Answering Common Questions About Physiotherapy
If you are recovering from an injury, a surgery, or are living with a chronic condition, you may be considering physiotherapy as part of your treatment plan. Even though you may have heard of it, you may not know what physiotherapy entails and wonder if it will work for you. Here are answers to some common questions regarding physiotherapy:
What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy or PT, is a medical science that deals with the prevention and treatment of injuries. It helps patients get back to their lives after an injury or illness. It involves a range of treatments, including exercise, manual therapy, and education.
What can physiotherapy help with?
Physiotherapy can help with a wide range of issues, including sports injuries, post-operative care, chronic pain conditions, neurological conditions (like multiple sclerosis), and respiratory problems. It can also improve movement and function in people who are frail or have a disability.
How does physiotherapy work?
PT works by restoring movement and function to the body. This is done through a combination of treatments, including exercise, manual therapy, and education. The therapist will tailor the treatment plan to meet a patient’s individual needs.
What kinds of exercises will I be doing?
The exact type and amount of exercises you will be doing depends on several factors including your diagnosis, your age, and general fitness level, as well as the goals you have set with your therapist based on your condition. For those with chronic conditions, exercises may be tailored to maintain your current level of function. For those recovering from an injury, exercises will likely be focused on improving their range of motion and strength.
Most people will do exercises to improve strength and endurance in their upper body (e.g., neck, arms), lower body (e.g., hips, legs), core muscles (e.g., abdominals), or a combination of all these areas.
Is physiotherapy painful?
No, physiotherapy is not always painful. The type and amount of pain you experience will depend on the treatments being used as well as your personal pain threshold. Manual therapy, which includes massage and joint mobilization, can be a bit uncomfortable but should never be painful. If you are feeling pain, be sure to let your therapist know.
How often will I need to see a physiotherapist?
The number of sessions you will need depends on the condition being treated and how well you respond to treatment. For some conditions, like chronic pain or post-operative care, you may only need a few visits per month. For other conditions, like an injury or neurological condition (like multiple sclerosis), you may need to see your therapist more often.
Does physiotherapy work?
Yes! Numerous studies have shown that physiotherapy can improve symptoms and help patients return to their lives after surgery or recover from injuries. It is a safe and effective way of helping people get back on track while improving their mobility and function.
How can I find a physiotherapist?
The first step is to talk to your doctor about whether PT would be beneficial for you, based on your diagnosis. If it seems like the right option for you, they will likely provide some referrals or suggestions of where to look next. You may also want to look online for physiotherapy clinics near you.
Once you have a few options, be sure to do some research about the therapist’s experience, what kind of treatments they offer, and whether they accept your insurance. It’s also important to feel comfortable with your therapist so be sure to meet them in person before starting treatment.
While these are some of the most common questions people have about PT, be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any other questions specific to your condition. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information about how PT can help you meet your goals.