Most of us have heard of the practice physiotherapy. But what is it exactly?
Physiotherapists are qualified professionals who specialise in treating patients through the use of gentle movement and manipulation. Their goal is to help patients improve flexibility and build strength to minimise pain. They attempt to get to the root cause of pain or illness and treat the whole person. PT can help people stay active and mobile. But when did it start, and what are the benefits?
Physiotherapy is an ancient practice that is rooted in countries such as India, China and Greece. The exercises date back to the 1500s. The main focus in those days was to help with ailments such as arthritis and problems with body positioning. It was also used to improve physical strength.
The practice of PT developed and changed over the years; techniques were improved, and by the early 20th century, there were many organizations set up that specialised in this field of treatment.
Most PTS worked in hospitals, and treatment mainly consisted of gentle exercise and massage. From the 1950s the practise moved into other areas, and some therapists set up their own businesses and worked freelance.
Accessing a therapist in recent years is easy, and there is a variety to choose from. Many have further qualifications in a specialist area, so you can usually find appropriate treatment if you have a specific problem such as a sports injury.
Training to become a therapist has never been easier. There are a variety of programmes available, depending on your particular interest. If you are keen to understand a targeted approach for patients, thegotophysio.com can help build the confidence to empower others through professional PT approaches. PT is more than treating symptoms; it should be holistic and preventative.
Physiotheapy is now one of the leading treatments for a variety of ailments.
So how do you know if physiotherapy is right for you?
PT can treat several illnesses:
- Joint pain
- Neck problems
- Post-surgery rehabilitation
- Injury recovery
Many other disorders could be added to the list, but these are the primary reasons people seek help.
For those of you who suffer from joint problems or neck pain, you understand well the misery it can cause daily. It may disrupt sleep and make everyday movement challenging or even painful. How can PT help? A physiotherapist will take a detailed account of your health history to understand better how your body is affected as a whole. They will then discuss with you how they want to proceed and create a targeted plan of treatment. They will usually include exercises you can do at home.
Your therapist will explain to you exactly what each exercise will help with. The goal of any PT programme is to improve mobility and decrease pain. Initially, it may feel that the new movements are doing little good. But persevere as you will notice gradually that pain is more manageable and you are moving more easily.
If you suffer from arthritis a qualified therapist can help you understand the illness and advise on balancing movement with rest. They are also knowledgeable about the various pain relief options available to help you manage the bad days. They may offer to help you strengthen muscles by using pool-based therapy. This is a very gentle way to keep the body moving and can greatly reduce pain and stiffness. Water has always been known for its therapeutic benefits.
Living with dizziness can interfere with daily life. There are many causes. Some of them could be due to cervical spine issues. Using a PT can help reduce symptoms using vestibular rehabilitation; these are exercises that help move debris lodged in the ear canal. This exercise retrains the brain to process signals differently and restores balance through gentle manipulation, thus easing dizziness.
When recovering from certain types of surgery, you might need a physiotherapy programme as soon as possible. A programme of rehabilitation can be arranged through the local health service or privately. It is important to look after your health post-surgery to build strength and flexibility. You can support your PT treatment by taking good quality supplements and prioritising nutrition. It’s important to understand the role of vitamins and minerals in supporting our bones and muscles. Supporting our body as much as possible will help you get fighting fit in no time.
You may find it curious that PT can help asthmatics. According to the World Health Organization in 2016, 339 million people worldwide were recorded to have asthma.
Physiotherapists can advise people living with asthma on how to change their breathing to control symptoms, and teach them exercises to help when coughing and wheezing. Diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to help an asthma attack and reduce anxiety. A PT will also advise on the types of exercises that can strengthen the lungs and those to avoid. A specifically designed exercise programme can help asthmatics build confidence and ensure they keep physically fit without triggering an attack.
Using PT post-injury involves a hands-on approach by a therapist. It will help reduce pain and increase movement gently. Aqua therapy is used often for injury treatment as the water helps soothe and relax muscles increasing mobility.
A therapist will gently move the part of the body that has been injured using just the right amount of pressure to improve strength without further injury. Sometimes a qualified therapist will use acupuncture on the injured area to reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective by stimulating the immune system, improving circulation and encouraging natural healing.
A variety of things can cause headaches. They often have a simple explanation, such as bad posture, limited neck mobility or tension caused by stress. A PT will work with you to identify the cause. Through some simple exercise techniques, symptoms can be relieved.
So whatever your particular affliction, you can be confident that physiotherapy can be beneficial in many ways. It is a long-held practice and a trusted treatment. Using a qualified therapist can improve your health, strength and mobility and help you live life to the full.