In our last post, “Why Should I See a Physiotherapist?” we talked about taking that leap of faith in physiotherapy and the benefits of doing so. Now that we’ve got your attention, you probably want to know what your physiotherapy program will include. Just like when you visit different doctors you may get some degree of variance in your program depending on the clinic and the clinician that you see. But it should generally consist of the same core treatments depending on your specific injury or disability.
Physiotherapy is what you do when you want to take an active approach to recovery. So yes, there will typically be activities and exercises that will help you to recover from your injury. Yep… you will probably have homework too!! It is your body and you need to take control of it. There are 168 hours in a week and if you see us 3 days a week that is only 1.7% of the week you are receiving treatment. You need to give your body, and us, a little help if you want to achieve maximum results.
This is when we rub our hands together over your injury and then place them on your injured body part and…. abracadabra! You are cured! Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration comparing us to Mr. Myiagi from the Karate Kid. But our manual therapy techniques are our bread and butter when it comes to helping you recover. We have been trained to use our hands to detect things such as restrictions in muscles or tightness in joints, and then use special techniques to help alleviate those limitations. And NO… physiotherapists are not massage therapists, but we will and do use massage techniques if we feel it will help your condition. Just don’t come expecting an hour long massage with candles and soft music. However, our physiotherapy clinics do have licensed massage therapists that can give you a massage in conjunction with your treatment!
This is where we let other applications such as acupuncture, traction, ice or heat do the work for us. Acupuncture is a highly effective tool we use that works by stimulating nerves and releasing endorphins (the feel good chemicals) in your body. Acupuncture can be used for a variety of illnesses from acute and chronic pain, muscle inflammation and tenderness, muscle spasms, and headaches. We can also use modalities such as traction to reduce pressure on your spine, and heat or ice to increase circulation or decrease swelling respectively. While none of these by itself may completely heal your injury, they work great in conjunction with exercises and manual therapy to achieve optimal outcomes.
We feel the more knowledgeable you are, the more proactive you will be, and the better outcome you will have. So we take our time during your physiotherapy program to make sure you understand your diagnosis and treatment. We will also provide you with any materials such as a home exercise program to make sure you understand what to do and how to do it. And while Google does have a lot of information, and despite popular belief, it is not always the right information. So we personally suggest that you talk to a human being who actually knows you and your condition rather than a computer…. but hey, that’s just us. But if you would like to get some basic knowledge of your diagnosis or conditions we treat, visit our education page.
Hope this article helped to give you a better idea of what to expect from a physiotherapy program. If you still have questions you can always ask us.