Top 10 Benefits Of Physiotherapy [Updated for 2022]
If you’re considering booking an appointment for physiotherapy, you may wonder if it’s the proper treatment for you and your condition. Perhaps your primary care doctor recommended it, but you’re still unsure about what to expect or how it will help.
Luckily, research and numerous studies have indicated that physiotherapy is quite beneficial for naturally healing the body and works for various ages and conditions. Keep reading to learn more about physiotherapy and why booking an appointment might be the best way to relieve yourself of chronic pain, prevent or treat an injury, or improve your quality of life.
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy, often referred to as physical therapy, helps to correct pain and dysfunction in muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. The physiotherapist will assess your condition and treat you using various techniques, including Active Release, Graston technique, needling, class IV deep tissue laser, shockwave therapy, and movement/exercise.
Your physiotherapist designs your unique treatment based on your specific condition. Most people think that physiotherapists only treat or rehabilitate an injury. However, they can also work to prevent injuries from occurring and serve an important role in your overall well-being.
Once you elect to try physiotherapy, you’ll likely need multiple sessions to reach your goal (as it’s an ongoing process). You’ll also need to practice specific exercises at home in between sessions to reap the full benefits.
What Conditions Can Physiotherapy Treat?
Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for numerous conditions that cause pain or a reduction in range of motion. Some examples of conditions where you might seek physiotherapy include:
- Sprains/strains of muscles or ligaments
- Fractures or dislocations
- Muscle tears
- Temporomandibular disorders (TMJ)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis/golfers elbow
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Degenerative conditions (osteoarthritis, arthritis, degenerative disc disease)
- Injuries from sports or motor vehicle accidents
- Pelvic health conditions (prolapse, urinary/bowel incontinence, pelvic pain, weak pelvic
Many people also seek physiotherapy for pregnancy-related conditions. In fact, studies have shown that it can help with various pregnancy-related conditions, especially pregnancy-related lower back pain.
Benefits Of Physiotherapy
Here are the top 10 benefits of physiotherapy and why you may want to consider this treatment option if you have one or more of the conditions mentioned above.
1. Can Help Prevent Or Avoid Surgery
Often with an injury or chronic pain, doctors will recommend surgery to treat the condition or mention that you might need surgery in the future. However, surgery, of course, has its own risks. For many issues, a patient can avoid surgery by opting for physiotherapy to manage or treat the condition before it worsens, and can often heal conditions in their early stages.
Suppose you have a condition on our list, and a doctor has recommended surgery. In that case, you may want to speak with a physiotherapist first to see if it’s something that you might be able to manage using physiotherapy instead. Although not all surgery is avoidable, looking into possible other options is beneficial. Even if you and your doctors determine that you require surgery, you may find that physiotherapy is beneficial pre- and post-procedure to help promote a quicker recovery.
2. It’s a Gentle Form of Treatment
Many people enjoy physiotherapy because it gently treats their condition. Your professionally trained physiotherapist will give you exercises and treatments that work with your body and don’t cause any pain or discomfort. In addition, your physiotherapist will always let you know what to expect from the treatment and work with you to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. The gentle movement used with physiotherapy promotes tissue healing and supports recovery.
3. Can Reduce Or Eliminate Pain
The therapies used in physiotherapy are proven to help reduce or even eliminate pain from numerous conditions. Most patients see improvement in their conditions within just a few sessions; for many, physiotherapy completely resolves the issues causing the pain. A study on neck pain showed that manual therapy and therapeutic exercises both produced statistically significant improvements in people with chronic neck pain. Another study showed that long-term, consistent exercise-based treatment improved chronic pain.
4. Help With Age-Related Pain or Mobility Issues
Many common age-related causes of pain or decreased mobility can be effectively treated with physiotherapy, resulting in an overall higher quality of life for the individual. Physiotherapy can help these individuals by providing rehabilitation for conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis, knee replacements, neck pain, back pain, and numerous other issues with joints and ligaments. In a study that reviewed the options for chronic pain management in older adults, rehabilitation and physical therapy played an important role and also resulted in a positive effect on mood.
5. Restores Range of Motion
A condition that limits mobility can prove frustrating as it dramatically affects the overall quality of life and can lower a patient’s independence. Physiotherapists will work with you individually to help restore the motion that you lost, often returning it back to normal. You will improve your range of motion through customized strengthening and flexibility exercises that promote healing of the joint or tissue and help the body work the way it should. Your physiotherapist will develop programs that mimic real-life situations. These exercises will help restore and optimize your range of motion and get you back to doing daily activities without pain.
6. Boosts Heart and Lung Function
Most people don’t think of a physiotherapist regarding heart and lung function, but working with one after a heart attack can prove beneficial. The same holds true for those suffering from coronary heart or lung disease. A physiotherapist can design an exercise program that works to clear fluid from the lungs. Numerous studies have shown the positive effects that physiotherapy can have on the lungs, including showing that exercise treatment is an effective method of pulmonary rehabilitation and also that physiotherapy is an integral part of lung cancer therapy.
7. Helps Prevent Sports-Related Injuries
People who frequently participate in sports often put their bodies to the test. Physiotherapy can help improve overall strength and coordination, which can help condition the body and prevent injuries from sports participation. The physiotherapist will have a unique understanding of the common sports injuries and how a patient can quickly recover from such an injury. They can also provide exercises and advice to help prevent that and other injuries in the future. Anyone who regularly participates in high-impact sports should consider visiting a physiotherapist as part of their conditioning program.
8. Helps With Stroke Recovery
If you’ve suffered from a stroke, you likely will have lost some degree of function or movement. Working with a physiotherapist can help you recover faster and regain strength and mobility. One particular study showed that evidence exists to support the use of physiotherapy in all phases of rehabilitation after a stroke and that the earlier the patient receives physiotherapy after the stroke, the more effective it will be for rehabilitation.
9. Can Help With Diabetes
Often people with diabetes also have knee, shoulder, back, and other pain due to the unbalanced sugar levels in their bodies. Physiotherapy can help with this type of pain management. Additionally, the exercises included in the targeted plan can also prove beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels and staying healthy.
10. Looks at the Body Holistically
An important reason why many patients like physiotherapy over conventional medicine is because it looks at the body holistically. Whereas conventional medicine only looks at the specific area of pain or discomfort, a physiotherapist will assess your entire body to determine the best course of action for addressing the injury or problem.
The gentle movement and exercises prescribed by the physiotherapist will often benefit your condition and your long-term health and prevent other conditions from occurring. Physiotherapy may also help to wean individuals off certain medications, especially those the patient depends on for pain relief. By addressing the root cause of the issue and working with the entire body to provide relief, many patients find that they no longer need pain medication. By eliminating or reducing the dependence on painkillers, physiotherapy can also eliminate any potential undesirable side effects.
As you can see, physiotherapy has many benefits for different conditions that scientific research studies have backed up. If you suffer from a condition that physiotherapy may help, it could be worth seeking an evaluation to determine if this type of treatment is right for you.
As with many body manipulation therapies, physiotherapy relies on patient cooperation to be the most effective. Your physiotherapist will partner with you and create a program you continue with at home in between your regular visits. You must also communicate with your physiotherapist to let them know if something isn’t quite working for you or if you feel like you need an adjustment in your treatment. Overall, physiotherapy provides an excellent option for people of all ages and conditions and is a great, low-risk way to reduce pain, recover from injury, and improve the overall quality of life.
If you’re looking for a physiotherapist in Calgary, we have 8 physiotherapists across two locations. Our experienced physiotherapists at Encompass Sports Therapy are able to treat a variety of conditions with the most up to date and research-informed therapies. Give us a call or book online to make an appointment.