There are many different types of therapists out there. And to be honest, physiotherapists haven’t done a great job explaining to the public what the physiotherapy profession does. This blog post clarifies what physiotherapists do, and names the top five reasons you should see a physiotherapist:
1) You’re in Pain
Popping a pill can sometimes relieve pain, but it’s rarely the only option. Physiotherapists specialize in drug-free pain relief. We have treatment techniques to reduce your pain without drugs – or the risk of drug side-effects.
For example, pain from bone, muscle, joint, and neurological conditions can be relieved with these physiotherapy treatments:
- Hands-on techniques, such as manual muscle release and desensitization techniques
- Electrotherapy, such as TENS or Interferential Current
- Customized exercise and movement programs – for your unique condition
- Acupuncture and dry needling
- Complex pain management techniques
2) You’re Not Getting Better
Some injuries don’t get better on their own. These persistent injuries can keep you from doing what you love for too long, which can feel sad. Also, when suffering from a slow-healing injury, you can get out-of-shape waiting for it to heal, which means you’re at risk for more injuries.
Physiotherapists can help you troubleshoot, and figure out why you aren’t recovering quickly. As rehabilitation professionals, we can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t do to optimize your recovery. And we can support you physically and mentally as you recover – so you’re not left alone dealing with a persistent injury.
3) You Don’t Understand Your Injury or Condition
Don't understand your injury or condition? This can be nerve-wracking, as you worry you’re doing something wrong, or that you aren’t doing anything right. It can be tempting to search the internet for information, but most people don’t have the right training to find good quality medical information on the internet.
Physiotherapists are educators – it’s a fundamental part of what we do. We are trained to explain complex medical conditions in plain language, so our clients really understand what’s happening to them. We also have time to answer your questions, and use a wide range of educational tools, including body models, interview techniques, and electronic educational tools.
4) You Want Treatment Based on Evidence
Physiotherapists are medical rehabilitation professionals. We train in universities as part of a medical team made up of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and dentists. All of these professions require advanced university training, and are required by their professional colleges to base their approach to treatment on scientific evidence.
That said, scientific evidence can’t dictate everything. Remember high school science class? Scientists set a hypothesis and continuously test it, to try to prove it correct or incorrect. That means the way to treat a condition, based on the science, may change over time as we learn more. So physiotherapists, as evidence-based professionals, design their patients’ treatment plans by weighing:
- The relevant scientific evidence,
- Their own experience treating patients with similar conditions and
- The patient’s unique condition and situation.
This is called "Evidence-Based Practice," and you can expect your physiotherapist to be doing this analysis when they’re working with you.
5) You Want to Move Better
Most people know physiotherapists treat bones, joints, and muscles. But physiotherapists are trained to treat much more than that. For instance, we have specialized training to treat neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, post-stroke conditions, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. All of these conditions can keep you from moving the way you want to move – be it across the soccer field or across the bedroom. Physiotherapists are movement experts, and we have a wide range of techniques to get you moving better.
Still wondering whether physiotherapy is right for you? Call us to set up a free, 15-minute phone consultation with a physiotherapist.