How A Physiotherapist Can Make A Difference

by Kristina Coates

It wasn't until I actually needed a Physiotherapist, that I realised truly how a physiotherapist can make a difference.

We created Live Well Health Essentials as a tool to help people be proactive about their health. For us this means putting as much focus on disease and injury prevention as it does on rehabilitation and healing so that we can help our bodies and minds perform at their best. 

One of the prominent health measures that covers you before you injure yourself as well as after is physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy. 

We believe that this practice is an essential part of holistic healthcare, and that making sure your body is equipped to handle the hurdles life throws at you is the first step to living a healthy life. As such, in this blog I want to cover the aspects of the importance of physiotherapy and where to go to get this kind of support.

What is physiotherapy? 

Physiotherapy is somewhat of an umbrella term and encapsulates a broad spectrum of treatments under its wing. Essentially, though, physical therapy is the practice of using physical techniques including, but not limited to, massages, joint pressure, stretching of the muscles and more to recover from disease or injury. Physiotherapy is not just limited to being a rehabilitation provider but a method of prevention as well. There are many kinds of physical therapists, so finding out what your needs are is an important step. 

Where my physiotherapy journey started 

I was struggling with a niggling neck and lower back pain that would creep up on me and make everyday activities like exercise, sleep, carrying objects like backpacks or even just turning my head very uncomfortable. I wasn't sure why it was happening. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit, I consulted Dr Google. I was convinced from a google search that my back pain was being caused by my flat feet ( it was not). Finally I booked in to see our GP. They recommended we go see a physiotherapist near us and have an assessment. 

From the very first session with the physiotherapist I could feel a huge difference, especially in my neck. From then on I made regular appointments with the physiotherapist every two months to check up and see how I was travelling, and realign my body.  

The point of this story is that a lot of people may struggle with discomfort and not know the cause, meaning they are unsure of how to proceed and seek treatment  - I know I was.

I learned from a chat with my GP that this is one of the great points of physiotherapy, as the broadness of this health care method means that they can treat and diagnose cases from bone and cardiovascular illnesses to muscle and neurological conditions that affect physical well being such as Parkinsons. 

What if I Don’t Know What Kind of Physiotherapy I Need?

You’re not alone. Often if you are referred to a physiotherapist then you will know what ailment you are being treated for, and this won’t be of any issue. However, a very common case which I myself have found myself in is you may have the odd ache and pain in your body and you’re not sure what exactly is the root of the pain. The simple start to determining if and when you need to see a Physiotherapist is to go to your GP. They will refer you if necessary. 

Does Physiotherapy Need To Be Continuous?

Whether you may need to schedule follow up appointments with your physiotherapist is dependent on your case. Often a physiotherapist will recommend you check in at least once or twice more over the next few weeks or months to make sure you are recovering or maintaining your health. 

If you are seeing a physical therapist as a part of recovering from surgery, then there is a level of maintenance involved that requires regular appointments as the physical therapist will work to rehabilitate your body and make sure your movement is uninhibited. 

This goes as a general rule for recovering from injuries such as sports tears, sprains or bone breaks, as the goal of physiotherapy is to gently rehabilitate your muscles and bones over a period of time - there’s no magic pill or fix-all in one go. Physical therapy is also non invasive and can be remedial for internal injuries as well, such as spinal compression, and significantly work to reduce pressure and inflammation to ease pain and expedite the healing process.

There is no one size fits all with your needs, they depend on your circumstances. Always follow the advice of your medical professionals you consult. For peace of mind you may want to have a list of questions prepared ahead of time for your next appointment. 

The Relationship Between Healthcare and Physiotherapy

The practice of physiotherapy plays a large role in holistic healthcare, as it can be applied to a wide range of ailments that include physical injuries to chronic medical conditions. A physical therapist will be able to assess your needs and treat you on both a neurological and physical level, as well as assessing how your lifestyle and daily habits contribute to your overall wellbeing and specific issues. 

For example, if someone were to come in to see a physical therapist with complaints of a sore knee, the physio may assess you for possible injuries and ask you about your exercise routine, what sports you play, your job etc. and from there advise you on the best course of action. 

By addressing your physical and neurological state, a physiotherapist will treat you from a thoroughly holistic standpoint to try find the root cause of a problem, or for recovery from an injury or surgery to help you heal in ways that you can do yourself from your own home and allowing you to be proactive about your health and your recovery. 

Can A Physiotherapist Prescribe Medicine?

No. A physiotherapist is able to diagnose possible illnesses and treat medical issues but they do not have the authority to prescribe you with any medication.

Physiotherapy allows us to be proactive about our health and understand the roots of our issues from a holistic standpoint - apart from being just rehabilitation specialists they provide methods to maintain and prevent illness yourself. This can mean anything from different types of exercises or lifestyle changes you can do from home. You do not need a referral to go see a physiotherapist, but bear in mind the costs may or may not be covered by healthcare if you are not referred by a doctor. 

At Live Well Health Essentials we understand the importance of doing what you can to support your health on your own as well as at the doctor, so our lupin Hot and Cold packs are uniquely designed to support your recovery and act as alternative forms of healthcare. Our products assist with many types of injury, and particularly go hand in hand with rehabilitation physiotherapy to help you get back to being your happiest and healthiest self. We love the fact that we are here to complement your medical needs as prescribed by your medical professionals helping you to be your best self.