What Is Physiotherapy? Exploring the Process, Pros, and Cons

Have you heard of physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is often needed by people of all ages. Whether suffering from chronic pain or pain from a recent injury, your doctor might suggest you try it out. But what is physiotherapy, and is it right for you?

In this article, you will learn more about physiotherapy and its pros and cons. Read on to see if it is right for you.

What Is Physiotherapy?

The main goals of physiotherapy are to help pinpoint, manage, and prevent pain. This pain can be from an injury, illness, or disability.

A physiotherapist will help you work toward rehabilitation and the promotion of your future health. They achieve this by working to diagnose the root cause of your pain along with assessing symptoms.

The physiotherapy process can help with patient recovery. This is done through movement, exercise, knowledge, and advice. Most people go to physio after an accident, though for some, it can help to maintain independence after a stroke or heart attack.

Some common issues that require physiotherapy include:

  • Neurological issues – Patients that have had a stroke or suffer from certain diseases, such as Parkinson’s, will need physio to help regain and maintain strength
  • Cardiovascular problems – People that suffer from cardiovascular diseases require a certain level of supervised physical activity
  • Respiratory worries – If you experience shortness of breath, recurrent chest infections, suffer from anxiety, or have had recent chest trauma, a physio can help with managing symptoms and controlling your breathing
  • Neuromusculoskeletal issues – Chronic pain in your neck, back, and pain from an accident are all reasons to visit a physical therapist

When visiting your physio, together you can work on a treatment plan to help build your strength and prevent further injuries.

Benefits of Physiotherapy 

The physiotherapy range from preventing future pain to improving range of motion. It is also used to help with the management of heart and lung diseases.

  • Depending on why you began treatment, patients can expect to feel a reduction in pain
  • Various manual therapies will promote better movement and flexibility of the joints and tissues
  • In some cases, physiotherapy will help your body to heal and could prevent the need for surgery
  • Certain exercises will improve balance and stability, thus reducing the risk of falls and potential injuries
  • By strengthening and conditioning your lungs, physio will help patients with heart and lung diseases to clear fluid from the chest

The physiotherapy process is designed around your specific injuries and will use only the exercise you need. It will change for different patients in order to better serve their needs.

Drawbacks of Physiotherapy

Though physiotherapists are highly educated and most patients will benefit physically from physio, there are a few drawbacks.

  • The cost of physiotherapy can often be quite high and will require multiple visits
  • For patients that cannot leave their homes, they will have to pay even higher fees to have a therapist come to them
  • Certain insurance agencies have been known to hold off on reimbursing the cost of the therapy
  • Physiotherapy, while beneficial, can be very time-consuming
  • Some people have been falsely promoting themselves as physiotherapists, which is dangerous and can cause further injury to the patient

Unfortunately, physical therapy is often a slow process. Your therapist will want to start slow, to prevent worsening your issues. The high cost over time can often be too much for some people.

Is Physiotherapy Right for You?

So what is physiotherapy, and should you be looking into it?

Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that can help you manage and treat your pain in the ways we discussed above.

If you have suffered a recent injury or have a debilitating illness, physiotherapy can help to improve and maintain your strength. It will also promote healthy living and independence.

Speak with your doctor, and research local clinics to find the one that works best for you, and check out our Fitness section for more guidance on healthy living.

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