What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy assists and treats people who are affected by injury, disability, and illnesses. This area of healthcare focuses on using physical methods such as exercise, movement, and manual therapy. Physiotherapy takes a holistic approach in treating patients and considers his/her lifestyle and specific circumstances to devise the right treatment method to manage pain and improve his/her health and well-being. Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who are highly skilled and trained and specialise in assisting patients with different types of health conditions including:

. Cardiovascular – Helps rehabilitate patients after they have suffered a heart attack or stroke
. Respiratory – Helps patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and more
. Neurological – Helps patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and more

Most of the time, physiotherapy is associated with caring for groups of muscles and bones in the body. For example, sports injuries, back pain, arthritis, joint replacement rehabilitation. This is known as musculoskeletal physiotherapy and will be the main focus of this article.

Rheumatology physiotherapist Jack March states that there are so many health conditions that could be treated with physiotherapy. In fact, physiotherapy can help people with pains, injuries, loss of function, weaknesses including the inability to climb the stairs, decreased movement, and twist. Although some symptoms such as back pain that radiates into both legs or pains in multiple areas of the body require investigation first, most symptoms don’t require such investigations. If you are in Exeter and are looking for physiotherapy then see ‘physiotherapy Exeter

Signs To Look Out For

Pain is the first sign to look out for before deciding whether you need to see a physiotherapist. But very intense pain doesn’t mean the condition is serious. In Fact, the severity of the pain itself is not usually an indicator of the severity of the injury because some of the worst pains are associated with minimum damage to the injured tissues. Almost all sources of pain can be treated at home with an over-the-counter analgesic such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. But problems and injuries that recur or persist for several days or weeks signal that you should see a physiotherapist.

Even though treatment may not be required at all times, an assessment will help reassure that there is nothing to worry about and guide the patient on what he or she should do next. Symptoms like pain, loss of sensation, and range of motion issues will often resolve with time. But if these conditions last for more than fourteen days or impact your daily tasks, you should see a physiotherapist to speed up the resolution process and regain functionality while the symptoms settle.

If you experience a significant reduction in movements like gripping, bending, or any other motor tasks, or you feel unstable on your feet, you should see a physiotherapist for an assessment as quickly as possible. On the other hand, some conditions and injuries require urgent medical attention because they may indicate that something more serious is going on underneath them. For example, if a patient is experiencing back pain accompanied by loss of sensation in the genitals area, change in toilet habits, or sexual dysfunction, he or she should get in touch with his/her GP as soon as possible. You should know the “red flags” for back pain so that you can seek urgent medical help for the condition.

On the other hand, you should get prompt advice if you have back pain that radiates into both legs, inflamed and swollen joints, pain in different areas of the body, or you feel that you have sudden difficulties in bearing your weight. These are some of the most common instances where you need the assistance of a highly skilled and experienced physiotherapist to deal with your health condition.