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Physiotherapy: A Brief Introduction



Physiotherapy helps return movement and function to be normal when an individual is affected by illness, injury, or disability. Physiotherapy can maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain as well as prevent disease. At the very basis of it, is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment, and participation in their own treatment.

It takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, taking into consideration the patient’s lifestyle. For example, back pain can be caused by several factors, including poor posture, bending/twisting awkwardly, overstretching, standing for long periods, lifting/carrying incorrectly, inherited spinal deformity.

A physiotherapist will review all of your circumstances, and as well as conducting treatment may also suggest things you can do yourself to alleviate the pain. Back pain, for example, maintaining good posture while standing and sitting as well as carrying out core stability exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles can help.

What can Physiotherapy achieve?

Physiotherapy can help a vast number of things, and you can benefit from treatment at any time in your life- regardless of your state of health. The most familiar association people hold with physiotherapy is a sporting accident or injury when, in reality, there are many more reasons to receive this kind of treatment.

Physiotherapy can help with anything from back pain or injury to managing long-term medical conditions such as Asthma to preparing for childbirth.

Why Physiotherapy?

Physios use their vast knowledge and skills to improve a range of conditions linked to different systems of the body. For example:

Neurological- brain or spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis

Neuromusculoskeletal- back pain, whiplash, ligament injuries, arthritis, etc

Respiratory- Asthma, cystic fibrosis

Cardiovascular- stroke, chronic heart disease

How does it work?

Physiotherapists use therapeutic exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen the affected body area to return it to its normal movement and function. These exercises need to be repeated regularly, usually daily, for a set number of weeks to ensure the affected area is always strengthening.

As well as specific exercises, gentle activities such as walking or swimming may be suggested if you are recovering from an accident, operation, or sports injury that has stunted mobility.

Evidence suggests that physical activity can help manage or prevent over 20 health conditions. For example, physically active adults have shown to have up to a 50% lower risk of developing primary health conditions like strokes, diabetes, cancer, or coronary heart disease.