What Really Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy uses physical methods to treat patients who are affected by illness, injury, or disability. This specific area of healthcare usually focus on methods like movement, exercise, and manual therapy and takes a holistic approach. Physical therapy considers individual circumstances and the lifestyle of the patient to help prevent disease and manage his/her pain over time. A physiotherapist is a skilled and trained individual who specialises in treating people with different types of injuries and conditions including:

. Respiratory diseases such as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and cystic fibrosis
. Cardiovascular conditions such as rehabilitation after heart attacks
. Rehabilitation after strokes
. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS)

Most people associate physical therapy or physiotherapy with muscles & bones including health conditions such as sports injuries, rehabilitation after joint replacement surgery, back pain, or arthritis. This area of treatment is called musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and this article focuses on musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

There is no limit to the number of health conditions that could be treated with physiotherapy. Jack March (Rheumatology physiotherapist) states that almost all injuries, pains, loss of functionality, and weaknesses can be treated with physical therapy. For example, decreased movement, twists, or inability to climb stairs can be helped by a physiotherapist. Some conditions may require a thorough investigation first before attempting to treat them with physical therapy. For example, if you suffer from pains in multiple areas of the body, back pain that usually radiates into both legs, inflamed joints, or inability to bear your weight, your healthcare provider may investigate the condition first before recommending physical therapy.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms To Look Out For?

Pain is one of the first signs to look out for when consulting with a physiotherapist. The severity of your pain is usually not an indication of the severity of the condition. But there are times when a patient might have high levels of pain with minimal damage to body tissues. Most of the time, the source of the pain can be treated with OTC medications like ibuprofen or paracetamol. But if your injury or condition recurs, deteriorate with time, or persists for several days, you should see a physical therapist for further assessment of the condition. If you are in Exeter then see physio in Exeter.

Although treatments may not be needed always, a professional assessment may help reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you. On the other hand, symptoms like the range of motions, pain, and loss of sensation will resolve over time. But if the condition takes more than 14 days to heal or it impacts your daily tasks, physiotherapy might be a good way to expedite the resolution of the condition. In case you are still unstable on your feet, have a significant reduction of function, or have difficulty in walking, your condition may need to be assessed more speedily.

Some conditions might need urgent treatments since they may indicate that something is going on in your body. For example, if you are experiencing back pain accompanied by the loss of sensations in the genitals, sexual dysfunction, or changes in your toilet habits, you need to get in touch with your GP as soon as possible. You should have an idea about the “red flags” for back pain to seek immediate medical attention for such conditions. The best way to treat such a condition is to consult with your general practitioner, and he or she may direct you to a physical therapist should the need arise. In fact, you need prompt medical attention if your back pain radiates into one or both legs, you have pain in several areas of the body, have swollen or inflamed joints, or have sudden difficulty in bearing your own weight.