There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons that someone may choose to book an appointment with a physiotherapist. Contrary to what you may have heard, only some of those reasons are sports related. In this blog, I will describe a few examples of when someone may benefit from physiotherapy, although this is not at all a comprehensive list. I hope this blog post helps you better understand when it may be time for you or someone you know to book in with a physiotherapist.
1. New pain
Perhaps you were recently in a car accident, sports injury, twisted an ankle, or simply developed a new pain that seemed to come out of nowhere. Physiotherapy can help you figure out what is causing your pain through discussion with you and testing your muscles, ligaments, bones, joints, and nervous system. Once these areas are looked at, we will teach you what exercises to do, when you should rest or modify activity, and coach you through the process to recovery which may include hands on techniques - among others!
We are also skilled at determining if you need to see another healthcare practitioner. When applicable, we may suggest you speak to your doctor or see other practitioners to aid in your recovery.
2. Chronic (long term) pain
Pain is considered ‘chronic’ if you’ve experienced symptoms for longer than 6 months. Common examples of this are things such as back pain, shoulder pain and headaches, although symptoms may be experienced in any part of the body. It is important to consider all factors in your life including; how much sleep you are getting at night, any exercise you are able to do, and personal stressors you may be experiencing.
Physiotherapy may provide relief of your symptoms during treatments and show you options to self-manage some of these symptoms when they come on. This may include providing you stretches and exercises to do at home. We will work with you to determine what will fit into your schedule and guide you to getting back to what you love to do.
3. Medical conditions
Have you ever had a doctor say that you have a condition that may affect the way your body moves? Or you were provided with a diagnosis and you are not sure what it all involves or means? A few examples may include; Scoliosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, although there are many others as well. We will spend time with you to help you understand what this condition means and answer any questions you may have.
Physiotherapy can guide you in how to manage your symptoms, improve balance, exercise in a safe manner that is specific to you, work on tasks that you may do on a daily basis, and maybe even slow the progression of your symptoms.
4. Surgery: Before & After!
It’s common for people to seek physiotherapy after muscle or ligament related surgeries, knee or hip replacements, and even abdominal surgeries, but what about before surgery? Attending physiotherapy before your upcoming surgery can help your body be as prepared as possible. When we are taking much needed rest after surgery to heal, our bodies are losing strength and mobility. Improving these factors before you are immobilized (aka bed rest!) can reduce the effect they take on your health and enhance rehabilitation after surgery.
It is also important to attend physiotherapy after surgery. We can guide you on when it is safe to begin movement, what to watch for, and the progressions we need to take to improve your recovery over time.
5. General health
You don’t need to have a specific ‘problem’ or pain in order to see a physiotherapist! Maybe you want to learn how to exercise, how to move your body more effectively, learn a new skill, or take steps to improve long-term health. Starting physiotherapy before aches and pains arise may reduce your risk of future injuries and keep you active.
We can set you up with an exercise program tailored to you as an individual, taking into consideration all aspects of your health and life. We will teach you how to perform each movement, how often to exercise, what it should feel like, and keep you accountable to your program and your goals!
Still unsure if physiotherapy is right for you? You can book in with a physiotherapist at NOVA for a FREE 15-minute consult over the phone or through our secure online video platform. Here you can discuss if physiotherapy may benefit you. Book this service online or phone the clinic at 306-382-3332. We welcome all questions and are happy to help!
Written by: Lucy Senger. MPT student. BSc (psychology).