You’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of physiotherapy. It is the fastest, most effective and safest way to help you heal from physical injuries. But did you know it’s also a perfect choice for the more routine, everyday pain? Many injuries result from some kind of stress or strain. Even if you’re an athlete or have some other intense physical activity in your life, you can be injured. And sometimes, even fairly minor injuries can be very debilitating or hard to treat.
If you have an injury that causes pain, there are many ways that physiotherapy can help. One of the primary benefits of physiotherapy is that it helps manage or reduce chronic pain. Often, people who suffer from repetitive minor injuries over time develop chronic pain that makes it difficult or impossible to do daily activities. Physiotherapy can also offer relief for such injuries as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, whiplash, tennis racquet toe, torn rotator cuff and many other types of physical injuries. And even bone and joint problems like Achilles tendinitis, degenerative bone disease and other musculoskeletal problems can be treated with physiotherapy.
One of the other benefits of physiotherapy is that it can improve your health and well-being in general. The techniques used by physiotherapists are designed to improve your range of movement, balance and coordination. The techniques they use can help you manage pain, control your posture and increase your independence. When your mobility is restored and your joints and muscles regain their elasticity, your quality of life improves significantly. And even more importantly, your ability to enjoy an independent life is greatly improved.
However, not all people suffering from injuries and pain have good days. They need ongoing physiotherapy and physical therapy to prevents further injuries or pain. And this means people suffering from musculoskeletal issues may need physiotherapy after an injury or following surgery. As, well as after accidents, such as carpel tunnel syndrome following a back injury and spinal stenosis following spinal surgery.
Even serious injuries often require physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can reduce pain and recovery time for people suffering from a whiplash. People suffering from chronic back pain have similar needs to those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Back pain can cause many daily activities to be painful. It can mean limiting the type of work you can do, requiring you to carry out more night duties than usual, resulting in a loss of enjoyment of life, and causing psychological problems such as depression and feelings of social isolation.
In fact, many people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome also suffer from chronic shoulder pain and sciatica. This is especially the case for professional athletes, as well as people playing sports. Carpal tunnel syndrome often results in physical therapy that includes physiotherapy, but many people also elect to use drugs such as steroids to alleviate their symptoms.
While many people choose to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or ibuprofen, these are not without their own risks. Long-term use of NSAIDs can result in ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and other complications. They also suppress the immune system, which can lead to more frequent infections and other health problems. On the other hand, steroid injections can provide some relief for acute injuries and pain, but can lead to more frequent re-injures as the body builds up a tolerance for the drug. Finally, NSAIDs can increase the chance of osteoporosis, which can lead to more frequent fractures. For these reasons, it is better to attempt to manage chronic pain with physiotherapy first.
Many people suffer from injuries and seek professional assistance from a physiotherapist. They should not be deterred by the thought that physiotherapy will only provide short-term symptomatic relief, and that they will have to continue with their current sedentary lifestyle changes if they want to benefit from the lasting pain relief. In fact, most injuries can be managed with manual therapy, and even those requiring surgery can be successfully treated with physiotherapy. Using techniques such as ultrasound, electric stimulation, vibration, heat packs, ice packs, and walking aids, as well as appropriate manual therapy, physiotherapists can successfully treat almost all types of injuries, including sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and many more.