Have you been exercising, perhaps running, playing tennis or doing another regular activity, and noticed that you are getting an increasing niggle, ache or pain? Have you experienced an injury, accident or surgery that seems to have permanently changed the way your body moves? If so, you may find physiotherapy to be an excellent option in helping you get free of unnecessary pain and move your body optimally.
A trained physiotherapist can assess your biomechanics and determine whether something is impinging on your natural healthy range of motion, or if your body is overcompensating in some way for a weakness at one point that may lead down the road to pain in another point. For example, a runner may have pain in their Achilles tendon, and following traditional wisdom may vigorously massage or foam roll their calf in the hopes of improving the situation. But a physiotherapist could recognize that the problem actually lies in a hip that is not flexible enough and gluteal muscles not firing enough. The therapist can perform manipulations and prescribe exercises to address the weak or tight area in the body that leads to pain or impaired movement.
Following an injury or surgery, physiotherapist can help to redevelop muscles that may have been injured or atrophied, preventing the development of unhealthy compensation mechanisms that could lead to injury down the road.
Depending on why you are seeing a physiotherapist and the severity of your issue, you may need to experience some painful manipulations or stretch to a point that causes intense discomfort in order to regain normal mobility. Good physiotherapists will know the difference between the necessary pain of a rehabilitative stretch and one that is doing harm. In addition to the manipulations, they may perform other treatments such as therapeutic ultrasound, dry needling, heat or cold therapy, or skin and wound care.
Some physiotherapists specialize in sports injuries, while others may work with retirement homes, or focus on patients who have been through traumatic accidents. Physiotherapy is a regulated profession in Canada, which means practitioners must pass certifications and adhere to practice standards.
If you are feeling a slight ache, the best time to deal with it is before it becomes a bigger problem. With a doctor’s referral, you can claim physiotherapy on many extended insurance plans. It’s a worthwhile investment in keeping your body happy, healthy and moving for life.
by Parvati Magazine staff