In order to have a good idea on when to see a physiotherapist, it is important to have an idea as to what services a physio can offer.
Your experience with a physio varies depending on where you go, but overall, a physiotherapist provides rehabilitation, education and support, performance training, as well as assisting with stress relief in many aspects of your life. Many physios have different certifications so it is important to search around for a physiotherapist who may best be able to assist with your problem.
10 IMPORTANT AND COMMON REASONS TO SEE A PHYSIOTHERAPIST
- PREVENTION OF INJURIES.
Usually, people seek the advice of a physio for rehabilitation from an injury that may have occurred after attempting the gym, trying a new fitness routine, or due to some occupational issue that arises (such as lower back pain or repetitive injuries). A physio can guide you in your rehabilitation, help you regain your strength and understand what things you can change to minimise the chances of injuring yourself again. Prevention is always preferable to cure, so getting some advice from a physio before you start at the gym or join bootcamp is a great idea. Remember, a physio understands both your exercise goals and how to get you there safely.
When you visit a physio for injury prevention, you will be thoroughly evaluated. First there will be some questions to evaluate your previous history, current situation and future goals. Then the physio will do a physical assessment to get a better understanding of how you move, and identify any weaknesses that may need addressing. Once you have a diagnosis, the physio can lay out a direct path to help you succeed in your goals and prevent injuries.
If you are prone to injuries, it may be wise to seek out a physio to reduce the risk of injury as soon as possible. This can save you a lot of pain, money and time off work.
2. ALLEVIATE GENERALIZED PAIN
Perhaps you do not have a specific injury causing pain. Widespread, generalized pain can be linked with conditions such as Fibromyalgia and many systemic rheumatological diseases. But there is much a physio can do to help your pain.
Physios utilise ‘healing hands’ (hands-on techniques) to alleviate pain by stimulating certain nerve pathways to be less sensitive. They can also provide education on ways to cope with fatigue, how to best pace your physical activity and everyday chores and how to gradually increase your ability to do the things you need to do and most importantly, the things you love to do. A graduated exercise program can also help to reduce pain and develop more fitness, strength and stamina. A physiotherapist can make a very positive impact on your quality of life.
While physio’s serve as pain relieving healers, it is important to understand that your pain levels do not need to be excruciating. Lower level pains such as frequent nagging pains and dull headaches are a very common reason to see a physio. Don’t let these nagging problems drag on for months or years, when there is something you can do about it today – see a physio
3. WORK ON POSTURE
There are many reasons as to why you could have nagging injuries popping up here or there, but your posture is perhaps one of the most critical components to avoiding nagging pains.
Your posture may not be something you pay close attention to throughout your work day but if pain or injuries to your back, neck, and legs start to appear, then your posture may be one factor.
One of the most common reasons for frequent headaches in office workers is poor posture caused by improper ergonomics. With that in mind, a physio can help you to develop better awareness of your position, advice on your work set up and improve the function of your postural muscles so that you can avoid those nagging postural pains.
Generally, a physio will develop specific exercises to strengthen the postural muscles and will guide you throughout your healing process.
4. STRETCHING & FLEXIBILITY
If you sit at a desk all day for work, you may think that stretching is not important since you were not active, but long periods of sitting can cause tightness in your lower back and hamstring muscle groups. Getting up and moving regularly and doing some regular simple stretches can make a big difference to work related aches and pains. Breaking your sitting with activity is also important for your general health.
If you spend a great amount of time typing on a computer then you should consider stretching your forearm and wrist extensor muscles throughout each day. Do you have neck aches? Consider a stretching program to loosen the muscles that move your head.
A physio is an expert in muscular health and wellness and they can create a detailed mobility/stretching routine. This can be provided via a free app with videos, reps, time and you can even set reminders to ensure you don’t forget to move your body regularly. Consider this a highly beneficial commodity in your health and wellness.
For some people however, stretching will not help a feeling of tightness or stiffness. This may be a symptom of hypermobility (too much flexibility, sometimes called being ‘double-jointed’). If you do not have enough muscle support deep around flexible joints, the brain may signal big, superficial movement muscles to help out, working way more than they would normally. In this case, stretching will not help and may worsen the problem. A physio with expertise in this area can help ensure you are given the exercises that are right for you.
5. HEAL FROM A COMPLICATED SURGICAL PROCEDURE
One of the lesser known services a physio provides is healing from complicated surgeries. After surgery, you may be unable to be active or to exercise for quite some time. This may result in a lot of muscle weakness and a loss of physical fitness, making it much harder to return to your normal activities.
A physio can help you to progress through a post-surgical rehab program, helping you to regain your muscle strength and fitness safely and effectively.
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