Living with pain is an unpleasant experience, especially without physiotherapy treatment. You might not be able to enjoy the things you used to do because of the pain you’re enduring. You will also probably not be able to engage in the leisure sports you usually play with your friends and family. In general, living with pain can negatively affect your quality of life, forcing you to take a step back from the lifestyle that you once had.
To address your pain, you might have tried different treatments and medicines. Taking painkillers, doing physical exercise, stretching regularly, and improving your posture may help relieve your pain for a while, but it almost always comes back. This happens because these treatments only provide short-term relief for your pain and fail to address the root cause of your condition.
If you want to enjoy long-term relief from your chronic pain, it’s best to get help from a professional. Whether you go to your family doctor or a pain specialist, one of the treatments they would recommend in addressing your pain is physiotherapy.
What is Physiotherapy Treatment?
Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that aims to restore, maintain, and maximise your body’s movement, physical strength, function, and general well-being. These goals are achieved with the help of different techniques involving modalities, mobilisations, and exercise.
Most people get physiotherapy treatment when they suffer from an injury or are dealing with an illness or disability. This treatment helps relieve the pain a person is enduring by addressing the root cause of the problem. Physiotherapy can also be done to help reduce an individual’s risk of illness or injury.
Who Offers Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is provided by regulated practitioners called physiotherapists who have received special training. They have the skills, knowledge, and experience to help you address the pain you’re feeling and facilitate recovery through movement, exercise, and modalities.
Physiotherapists work in different medical settings, such as hospitals, community health centres, sports teams, and private clinics. They are often a part of a multidisciplinary team to provide you with the best possible care you can get.
Sometimes, physiotherapists also offer home visits. They do this for patients who have trouble moving around and getting out of the house. Most of the time, physiotherapists do this for elderly individuals or those who are immunocompromised.
What Does a Physiotherapist Do?
Physiotherapists provide personalised treatment programs to people suffering from pain caused by injury, illness, or disability. They offer a variety of treatments and approaches depending on the individual’s specific problem and condition.
Although every person’s physiotherapy treatment program may differ, physiotherapists often rely on three main approaches, which are:
- Education and advice
- Movement and exercise
- Manual therapy
These techniques allow physiotherapists to provide you with long-term pain relief and address the root cause of your problem. Let’s take a closer look at these approaches.
Education and Advice
Your road to recovery should not start and end in a physiotherapy session. You need to implement changes to your lifestyle to make sure that you continue healing even when at home. That is why physiotherapists educate each of their patients about their condition and how to improve it.
Some of the most common pieces of advice a physiotherapist can give you are to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Following these pieces of advice can help improve your general well-being and make your physiotherapy treatment more effective.
Physiotherapists also educate patients on how to reduce the risk of pain or injury. They may teach you the correct posture or proper movement to avoid pain in certain areas of the body.
Movement and Exercise
To help improve your mobility and function, physiotherapists can recommend a variety of movements and exercises. Depending on your condition, your specialist may suggest the following:
- Targeted exercise – This type of exercise is meant to improve the strength and mobility of a specific part of your body. It needs to be repeated regularly within a length of time set by your physiotherapist.
- Whole-body exercise – Your physiotherapist may recommend whole-body exercises, such as walking and swimming, to improve your mobility. This is often recommended for people who are recovering from an operation.
- Hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy – Some exercises that your physiotherapist may suggest is done in warm, shallow water. The water can provide enough resistance to strengthen your body while relaxing and supporting your joints and muscles.
- Physical activity maintenance – Depending on your condition, your physiotherapist can give you advice on staying physically active. They can also teach you how to exercise safely and effectively.
- Mobility aids – Your physiotherapist can help you in recovering your mobility. However, during your treatment, they can provide you with mobility aids, such as a walking stick or crutches, to assist you in moving around.
Physiotherapists also use their hands in massaging. manipulating, and mobilising your body tissues. Manual therapy provides various benefits, including the following:
- Pain relief
- Reduced stiffness
- Better blood circulation
- Body fluid drainage
- Better mobilisation
- Improved relaxation
Most of the time, manual therapy is included in physiotherapy treatments to address specific problems. For example, if you have back pain, your physiotherapist can massage the affected area to relieve your symptoms. This technique can also be used for different conditions that don’t involve your bones, joints, or muscles.
Conditions Treated by Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that specialises in the prevention and rehabilitation of pain and different medical conditions. Some of the health conditions that can be addressed through physiotherapy treatment are the following:
Physiotherapists can provide support, prevention, and rehabilitation to individuals who are dealing with injuries and diseases that affect the heart and lungs, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bronchitis. Depending on your condition, your physiotherapist can recommend a variety of physiotherapy treatments, including deep breathing exercises, coughing and breathing strategies, and percussions and vibrations.
Cancer, Palliative Care, and Lymphedema
Dealing with cancer and its side effects, including lymphedema, can negatively affect your quality of life. It can cause pain and other symptoms that reduce your mobility. To help manage your condition, physiotherapists can treat and prevent the fatigue, pain, stiffness, and deconditioning associated with your illness.
Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for stress incontinence, which affects about one in three women regardless of age. According to the researchers at the University of South Australia, this treatment can treat stress incontinence in around 80% of cases. Your physiotherapist can achieve this by using different modalities, mobilisations, and exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Women’s Health Concerns
Women often experience different concerns regarding their reproductive health. Whether you’re dealing with problems related to birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding, or menopause, your physiotherapist will find a way to address them. They can use different methods and even technologies to alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing.
The most common type of musculoskeletal condition is neck and back pain. It is often experienced by individuals who spend the majority of their day sitting in front of a computer without proper posture.
To address this problem, your physiotherapist can recommend a set of exercises and massage the affected area. They will also educate you on the proper posture and simple exercises you can do to relieve the pain.
Physiotherapy is also used to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from neurological problems, such as severe brain or spinal damage, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Physiotherapists achieve this by rehabilitating the patient’s body, slowing down its physical deterioration, and maximising its potential for recovery.
Individuals who suffer from skeletal deformities and functional problems caused by an injury, accident, or illness can benefit from physiotherapy treatment. Those who are recovering from orthopaedic surgery can also benefit from the techniques used by physiotherapists. They can help you manage your symptoms and provide you with advice to improve your quality of life.
One of the most common reasons individuals seek help from physiotherapists is pain. Physiotherapists can work with you in managing or preventing the physical pain you’re dealing with. They can also provide you with a treatment program that improves the pain’s impact on your mobility and body functions.
What Techniques Do Physiotherapists Use?
Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to address your physical condition. Depending on your health concern, your physiotherapist may use any of the following methods:
- Manual manipulation – Your physiotherapist may manually move your joints and soft tissues to drain excess fluid from your body, improve your circulation, and relax tight or spasming muscles.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – Depending on your condition, your physiotherapist can use TENS to relieve the pain you’re feeling in a specific area. It is done using a small, battery-operated tool that delivers small electrical currents.
- Ultrasound – Ultrasound is used to stimulate blood circulation and cell activity in order to treat your deep tissue problems. It also helps reduce pain and spasms and speeds up your recovery.
- Acupuncture – Your physiotherapist may use needles to help stimulate your nervous system. This method dulls your pain, relaxes your muscles, boosts your immune system, and regulates your body functions.
What to Expect During Your Visit to a Physiotherapist?
Every person’s visit to a physiotherapy clinic is unique because of different factors. Your condition, symptoms, and specific needs may make your physiotherapy visit a bit different than others.
Although your condition may affect changes to your visit, your physiotherapist will still follow a general procedure during your visit to properly assess your situation.
- First, your physiotherapist will ask you about your medical history.
- They will then assess your physical condition and diagnose your specific needs.
- Then, your physiotherapist will work with you in setting your physical goals and timeline.
- They will then provide you with a personalized treatment plan that considers your goals, lifestyle, and activities.
- Your physiotherapist will also prescribe you a set of exercises and the necessary devices that you need for your rehabilitation and recovery.
Choose a Physiotherapy Clinic You Can Trust
Now that you have learned about what is physiotherapy and everything else you need to know about the practice, you should consider going to a physiotherapist to address your pain and other physical health needs. Doing so will allow you to live a pain-free life and enjoy the things you used to do before.
To help make your search easier, turn to OneEssential. We are a physiotherapy clinic in Hong Kong that offers personalised, one-on-one physiotherapy sessions that are led by our expert physiotherapist, who is trained in various modalities, exercises, techniques, and procedures. Contact us to learn more.