11 benefits of physiotherapy that lead to improved wellbeing

Why physiotherapy is more than just pain management

If you don’t suffer from chronic pain or you’ve never experienced a serious injury, it’s likely that visiting a physiotherapist has never crossed your mind. But believe it or not, physiotherapy is actually a key tool for overall wellness and should be incorporated regularly into your life. Aside from chronic pain management and pain relief, physiotherapy has a variety of other, lesser-known benefits.

Alternative medical treatments like physiotherapy and chiropractic medicine have both risen to popularity in recent years. Physiotherapy is a broad practice that helps patients with anything relating to rehabilitation, improved strength, and mobility. It has a wide range of advantages and can treat a variety of medical problems. Physiotherapy can even work preventatively, nipping problems in the bud before they even happen!

Read More: 8 Signs It May Be Time for Physiotherapy

Depending on your reason for visiting a physiotherapist, you can expect to experience first-hand just how powerful this form of treatment is for both the body and the mind.

With that being said, here are some of the most significant benefits of physiotherapy.

Read More: Top 10 Reasons to See a Physiotherapist

Reduce or eliminate pain

Pain management and relief are what most people think of when they think of physiotherapy. Whether you’ve suffered an injury or experience chronic pain, a physiotherapist targets all of your problem areas to locate the root of your pain. Then, with a little time and effort, the two of you will work together to get you feeling back to normal.

Avoid surgery & drugs

For many injuries and conditions, you may not actually need to go under the knife or pop a dozen pills a day just to find relief. Physiotherapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses a combination of hands-on treatments and treatment modalities such as IFC and laser treatments that help you feel your best without the risks, side-effects and downtime associated with surgery and drugs.

Addressing source, not symptoms

A physiotherapist is licensed to provide you with a clinical assessment, diagnosis and prognosis based on your symptoms and medical history. However, rather than simply managing symptoms, your physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan that targets the source of the problem, cutting it off at the root so the problems do not return.

Improve mobility & range of motion

Whether it’s from repetitive or strenuous activity in the workplace, an old injury, or a chronic condition, restricted mobility and flexibility is common. Pain or stiffness can get in the way of performing everyday motions like bending over, touching your toes or extending your arms to reach upward – this can become quite a nuisance. Physiotherapy exercises target the muscles and tissues in the problem areas, relax the muscles and strengthen supporting tissues to help restore your mobility and range of motion.

Recover from a stroke

For the 50,000 Canadians who suffer from strokes every year, 75 per cent of them experience the loss of motor and other physical functions as a result. For a stroke survivor, your physiotherapist is an integral part of your stroke recovery team. Through low-risk activities, they can address physical function issues as well as facilitate the prevention of subsequent strokes in the long-term.

Recover from or prevent injury

For anyone whose lifestyle involves a lot of physical activity – such as athletes or labourers – injuries are often an inevitable part of life. Not only can physiotherapy speed up the healing process of a recent injury, but by targeting the problem at its source, it also soothes and prevents flare-ups of old injuries. Physiotherapy can also be an effective tool in preventing future injuries, by keeping your body as healthy as possible and reducing your risk.

Improve your balance and prevent falls

For older adults at risk of falling and those recovering from fall-related injuries, physiotherapy improves strength, motor function, and balance to prevent another fall from occurring. Your physiotherapist will evaluate you to determine your level of risk, and will then adjust your program accordingly. Your balance issues can stem from a variety of causes. Physiotherapists can effectively determine that cause as well as the best corresponding treatment.

Manage age-related issues

Aging can come with sore muscles, balance issues, loss of mobility and motor function, arthritis and more. Through a combination of in-person treatments and a prescribed at-home activity regimen, physiotherapy can help slow the signs of aging and keep you feeling comfortable.

Manage vascular & respiratory conditions

Physiotherapy is an important part of the standard care for conditions that target the vascular and respiratory systems, such as heart disease, lung disease, and even diabetes. Physiotherapists are trained in proper breathing and mucus-clearing techniques and can prescribe safe and effective exercises to help you manage your condition. They will likely prescribe high-intensity lower-limb aerobic training and upper and lower limb strengthening exercises. If these diseases run in your family, physiotherapy is also useful as a preventative tool.

Manage women’s health

When it comes to women’s health, physiotherapy is a useful treatment option that can be used regularly to alleviate serious menstrual cramps, reduce the sore muscles and back pain associated with pregnancy, and even help with fertility. Physiotherapy can also strengthen and repair the pelvic floor after giving birth, resolving problems such as constipation, incontinence, painful sex, and even vaginal prolapse.

Improved sleep

Whether you suffer from a sleep-related condition such as insomnia or sleep apnea, or if you’ve simply been having a hard time falling asleep, physiotherapy can help you finally catch those much-needed z’s. A lot of the time, loss of sleep is actually a sign of a more serious problem that can be treated through physiotherapy. In the end, this will result in an improved mood, better focus, reduced pain and ultimately a higher quality of life.

The Bottom Line

If any of the problems listed above sound like you, you may be a perfect candidate for physiotherapy.

Book an appointment with a licensed physiotherapist in your area; they will be sure to answer any questions you may have and provide realistic, professional advice. You’ll work together to develop a personalized treatment plan to suit your needs and meet your goals. Be realistic with your expectations and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to living your best life!

Michael McCreight, Registered Physiotherapist

Mike is an experienced and talented physiotherapist who holds a BSc in human kinetics and an MSc in physiotherapy. He doesn't believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach and is committed to providing client-centred care, tailoring each treatment plan to each patient’s unique needs and personal goals.

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