poor blood circulation (which is often caused by diabetes). Typically, physiotherapists use exercise as a way to manage diabetes and help to improve blood flow to certain parts of the body. In addition to diabetes, physiotherapy is a great choice for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy is known for decreasing energy levels in adults and shredding away endurance, not to mention it is quite challenging on the mind. For this reason, physiotherapy can help to manage weakness and lethargy associated with cancer treatments, and your physio may be a great source of motivation throughout your entire treatment process. Also, physiotherapists may be able to assist with some of the pain associated with certain cancers.
There are many diseases that physiotherapists are faced with on a regular basis and seeking the advice within physiotherapy can be a holistic way to improve your life when living with an illness.
Older adults are at great risk of balance-related issues and balance tends to diminish with older age. Throughout the aging process, reduction in bone density, muscle strength and balance can lead to falls and osteoporotic fracture for the older adult.
Falls are a major cause of hip fractures, hip pain, broken bones, as well as head injuries, so finding any way possible to maintain proper balance is vital to health and wellness. Physiotherapists commonly work with patients in falls prevention programs. For starters, the physiotherapist may ask you about your home set-up, to help identify things that can place you at risk of a fall (such as loose rugs, pets, and bath mats). In addition, physiotherapists will assess your balance, which usually you receive a score or a grade as a way to establish your starting point.
Once you are assessed, the physiotherapist may guide you through a series of exercises and programs designed to maintain or improve your balance. The older adult can certainly benefit from physiotherapy so if you are worried about your balance, consider this an option.
Incontinence can be an extremely embarrassing and distressing problem. So much so, that some women are fearful of attending social functions and stop participating in physical activity which is very negative for health and wellbeing. A Women’s Health physiotherapist is able to help with improving control of pelvic floor muscles and deal with other related bladder and bowel issues. Pelvic floor exercises are considered the first-line treatment for incontinence and are best provided by a trained health professional, your local Women’s Health Physiotherapist. Managing incontinence effectively can be life changing.
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that affect your muscles, joints, and connective tissue and it can be quite burdensome on your daily life. Treatment usually involves managing the symptoms, but one common way to help manage your pain due to arthritis is with physical activity.
Physiotherapy can definitely help with arthritis and many patients are directed by a physiotherapist on how to safely and properly exercise with arthritis. The use of physiotherapy can also be a holistic way to manage pain without the use of pain-relieving medications, which have side effects.
Assist in the Management of Blood Pressure.
Physiotherapy is surprisingly a great method for decreasing your blood pressure, or at least a method for managing it.
As part of their practice, physiotherapists instruct patients and clients on how to recognise physical signs of stress that can increase blood pressure, and ways to address this. Relaxation exercises and deep breathing can be quite effective for this and your physiotherapist should be able to direct you through deep breathing programs. Losing weight and exercising regularly are also important ways to reduce your blood pressure. You may not be exercising because of pain or an injury, lack of confidence or lack of know-how. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start if you are not used to regular exercise. A physiotherapist can safely prescribe an exercise program or activity schedule that is suitable for your level of fitness and fits with the things you like to do. Consider asking your physiotherapist for guidance on how they can assist you in managing your blood pressure.
Improve your Quality of Life.
Your quality of life may not be what it should be for a number of different reasons – health and mobility issues are often a large factor. You may not be able to participate in sport, recreational activities or social events due to pain or a lack of physical capacity. Your mental health may be suffering due to these issues or due to excess weight or other health issues that can be improved markedly with a well directed exercise or activity program.
Sometimes you know you are not in a good place, but are not really sure where to start with looking for help. A physiotherapist is an excellent option to guide you through the process of regaining your quality of life.
Prevent Injuries from Occurring.
Injuries are an inevitable part of life, to an extent. Being physically active has its perks, but an active lifestyle has a greater risk of injury as well. Physiotherapy can definitely help to prevent injuries from occurring; however, it should be known that not all injuries can be prevented.
With the use of technology-driven devices, physiotherapists are able to identify problems with muscle strength, coordination, balance, flexibility and your training regime to gain a better picture as to the risk of an injury. Consider seeking the advice of physiotherapy to see if you can prevent or decrease your risk of injuries with your active lifestyle.