Our modern lifestyle – with all its perks and benefits – has started to take a toll on our bodies. Back pain, knee pain, and neck strains have become everyday problems. People use over-the-counter ointments, oils, painkillers and sometimes even massages for such problems. However, seeing a physiotherapist doesn’t cross anyone’s minds till things are so bad that they are actually referred to one by their doctor. In this post, we try to increase your understanding about times when you should seek a physiotherapist’s help.
Who Are Physiotherapists?
Physiotherapists are trained professionals who help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education, and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping them to manage pain and prevent disease, enabling to stay in work and independent as much as possible.
What do Physiotherapists DO?
Physiotherapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle. At the core is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment, and participation in their treatment.
When do you need a Physiotherapist?
If you see yourself in any of the following points, you need to visit a Physiotherapist.
- You are Injured while Playing: Visit 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 minimize the chances of injuring yourself again.
- Prevention of Injury: Physiotherapist specializes in injury prevention, which is the process of adjusting posture, form and movement patterns to help reduce your risk of experiencing an injury or re-injury. 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.
- You Live with Chronic Pain: If your pain persists more than a few days and affects your ability to perform day-to-day actions, you need to see a physiotherapist so he can identify your problem and come up with a treatment plan.
- During and After Pregnancy: Pregnancy and post-pregnancy, your body needs attention. Due to rapid changes in your body, stretch pelvic floor and stomach muscles, your joints (back and pelvis) are at the risk of injury. A physiotherapist can teach you the proper techniques and exercises to support and protect your body as it goes through these changes and helps you recover faster after the baby is born.
- During and After Surgery: Physiotherapy is essential both pre- and post-operatively. Pre-operatively, Physiotherapist will assist to prevent complications post-surgery by educating and teaching exercises which are essential after any surgery, could be a joint replacement, cardiac, chest, tumor removal etc. Post-operatively, physiotherapist helps to prevent a) Chest complication, b) Thrombosis (blood clots), c) Pressure sores and, d) muscle wasting and joint mobility.
- You have a Chronic Condition or Neurological Disease: Conditions which severely affect the patient’s movements like cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Substantia Nigra, spinal cord injuries and stroke. Although physiotherapy does not heal the disease or even slow down the disease process, it does increase the quality of life, helps the patient become independent and live as normal a life as possible.
- Management of your disease: A physiotherapist can take you through a suitable and appropriate exercise program to help you to manage your disease, based on your diagnosis (diabetes, heart disease, arthritis etc) and the findings of a detailed assessment. This is quite valuable because sometimes the management process with a physio is so beneficial that some clients can cut back on medications prescribed by doctors.
SO WHY SHOULD YOU SEE A PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
After taking a look at some of the services a physio can provide across many different aspects of health, you should have a good idea as to why it is important to your overall wellness to see a physio. Yes, a physio is an expert in healing injuries, but there is much more than that a physio can offer. Consider any or all of the reasons above to help guide you in your decision on when you should see a physiotherapist.
Dr. Mansi Parikh,
Co-Founder, EndoRush App.