Have you ever considered making physiotherapy part of your life? If not, why? If you are like most people who have never contacted a physiotherapy clinic to set up an evaluation, you assume that physiotherapy is only for the injured. This is a common misconception. The truth is that physiotherapy can benefit most people, whether they are injured or able-bodied.
Physiotherapy isn’t just for individuals who have just had surgery or have sustained long-term injuries or pain; it is for everyone. Megan Ferrone (BMR-PT), who has been a physiotherapist with Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics in Winnipeg for 7 years, explains why in her interview below.
Interview with Elite Sports Injury Clinic’s PT Megan Ferrone
Q) How long have you been a physiotherapist? Where did you receive your education?
A) I graduated in 2010 from the University of Manitoba’s School of Medical Rehabilitation with my Bachelors in Physical Therapy. The first and only place I applied following my education was at Elite Sports Injury, which is where I have resided since graduation!
Q) What skills would you like to strengthen in the next year or so? What type of continuing education would you like to receive?
A) Coming off maternity leave, I am very excited to be getting back to work and continuing my education. During my absence from the clinic, I took a variety of courses and practiced the skills and techniques I have put so much effort into attaining. With my current life experience, I have a newfound interest in women’s health and post-natal exercise prescription. I hope to pursue some further continuing education in this practice area. I will also be considering traveling to receive my dry needling education and certification to compliment my current practice.
Q) Do you find that most of your patients are apprehensive about physiotherapy or are open to it? Or, do you get a mix of both?
A) Physiotherapists are primary care providers, which means a physiotherapist can and may be a client’s first contact with the healthcare system, even before seeing a physician or other health care provider. This involves the physiotherapist being able to provide the client with diagnosis and management of the client’s health condition, injury prevention, communication for inter-professional collaboration, and health promotion. I have found that clients are continuing to understand this concept more and seek physiotherapy as a first stop with many of their injuries or pain-related questions. At Elite, you will also see physiotherapists commonly treating away from the site of the injury, which used to seem rather odd, but treating the entire body (including our brain) is now shown to be much more valuable than we ever knew! Some clients have a harder time understanding this concept, but, again, the public is much more educated on this form of treatment than ever before.
Q) How long does it usually take for a patient to get used to participating in a physiotherapy program? Weeks? Months?
A) This is a really tough question, so I am going to give a really tough answer: it depends on the patient. If this is a client’s first time participating in a rehabilitation or exercise program, it may take longer to get the hang of a home prescription. Another factor may include the type of injury the program is tailored to and the stage of healing (no pain versus significant pain). Each client’s injury and personal factors are unique and will vary the program greatly – this is what makes my job so fun!
Q) Could you please provide 3 tips that the average person could implement to avoid sports-related injuries in summer?
We have hot, humid summers here in Winnipeg. Water helps with many of our bodily functions including oxygen transport, digestion, hydration, absorption, and regulation of temperature. Also, it makes up 60% of the human body. It’s important! If you are sweating from exercise, you need to replenish those fluids lost, which is tricky in the hottest parts of summer.
2) Do not wait for an injury to go away on its own.
If you have a nagging injury, have it looked at soon as possible. If left untreated, it may lead to further dysfunction or injuries. Physiotherapists have better luck catching these painful areas sooner than later in the healing process. You may save yourself some trouble down the road.
3) Ensure you have enough time for a warm-up or movement preparation.
Your warm-up should do two things: 1) loosen muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and 2) literally warm up the body. To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging mixed with movements that mimic your sport or training requirements. The aerobic warm-up should take only 5 to 10 minutes, with a 5-minute recovery. If you have questions about an appropriate warm-up, this is a great opportunity to reach out to a physiotherapist!
Q) What do you feel is the most common myth people believe about physiotherapy? What is the truth in place of that myth?
Myth: “You have to have pain, have had surgery, or been referred by a doctor to visit a physiotherapist.”
Truth: Absolutely not! We do a lot of work at Elite to help athletes with items such as the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which measures individuals’ fundamental movement patterns used in sports and daily life to establish an acceptable or dysfunction rating. This may also pull out differences side to side or asymmetries in our movement patterns. We also can help with items such as warm-up or cool-down education, help guide an exercise plan aimed at many different goals, or facilitate preventative physiotherapy.
If you think physiotherapy isn’t for you because you aren’t injured, think again. As physiotherapist Megan Ferrone explained, physiotherapy is for anyone who wants to learn more effective ways to exercise, play sports, or prevent injuries. Of course, physiotherapy can be a lifesaver for injured persons, as well. Those living near Winnipeg should consider contacting Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics to set up an evaluation with an experienced, passionate physiotherapist like Megan Ferrone.