..........or a pain in your back, leg or any other part of your body. In fact, you’d
be surprised how many problems a chartered physiotherapist can help you solve -
With more moving parts than any other machine, it’s not surprising your body occasionally
cries out in pain or refuses to do what you tell it to do. After all, there are
hundreds of different muscles and joints that can go wrong. Fortunately, there’s
an effective way to treat many of the problems you can experience – physiotherapy.
Every year, Britain’s 29,000 chartered physiotherapists help millions of people manage
the effects of illness, accidents and the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Whether you’re young or old, active or taking it easy, there’s a strong chance you
could benefit from physiotherapy at some point. Half of us, for instance, will suffer
from back pain at some stage in our lives. This information Explains what physiotherapy
is and how it can help you.
What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy uses a variety of techniques to help your muscles and joints work to
their full potential. It can help repair damage by speeding up the healing process
and reducing pain and stiffness. Physiotherapists also have an important role in
rehabilitation, for example, helping people who have had strokes to relearn basic
movements. However, Physiotherapists don’t just offer treatment, their advice can
help you prevent problems returning or even happening in the first place.
What types of problem can physiotherapy help?
Virtually any condition that affects your muscles, joints or nerves. Common problems
that can be helped by physiotherapy include:
- Painful conditions such as arthritis
- Back and neck pain, including whiplash
- Problems affecting children including cerebral palsy
- Pregnancy related symptoms such as back pain and stress incontinence.
- Upper limb work related problems, also know as repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- Asthma and other breathing difficulties
- Sports injuries
- Strokes and other neurological problems
- Symptoms of stress and anxiety.
What does the treatment involve?
Before any action is taken, the physiotherapist will assess your condition, diagnose
the problem and help you understand what’s wrong. They will work with you to develop
an effective treatment plan that takes into account your lifestyle, leisure activities
and general health. This will include advice on how you can help yourself, for example,
you may be shown exercises that you can do between treatment sessions. Where appropriate,
physiotherapists also advise careers how they can help.
Chartered physiotherapists use a variety of treatments.
- Exercise programmes – designed to improve mobility and strengthen muscles
- Manipulation and mobilisation – to reduce pain and stiffness
- Electrotherapy – for example, ultrasound to speed up the healing process
- Acupuncture – used by some physiotherapists qualified to practise this technique
- Hydrotherapy – exercise in water
How effective is physiotherapy?
Chartered Physiotherapists measure their clinical effectiveness by the same standards
applied to other health professionals, including doctors and nurses. This is done
through independent research to prove that physiotherapy works. For example, studies
show that exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation, led by physiotherapist, results
in a reduction of sudden death rates after a heart attack by 25 per cent. There
is also strong evidence that physiotherapy is an effective treatment for back pain.
To ensure physiotherapists across the country apply equally high standards, the Chartered
Society of Physiotherapy, the professional body representing physiotherapists, circulates
guidelines based on research to all its members.
Publication courtesy of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, please see the CSP
website for further information.