Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, refers to helping people impacted by injuries, disabilities, or illnesses through the use of exercises and movements, to get them back on their feet. An important thing you need to be aware of is that you do not have to be injured to benefit from physiotherapy either, which is a common misconception. Physiotherapy can be used by anyone who wants a customized program to help return them to a previous level of functioning, to encourage a necessary lifestyle change, or to engage in activities that can improve overall health.
The biggest issue with this type of therapy is that for a lot of people, it is something you have do long term before you reap the real rewards. That is one of the biggest complaints. People are put on a program and although they feel better after a few weeks, it doesn’t seem like all the effort is worth the small amount of improvement they feel, so they give up. Like all treatments or medications, you should not give up or quit before you have completed the entire program. So no matter the reason you’ve decided to follow a physiotherapy program, here are five key reasons why you should keep at it or start it back up again:
- Long-term Pain Relief – Therapeutic exercises can reduce your pain significantly. Soft tissue and joint mobilization, ultrasound treatments, even electrical stimulation can help to restore muscle function or joint function. Doing so alleviates pain after injuries and can prevent pain from returning.
- Avoid surgery / faster post-surgery recovery – When you have an injury or illness, surgery may be needed depending on your situation. Before going under the knife, many doctors recommend physiotherapy as a way to get yourself in better shape to perhaps avoid surgery, or to just be in better condition before a surgery. If surgery can’t be avoided, physiotherapy will most likely be recommended afterwards, to speed up the recovery process.
- Improved mobility – Another reason why it is important not to give up on doing your physiotherapy is that the simple act of stretching and strengthening can help improve mobility for the long-term. If may not seem obvious at first, but stick to it for the long run and you will notice an improvement. Physiotherapists can help you by fitting you with an appropriate assistive device depending on your situation (e.g.: crutches, cane, etc.) to aid in the recovery process. With a customized care plan you can get beyond trouble moving, walking, or standing.
- Freedom of movement – If you have suffered from a stroke, or maybe an injury or accident, it is natural to lose a degree of your function or movement. With physiotherapy, you can strengthen the areas of the body which have been weakened, in order to improve your balance and gait. Moreover, you can work with a therapist to improve your ability to move around in bed so that you can start resuming control over certain daily living activities.
- Injury Prevention – While working through your existing physiotherapy program, you and your physical therapist may notice other body/joint/muscle imbalances that should be corrected to prevent future injuries. One common example is an athlete who tears a major ligament in their knee because the muscles surrounding the knee are not strong enough. During therapy exercises, the therapist may identify potential problems with the undamaged leg as well and offer recommendations on how to strengthen it.
Even athletes who feel great and have never injured themselves in the past should not rule out the benefits of a good physiotherapy program. For example, a good therapist can help any athlete by providing them with a customized exercise program to ensure proper mobility and muscle strength depending on his or her activity.
Yes, we understand that the physiotherapy process can be long and arduous sometimes, but in our opinion it is well worth it and crucial for a proper and full recovery. We hope you found this article useful. If you have any experience with physiotherapy programs, whether successful or not, we’d love to hear from you. Please use the comment box below to leave us your feedback. Until next time.