Some of the conditions physios treat are discussed below– this practice is constantly learning about more!
When I was at medical school, the pathologist always used to say that it is a miracle that anyone is ever completely healthy. There are so many things that can go wrong, medically speaking.
In my view most people therefore live a daily miracle! Although I can never sum up all the conditions in which physiotherapists and this practice can assist with recovery, I can say with confidence that any condition that affects your musculo-skeletal and respiratory system may at some point in time benefit from some form of physiotherapy. I often hear people say, ‘I have tried physiotherapy!’ Unfortunately, this can mean many different things for different people. It is like saying ‘I have tried taking a tablet!’ You would go back to your doctor to get another kind of treatment if the one type of medication is not working, so why not try that with your physio?
Physiotherapy basically refers to mostly mechanical means of treatment that has been medically researched and clinically safely utilized for mostly (but not always) physical problems. It can be used as a baseline preventative treatment, such as making sure a patient in a hospital mobilises daily to not get a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or it can be used as a speciality treatment for a patient with say discogenic disease resulting in sciatica or pain down the leg which has not been reacting on medication. In the same way it can be paramount in the rehabilitation of a patient with a rotator cuff syndrome, but simple exercises can also be used to prevent a frozen shoulder after a radical mastectomy.
Even something seemingly simple such as back pain or neck pain, pain or stiffness from arthritic conditions, pain from deep surgical scars such as after a tendon achilles repair or tight scars limiting function (such as in a speech impediment due to scars in the face,) or a finger that was injured and does not have a good range of motion may affect a person’s daily function immensely.
Patients with conditions such as Bell’s palsy, tinnitus and tempero-mandibular joint problems such as locked jaw, stroke patients or patients with other neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy can often have a much better outcome with the use of physiotherapy services, although a team approach is usually the best.
Rehab after fractures and surgery to limbs such as amputations, muscle lengthenings and hip or knee replacements, reconstructive surgery and nerve- or muscle transplants, is often neglected due to a lack of funds or patients who find it difficult to access physiotherapy services. Quality of daily living can be hugely affected by a lack of rehabilitation and patients often do not realise how much more functional they could have been should they have undergone optimal rehabilitation. This has a huge indirect cost to our economy. Generally, it is therefore good to discuss your rehabilitation process with your physio so that you at least make an informed decision regarding the physiotherapy available to you.
Physiotherapy is therefore not always curative, but it always amazes me how our bodies and minds work together and can make use of therapeutic input to cope with the challenges that comes our way!