Physiotherapy can help all people regardless of their age for a very wide range of conditions related to health and affecting areas like:
- Soft tissues, joints and bones: this includes sports injuries, shoulder pain, neck pain and back pain.
- Nervous system or brain: this includes issues with movement that result from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or even stroke.
- Heart and the whole circulation: this includes things like rehabilitation after a person has had a heart attack.
- The lungs and breathing: this includes cystic fibrosis and the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Physiotherapy can be very important in the improvement of physical activity and also in helping in the prevention of any other injuries that may occur.
Physiotherapy is usually provided by a practitioner who is specially trained and also regulated called a physiotherapist. These professionals usually work as a team that is multi-disciplinary in different areas of medicine as well as different settings. This includes:
- Home visits
- Workplaces, charities, clubs and sports teams
- GP surgeries
- Clinics and community health centers
What they do
The professionals consider the entire body instead of individual aspects of an illness or injury. There are different approaches that a physiotherapist can apply and they include:
- Advice and education: these are people that can give you some general advice regarding the things that affect the daily living like posture, the correct way to lift heavy things, best carrying techniques and so on so as to stop injuries.
- Physical activity, tailored exercise and movement advice: they can recommend exercises that can help in the improvement of the general health as well as mobility. This helps in the strengthening of very specific areas of the body.
- Manual therapy: this is where hands are used so as to relieve stiffness and pain and to also encourage your body to move.
There are many other techniques that the physiotherapist can use and they include aquatic or hydrotherapy as well as acupuncture.
How you can find a physiotherapist
There are a number of avenues that you can use so as to find the ideal physiotherapist. In some places, you may be required to produce a referral from your GP, while others you can simply refer yourself. Your GP can recommend the best place to get treatment. Usually, the private physiotherapist accepts any direct referrals.
Other areas where you can access a physiotherapist is through voluntary sector, patient groups, charities, occupational health services and so on. In some areas, there are bodies funded by the government that offer the services free of charge, but they usually have very long waiting lists, therefore may not be really ideal for your needs especially when you have an emergency.