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Introduction

Physiotherapy can increase quality of life by focusing on important aspects of health and well-being – improving movement, reducing pain and stiffness, speeding up the healing process after an injury or illness, and preventing further injury.1,2 Physiotherapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team with doctors and other allied health professionals, to ensure that their patients receive holistic care.2

Ways that physiotherapy can help your condition

Physiotherapists are qualified professionals who are trained to assess and diagnose certain conditions, and to provide education and advice on the problem and how it can be managed. They also help develop personalised treatment plans that focus on physical activity and a range of techniques such as adapted exercises, massage and manipulation.2

Physiotherapy can help treat a wide range of conditions, including back pain, incontinence, delays in childhood development, sports injuries and neurological issues such as Parkinson’s disease.1 Below are five common examples:

Back pain3

Physiotherapy plays a key role in managing back pain. Evidence shows that most cases of back pain can be treated successfully by remaining physically active (as much as the pain allows), seeking advice from a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist, and taking simple painkillers as required.

Arthritis4

Physiotherapy can treat arthritis by helping to manage pain and improve joint mobility. It is also useful in encouraging people to stay healthy and active. Physical activity is a very important part of arthritis treatment, and some people manage their arthritis successfully with exercise alone. Physiotherapists can also provide professional advice on how to protect your joints (such as by helping you choose appropriate shoes, using hot or cold packs etc.) and suggest a range of pain-relieving strategies (such as how to limit flare-ups of pain by pacing your physical activity appropriately).

Diabetes5

Physiotherapy can be very effective in preventing and managing diabetes and its complications.  The prescription of exercise programs, as a key example, can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Physiotherapy also plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process following some of the complications of diabetes, such as heart attack, stroke, limb amputation and nerve damage.

Chronic pain6

Physiotherapists can help manage chronic pain. They are well-placed to educate patients so that they can better understand what is causing their pain and learn how to gain more control. Physiotherapists can also prescribe personalised exercise programs that can help to reduce pain, improve functioning, and restore strength, mobility and fitness.

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Before and after surgery7

Physiotherapists can provide education and advice about a range of different surgical procedures, what impact they could have on function, and how to get the most out of the rehabilitation process. Specific exercises – such as cardiovascular, strengthening, range of motion and stretching exercises – may also benefit patients before the surgery and during the recovery process.

Staying healthy, active, happy and independent as you get older

Physiotherapy can help people manage many of the challenges that occur as they get older, so that they can stay active, fit, healthy and independent.8  Moreover, keeping active benefits mental health and well-being, helping people stay happier.9

Keeping active10

It’s essential that people stay active as they get older, in order to preserve health and independence. Physiotherapy can help people continue doing what they enjoy, whether that be playing golf, gardening, walking in the countryside, or simply just getting out and about.

Keeping your strength11

We lose up to 5% of muscle each year from the age of 30. Exercises that promote bone and muscle strength are recommended at least twice a week and can be easily incorporated into even the busiest of schedules.

Keeping your independence9

As we get older, even simple tasks around the home, such as walking up the stairs or having a shower, can become challenging. A physiotherapist can provide advice and help you deal with these challenges.

 

 Key points

· Physiotherapy can increase quality of life by focusing on important aspects of health and well-being

· Physiotherapy can help manage a wide range of conditions, including back pain, incontinence, delays in childhood development, sports injuries and neurological issues such as Parkinson’s disease

· Your physiotherapist can help you stay active, fit, healthy, happy and independent as you get older

 

A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next Physiotherapist appointment. Click on the following locations to find a Physiotherapy clinic in your state or territory.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.

References

  1. Health direct (online). Physiotherapy [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  2. Australian Physiotherapy Association (online). What is physio? [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  3. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (online). Treatment for back pain [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  4. Australian Physiotherapy Association (online). Choose physio for arthritis [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  5. Australian Physiotherapy Association (online). Choose physio for diabetes [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  6. Australian Physiotherapy Association (online). Choose physio for pain (general) [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  7. Australian Physiotherapy Association (online). Choose physio for pre and post surgery [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  8. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (online). Keeping healthy and active as you age [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  9. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (online). Staying independent at home [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  10. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (online). Keeping active [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link
  11. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (online). Staying strong as you get older [accessed 3 April 2019]. Available from: URL link