Remaining physically active is key to a healthy lifestyle, especially as we age. But due to the busy lives most of us lead, we tend to push physical activity down our list of priorities, resulting in early physical decline, increased risk of injuries, and reduced quality of life.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent those things from happening. Physiotherapy is one of them. In addition to preventing or reducing physical decline, it can bring many other benefits to your overall health.
Physiotherapy helps manage balance, pain, mobility, and motor functioning. In general, it is a therapy method often used to help restore the function and movement of a patient affected by illness, auto accident injury, or disability. Know that auto accident injury cases require immediate medical treatment. The doctor will properly diagnose the patient’s condition and recommend the necessary treatment plan, including physiotherapy. You can visit this URL to learn how physiotherapy may eliminate the need for surgery in accident injury cases.
Physiotherapy Vs Physical Therapy: Is There A Difference?
Used interchangeably, there’s actually no difference between physiotherapy and physical therapy. It’s just that one term is more widely used in specific countries than the other. For instance, Americans commonly use the term physical therapy, while people in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada refer to it as physiotherapy.
The Benefits Of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy isn’t limited to people with injuries or disabilities. It could help improve the well-being of just about anyone, and it could reduce certain risks that may occur in the future. If you’re not quite convinced about whether you should get it, here are several benefits of physiotherapy.
1. Helps Manage Pain
Chronic pain is a frustrating condition, particularly if you’re not aware of the underlying cause. Medications are often used to help treat it; however, an expert physiotherapist could also help.
Physiotherapists have extensive knowledge in managing pain. They can perform pain assessments and recommend the best treatment, including manual exercise therapy techniques, health advice and education, and specific exercise prescriptions. These help reinstate muscle function and eliminate pain.
Some of the methods physiotherapists use to relieve pain include the following:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: Blocks pain messages to your brain
- Acupuncture: Helps relieve pain in your body, in areas such as the neck, lower back, and knees, as well as alleviating headaches and migraines
- Soft tissue techniques: Eases shoulder pain and allows easy joint movement
If you’re not sure what would suit your needs best, reputable physiotherapy establishments, such as Alignment Studio Melbourne physiotherapist and others, can give you recommendations on the best methods to help relieve your pain.
2. Helps Improve Balance
Balance tends to diminish with old age, which is why aging people are at higher risk of balance-related issues. As people age, decreasing muscle strength, balance, and bone density can lead to falls, as well as osteoporotic fractures. Consequently, falls may lead to hip pains, broken bones, fractures, and even head injuries. Thus, it is essential to find a way to maintain good balance.
Physiotherapy can help by allowing you to assess the vulnerable areas in your body. Physiotherapists can craft individualized plans and guide you through a series of programs and exercises designed to improve and maintain your balance. Most exercises target specific groups of tendons, muscles, and ligaments working together to strengthen the area, which thus prevents injury.
3. Helps Manage Certain Diseases And Conditions
Physiotherapy can help you manage certain diseases and conditions. These include the following:
Diabetes can affect anyone at any age, causing various physical problems, including loss of endurance, balance problems, and obesity. All these can lead to lower physical activity.
Physiotherapists require their patients to do certain exercises to manage their diabetes, as it helps lower blood sugar levels. They also help patients safely add physical activity to their lives in effective ways that are within their capabilities.
A stroke occurs when a vital connection between your muscles and brain is broken. This is one of the leading causes of long-term disability, and it primarily results in some loss of movement and mobility.
Physiotherapy can help stimulate affected nerves and muscles to maintain circulation and prevent stiffness. This helps patients relearn bodily movements in the affected part, improving coordination, balance, and other basic mobility skills needed for good quality of life.
Cancer and cancer-related treatments may cause physical problems, such as numbness, pain, weakness, swelling, difficulty walking or moving, and loss of balance. It is recommended that cancer survivors and patients undergoing cancer treatment maintain a certain level of physical activity to reduce fatigue and improve their ability to perform daily tasks.
A physiotherapist can create customized treatment plans that use exercise and physical activity to help cancer patients manage the side effects of the disease and treatments.
Arthritis is a painful condition caused by the inflammation or swelling of your joints. Physiotherapy can help manage and treat arthritis by easing pain and improving joint mobility. In addition to that, physiotherapists can also provide valuable advice on how to protect your joints, and they can suggest a number of pain-relieving tips when flare-ups occur.
4. Helps Improve Athletic Performance
Athletes can also benefit from regular physiotherapy sessions. With specific exercises and stretches, physiotherapy can improve endurance and give athletes an edge. Some treatments also enhance balance, coordination, and flexibility, which can help athletes be in better shape. Furthermore, physiotherapy also helps prevent athletic injuries and aids in recovery.
5. Could Function As An Alternative To Surgery
Some mobility and pain problems could become chronic, and the people who suffer from them may be eligible for surgery just to gain relief from that pain. However, physiotherapy can help prevent the need for surgery by reducing the symptoms of certain chronic conditions and diseases.
In fact, research shows that physiotherapy is far more effective than surgery for certain conditions, such as the following:
- Spinal stenosis
- Rotator cuff tears
- Degenerative disk disease
- Meniscal tear or knee osteoarthritis
Before you undergo surgery, it’s best to see if physiotherapy can help manage your pain and mobility issues. This will save you recovery time, as well as money that would’ve been spent on surgery.
If surgery can’t be avoided, physiotherapy can help promote faster and more effective recovery afterward.
6. Helps Improve Heart Functions
Physiotherapy is also good for cardiovascular health since it helps keep you active and get your blood pumping. For people with sedentary lifestyles, physiotherapy can get you moving gently and safely, so you don’t incur injuries in the process.
Furthermore, physiotherapy can also help in burning calories, allowing you to lose healthy weight and preventing obesity through effective and safe exercise.
Most people think that physiotherapy is only suitable for those recovering from injuries. But, as you can see from the points above, you don’t have to be injured to see a physiotherapist. Whether you are in pain, want preventive treatment against chronic conditions, or wish to maintain a degree of independence as you age, physiotherapy can offer you a wide range of benefits. It could help you stay healthy and mobile throughout your life.
Author Bio: Lucy Benning
Lucy Benning is a holistic approach advocate. She has been sharing her knowledge on holistic medicine, including massages, aromatherapy, healing crystals, and yoga through guest posting. She is married with three children.