Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy is a specialised and useful mode of treatment, which helps recovery from neuromuscular injuries and joint conditions, among other health problems and complaints.
Some people think of physical therapists as either drill sergeants or glorified exercise coaches. However, physical therapists are highly trained professionals who have studied the design, structure and function of bones, muscles, ligaments and joints in depth. This helps them accurately diagnose and treat conditions which restrict mobility and normal function, helping you heal better, faster and preventing recurrence of such injuries.
1) So, does physical therapy just mean exercise? No. Physical therapists assess the functional status of the whole patient. They then work out the treatment, which often includes exercises of various types to promote flexibility and strength. They help to recover useful function and sensation. They suggest necessary or helpful lifestyle modifications.
You don’t need to be injured to visit a Physical Therapist (fact)
2) Is physical therapy painful? Well, pain reduces movement rather than easing it. In fact, the body does best when movements are challenging but not painful. We select exercises which increase flexibility and weight-bearing gradually, according to the improvement in your injured part.
3) Doesn’t physical therapy take too long to produce results? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It tackles a range of conditions, from paralysis or weakness due to trauma, birth injury or stroke to chronic arthritis or post-surgery rehab. It takes various forms, which last for different lengths of time. However, in most common conditions, such as neck or back pain, or joint stiffness, improvement is felt and seen in a few sessions. If you are willing and committed to following up, you will experience the benefits sooner rather than later!
4) Would your body have healed itself with time, even without physical therapy?
The body heals itself quite marvelously, so some degree of recovery always occurs. However, when a painful or weakening condition has progressed to involve other joints and muscles, you need help. In such cases, physical therapists can play a critical role in restoring function and movement.
5) “But it’s just massage!”. Well, not exactly, though. Massage by an experienced physical therapist does wonders in soothing and mobilising painful and tight muscles or joints. However, they also use a spectrum of physical methods like heat or cold, ultrasound, infra-red, as well as joint mobilisation, range-of-movement exercises, aquatic therapy, specialised sports injury rehab or post-surgical rehab programs to get you feeling useful and healthy again!
6) And it is not just for the old, or for sportspeople either! Physical therapy can help anyone who finds movement painful or difficult, or would like to be fit. There is no reason why you need to bear chronic pain. Why not call us now and get in touch with our physical therapists, for a full assessment and a personalised treatment and care program? It could change your life!
What is Allied Health?
Allied health professions are those which deliver services related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, apart from the medical profession. Thus this vast group of professionals includes physical therapists, podiatrists, orthotists and occupational therapists and many others.
This group is remarkable in that they contribute directly to the recovery of function, preserve independence and mobility. This is especially important in lowering the risk of complications due to prolonged illness or injury.
These are highly trained professionals holding a tertiary (university) degrees in their field of study. Despite the usefulness of their contribution to the patient’s recovery and well-being, these services are usually not covered by Medicare.
Allied health professionals may be grouped into technicians or technologists. Technologists or therapists are more intensively trained to understand the framework of normal structure and function of the joints. Thus they can diagnose and prescribe treatment for conditions affecting mobility and function. Technicians or assistants receive training aimed at carrying out procedures which are prescribed by the therapists or technologists. Their education is less demanding but focused on the acquisition of necessary practical skills.
Thus the allied health professionals play a vital role in helping patients to return to full usefulness and independence. May their tribe increase!