Many of us who haven’t experienced physiotherapy first hand, or simply don’t know a lot about it or what it involves, may be surprised at the complexities of physiotherapy and the range of treatments it covers. Some may assume it is a few stretches and exercises for those who have injured their muscles through sports – but it is so much more than that! Physiotherapy covers a wide range of treatments to help restore movement and reduce pain for people who have been affected by an injury, illness or disability.
As well as being used to prevent injuries in the future, typically, physiotherapy is used to treat the following:
- Bones, muscles and joints, such as sports injuries, or back, neck and shoulder pain
- The heart and circulation, such as rehab following a heart attack
- The brain and nervous system, such as problems following a stroke or related to MS
- The lungs and respiratory system, such as problems leading from cystic fibrosis
In addition to this, there are a facts about physiotherapy that you may not be aware of…
- Professional physiotherapy was first established at the end of World War I in Canada, in order to treat the thousands of injured soldiers. Many required help restoring mobility and functions due to their war injuries, and physiotherapy was the most popular treatment for soldiers during this time.
- Physiotherapy can be used as a treatment to help people suffering from vertigo. Vertigo is a condition caused by an infection in the vestibular system, which can make sufferers feel extremely unbalanced and dizzy, and physiotherapy is a common treatment – unbeknown to most!
- There are a wide variety of different types of physiotherapy, such as neurologic rehabilitation, cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, wound care, orthopaedic care, and post-operative care – to name but a few!
- Physiotherapy requires patients to complete homework. A home program for those participating in physiotherapy sessions is vital in improving symptoms and working on certain exercises or movements in between appointments. Physiotherapists assign homework for patients in order to speed up recovery and to reach their desired results faster.
- Physiotherapy can be a treatment you are assigned through a referral by your doctor, as well as simply booking an appointment directly with a physiotherapist to discuss a problem you have been experiencing. Many people book a session with a physio instead of their GP to chat about an issue they have, and to decide if physiotherapy would be a beneficial option. It is a highly regarded treatment option within the medical profession – there are approximately 50,000 physiotherapists currently working in the UK.