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Physiotherapy; How it Works and What Are the Benefits?

Physiotherapy is a hand-on manual approach to keep muscles and joints active and mobile.

In the pursuit of regaining optimal health and well-being after injuries, surgeries, or medical conditions, physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping individuals.

This specialized form of treatment focuses on maximizing physical function and mobility through various therapeutic techniques. It involves the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal, neurological, and spinal disorders.

Whether you’re an athlete recovering from a sports injury or someone seeking relief from chronic pain, physiotherapy offers a range of benefits to restore your well-being.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of physiotherapy, highlighting its benefits and importance in promoting healing and wellness.

Physiotherapists use manual therapy techniques to help patients regain their health.

Who is a Physiotherapist?

A physiotherapist is someone who is trained in the body’s mechanics and human movement as it pertains to injury, movement limitations, disability, and pain.

At Fulcrum, our Coquitlam Physiotherapists have training and a deep understanding of various injuries affecting the body. They also understand the treatment protocols and rehabilitation phases to help individuals heal from their illness or injury.

Health Benefits of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy offers a wide range of benefits that extend far beyond simply relieving pain after an injury or surgery. Here are some key ways physiotherapy can improve your overall health and well-being:

Reduced Pain and Improved Mobility

Physiotherapy uses various techniques like manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and modalities to address pain at its source and promote healing.

This can significantly reduce pain levels and improve your range of motion, allowing you to move more freely and comfortably in daily life.

Enhanced Strength and Flexibility

Physiotherapy programs often incorporate targeted exercises to strengthen specific muscle groups and improve flexibility.

This not only helps prevent future injuries but also enhances your overall physical performance and range of activities you can enjoy.

Improved Balance and Stability

Balance issues can lead to falls and other injuries. Physiotherapists can assess your balance and create personalized exercises to improve your stability.

This can be particularly beneficial for older adults or those recovering from conditions that affect balance.

Faster Recovery After Surgery or Injury

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in post-operative rehabilitation. By promoting healing, reducing inflammation, and restoring muscle function, physiotherapy can significantly accelerate your recovery and get you back to your normal activities faster.

Improved Posture and Ergonomics

Poor posture can contribute to pain and discomfort. Physiotherapists can assess your posture and provide personalized recommendations on correcting postural imbalances.

They can also offer guidance on ergonomics to ensure proper body mechanics during daily activities, reducing the risk of future strains and injuries.

Pain Management for Chronic Conditions

Physiotherapy can be a valuable tool in managing chronic pain caused by conditions like arthritis, back pain, and migraines.

By addressing underlying issues and promoting healthy movement patterns, physiotherapy can help reduce pain severity and improve your quality of life.

Enhanced Overall Well-being

Physiotherapy is not just about physical benefits. Improved mobility, reduced pain, and better balance can all contribute to a sense of well-being and increased confidence in your abilities.

By taking an active role in your recovery through physiotherapy, you can experience a positive impact on both your physical and mental health.

Phsyiotherapy has a wide range of health benefits for the body.

What Conditions Can Physiotherapy Treat?

A wide range of musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiovascular issues can effectively be treated by physiotherapy.

Conditions physiotherapy can treat include:

  • Musculoskeletal Conditions: back pain, arthritis, sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, etc.
  • Neurological Conditions: strokes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, etc.
  • Cardiovascular Conditions: COPD, heart disease, etc.

Arthritis

Arthritis causes joint inflammation, leading to pain and restricted movement. Physiotherapy interventions, such as joint mobilization, aquatic therapy, and heat/cold therapy, can help manage arthritis symptoms and improve joint function.

The treatment aims to reduce pain, increase joint flexibility, and enhance overall quality of life.

Sports Injuries

Athletes frequently encounter sports-related injuries, including sprains, strains, and fractures.

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process, focusing on restoring mobility, strength, and flexibility. Techniques like ultrasound therapy, taping, and targeted exercises aid in the recovery and prevention of future injuries.

Whiplash from Car Accidents

Car accidents can cause neck whiplash or lower back and shoulders jarring from holding the steering wheel.

Physiotherapy can help treat these conditions using manual therapy and a rehabilitative approach.

Back Pain

Back pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. Physiotherapy can help alleviate back pain by targeting the underlying causes, such as muscle imbalances, poor posture, or spinal disc problems.

Treatment approaches may include manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and postural correction techniques.

Plantar Fasciitis

A physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment to accurately diagnose plantar fasciitis (pain at the bottom of the foot, aka heel pain).

They will evaluate your symptoms, examine your foot and ankle, and may request imaging tests, such as X-rays or ultrasound, to rule out other conditions.

Work-related Injuries

Examples include lower back pain or shoulder pain from improper lifting at work or prolonged and sustained undesirable positions, which can result in pain and loss of mobility that can be treated with physiotherapy.

What Techniques Do Physiotherapists Use?

Physiotherapy techniques include both active and passive approaches. Examples of passive approaches are:

  • Assisted stretching
  • Kinesio Taping
  • Assisted joint mobilization
  • Cryotherapy
  • Other hands-on approaches for the treatment of muscles

Furthermore, IMS, ultrasound, shockwave, and laser therapy can further speed up the healing process when appropriate.

Active therapies include:

  • Guidance to self-stretching and strengthening
  • Rehabilitative therapies
  • Self-guided joint mobilization

Range of Motion Exercise

A misconception many individuals believe is that resting is beneficial when injured or undergoing surgery. However, prolonged rest can be quite negative on your body during recovery.

Physiotherapists will provide you with different exercises to perform to maintain or work towards restoring mobility and improving circulation.

Doing so prevents muscle atrophy and postural abnormalities.

Soft Tissue Mobilization

The purpose of this technique is to release tension or relax the muscle, perhaps even decrease swelling in an area.

Another benefit of this technique is that it promotes circulation and lymph flow and decreases tissue swelling around inflamed joints.

Electrotherapy

Electrical stimulation occurs when electrodes are attached to the skin, causing the muscle to shorten or contract to prevent muscle atrophy.

This technique is best used on patients with acute pain who can not tolerate too much movement at their joints.

Cryotherapy and Heat Therapy

Cryotherapy is the application of an ice or cold pack on tissues, while heat therapy is the use of hot packs or paraffin wax on tissues to achieve different results.

Kinesio Taping

Taping stabilizes joints and supports muscles while a patient undergoes treatment or rehab. It can be applied directly to the skin; the tape’s durability does not limit an individual’s mobility.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a gentle, pain-free approach that works on damaged tissues using sound waves. The waves provide a deep heat to the injured tissue, stimulating their healing.

What is the Difference Between Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy?

Physiotherapy and physical therapy are terms used interchangeably and often refer to the same profession.

PhysiotherapyPhysical Therapy
More common in Europe, Canada, and AustraliaMore common in the United States
Focuses on manual therapyFocuses on exercise-based therapy
May have a broader scope of practice than physical therapistsMay have a narrower scope of practice than physiotherapists

Before you come in for your physiotherapy session at Fulcrum Therapy, we highly recommend that you fill out your intake form or arrive 10 minutes early before your appointment to fill out the form.

This detailed form allows the physiotherapist to familiarize themselves with your primary concerns and health background. The physiotherapist will meet you at the reception and take you to the treatment room.

For the first session, you will be asked questions related to your primary concerns. The physiotherapist will conduct a physical assessment to understand your body’s dysfunction and pain better.

Treatment is provided during the same visit and can consist of various methods, such as manual therapy, electrical modalities, exercise prescription for home care, and education and advice.

Follow-up appointments are highly recommended for the physiotherapist to assess your response to the treatment and modify your treatment plan if necessary to ensure a speedy recovery.

Why Choose Fulcrum Therapy Physio Treatment?

At Fulcrum, we are a dedicated team of practitioners who focus on quality care through compassion and evidence-based treatments.

Our physiotherapists are experienced, knowledgeable, and committed to your healing.

We work collaboratively with other practitioners at our Coquitlam Physiotherapy Clinic, such as exercise therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists, to ensure you are provided with a well-rounded treatment plan and will make the necessary referrals if we believe it would benefit your injury recovery.

Book with us today and learn about our talented and incredible team environment.

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