If you have experienced an injury or a strain on your physical health recently, you may want to consider starting physiotherapy. Starting any new kind of treatment can be overwhelming and you may have a lot of questions. Check out our comprehensive guide to everything you should know about physiotherapy so you can make an informed decision about your health!
1. What is Physiotherapy?
The definition of physiotherapy is a method of treatment focused on how your body moves. Physiotherapy is typically used for:
- Preventing injury
- Treating injuries
The main goal of a physiotherapist is to help you restore and maximize the range of motion and strength to a specific area of your body.
2. What Happens at a Physiotherapy Appointment?
Your practitioner will work with you to make a unique plan according to your health needs and goals. No two people will have the same physiotherapy experience because everyone’s bodies are different. At your first physiotherapy appointment, your doctor should ask you about:
- Your medical history
- Your current physical condition
- What your goals are
Using this information, you will work with your physiotherapist to create a treatment plan consisting of different lifestyle changes and exercises that will help you achieve your goals.
3. What Kind of Treatment is Typical?
As previously stated, no two treatment plans are exactly alike. However, there are some standard treatments that your physiotherapist may prescribe to you. Treatments may include:
- Strength exercises
- Range of motion exercises
- Environmental changes
- Skin care
- Hot/Cold packs
- Use of different equipment for exercises
You will be expected to do these things at home, but you will also go through step by step instructions at your appointments. Your therapist will assist with exercises and different treatments. They may also use several different techniques throughout your treatment including acupuncture, manipulating your joints for circulation improvement, and electrical nerve stimulation.
4. What Kind of Qualifications Does a Physiotherapist Need?
Physiotherapists do not need their doctorate, however, they do have to pass a series of exams and receive a master’s degree in physiotherapy. It is never out of the question to ask your practitioner about their qualifications. Your health comes first and you want to make sure you are receiving the best care available. All physiotherapists must:
- Receive a Master’s in physiotherapy
- Pass the Physiotherapy Competency Exam
- Register with the college of physiotherapists in their area
5. Where Can You Find a Physiotherapist?
A physiotherapist can practice in many different locations. They can have their own private practice or offer their services to a pre-existing business. If you are looking for a qualified physiotherapist, consider looking into the following locations:
- Your workplace
- Your local hospital
- A fitness club
- A community health center
- In-home care practices
- Private physiotherapy practices
There are many options and many different ways to receive treatment, so make sure you do your research and find the location that offers what you need to achieve your health goals.
6. Can Your Health Issues Be Treated by Physiotherapy?
We suggest that you consult your regular physician about your health concerns before starting physio. Your doctor can help refer you to a therapist if they think this sort of treatment will help you. Doing some research before consulting your doctor is never a bad thing though!
Physiotherapists are experts at helping with some of the following concerns:
- Pelvic issues
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Asthma and other lung problems
Keep in mind that this is just a small selection of health issues that physiotherapists are able to treat. Your general physician can help you determine if your current health issues will fall into the realm of physiotherapy.