Physiotherapy is a health care profession focused on evaluating, restoring and maintaining physical function and mobility. It is a drug free treatment by professionals who understand how the body moves, what keeps it from moving well and how to restore painless, unobstructed mobility. Physiotherapists help manage and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgery. They are trained in the treatment of post-operative orthopaedic procedures, fractures, acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, sports injuries and spinal conditions. A big part of the treatment via Physiotherapy is the assessment of the client’s level of mobility, strength and endurance. Understanding whether the patient’s condition is due to an injury, surgery, accident etc. helps the Physiotherapist devise a treatment plan for the client.
A Physiotherapist does the following during regular treatment:
- Regular check on progress of condition
- Advise the patient on how to manage the condition on an ongoing basis at home
- Provide assistance and education on how to prevent occurrences and complications in the future
Some of the conditions that a Physiotherapist may treat are:
- Back and neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries (i.e.: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow)
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Postsurgical rehabilitation (i.e.: hip or knee replacement)
- Spinal cord injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Head injuries
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic obstructive lung disease
- Postsurgical rehabilitation (i.e.: cardiac, thoracic or abdominal)
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Cystic Fibrosis
Physiotherapists help individuals of all ages. They help people who are living with chronic diseases and pains, are recovering from surgery or illness, injury, motor vehicle accidents or age related conditions. Physiotherapy involves using a variety of techniques to help your muscles, joints, heart and lungs work to their potential. They work with each individual to develop a full treatment plan according to their illness and lifestyle. It is very important to a Physiotherapist to help patients work their treatment into their own lives for rehabilitation and long term benefits.
Physiotherapists complete a thorough assessment that may include a patient’s health history, evaluation of pain and movement patterns, strength, joint range of motion, reflexes, sensation and cardio respiratory status.
They will also examine relevant X-rays, laboratory tests, medical records and surgical notes. Based on this assessment, the Physiotherapist develops a diagnosis and works in partnership with the patient and the caregiver to plan individualized goals and treatment programs.
Physiotherapists promote independence, including emphasis on how you can help yourself. For example, you may be shown exercises that you can do between treatment sessions and how to set goals to achieve result. Where appropriate, Physiotherapists also advise caregivers on how they can help you.
Some treatment options:
- Strengthening and therapeutic exercise programs
- Mobility and flexibility improvement
- Improvements in muscle imbalances and alignment
- Balance retraining and movement coordination
- Manual therapy – intervention to reduce pain and stiffness
- Electrical modalities such as TENS (electrical nerve stimulation) or ultrasound
- Gait retraining and general conditioning regimes
Physiotherapists can help manage pain, improve the quality of life and put patients on the path to a speedy recovery.