Physiotherapist, how do they work and how physiotherapy can be beneficial for you.

If you’re considering physiotherapy as a possible treatment option, or are already receiving physiotherapy and have questions about what to expect, this post is for you. We’ll cover everything from what physiotherapy is and how it works, to what you can expect from your physiotherapist and how to find a good one.

What do physiotherapists treat?

Physiotherapy can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain, neck pain, arthritis, sports injuries, sprain, tendinitis, and more.

Musculoskeletal physiotherapist (MSK physio) is the most common kind of physio but there are also other branches of physiotherapy, such as:

  • Sports Physio: A sports physio will rehabilitate all pathologies due to trauma, choc, or injury due to the practice of some sports. A sports physio will have the mission to put you back on track as fast as possible in the safest way possible (for example in our practice (Excellence Physiotherapy) we are treating athletes who injured themselves and the only thing they want is to go back to sports ASAP). The sports physio will use their knowledge to fasten the recovery process while making sure the rehab doesn’t go too fast or is too strong for the patients.

          “To go fast, you sometimes need to go slow.”

  • Paediatric Physiotherapy: A paediatric physio will only treat babies and children between 1 month and 15 years old. Treating a range of conditions such as feet deformities, developmental delay, torticollis, reflux, and more.
  • Women’s Health Physiotherapist: A pelvic health physio will treat and help women going through pregnancy without pain and after pregnancy. The physio will help women rehabilitate their pelvic floor, lose their mummy tummy, check them with a full assessment if their back, neck, abdominal muscle (Diastasis) and pelvic floor are good or need rehabilitation.
  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy: A physiotherapist who helps patients breathe better after surgery or if the patient has a chronic respiratory disease. The physio will help patients retrain the rib cage and diaphragm, to help them breathe more easily.

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that provides rehabilitation services to patients to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout their lifespan. It involves the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiorespiratory conditions.

What are the necessary qualities for a physiotherapist?

  • Physiotherapists need to have a good touch perception as it is with their hands and with the tip of their fingers that a physio can feel which muscle is tense, which articulation is swollen etc..
  • Interesting fact: In the early years of physiotherapy, there were many physio schools where only the blind could attend classes.
  • Physiotherapists also need a good sense of observation as every patient is different, it is important for the physio to be able to see slight differences between the right and left side of the patient’s body or limb. It is a strong indicator for the physio on how to treat the patient.
  • A physio also needs to be a good listener as every word that a patient says could be a clue to know which treatment plan can suit the patient.
  • Last but not least, a good physio really needs to have a strong understanding of human psychology as to be able to treat the body of a patient, you first need to ease their mind. Make them think positively about their rehab, reassure them about their condition and motivate patients to follow their exercises properly.

How can physiotherapy help me?

Physiotherapy can help you recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, increase your strength and flexibility, improve your posture and prevent future injuries. Physiotherapy treatment may include exercises, stretches, massages, heat or cold therapies and electrical stimulation. Physiotherapy is also the next and more important step to recover from surgery or a fracture. As seen above, physiotherapy can help all along the life of a patient, from baby to athletes, to pregnant women, to the elderly etc… Physiotherapists are here to help patients from 0 to 99 years old. A good physio can also help you reach patients’​ health goals such as losing weight, reshaping your body, and increasing your overall wellness.

What are the benefits of physiotherapy?

The benefits of physiotherapy include:

  • improved muscle strength and tone
  • increased flexibility
  • improved joint range of motion
  • improved balance
  • reduced pain levels
  • faster recovery from injury
  • improved circulation
  • reduced stress levels
  • better sleep quality

How physiotherapist assess patients

The physiotherapist will always start with a thorough assessment to determine the exercises that will suit your personal injury. Treatment plans are always tailored to each individual, as not all methods work for everyone.

The different steps of a physio assessment are:

  • History of the patient’s health
  • History of their trauma
  • Observation of the patient’s injury
  • Observation of the oedema, the colour of the skin, the temperature of the skin
  • Mobility testing
  • Muscle strength testing
  • Evaluation of the pain
  • And knowing what is the patient’s goal

With these different indicators, the physiotherapist will have a more global and macro image of the patient’s situation and will be able to create their tailored treatment plan for the patient, always taking the patient’s goal as base.

Physiotherapist rehabilitation

Once the physiotherapist has done their assessment, they will start their rehabilitation. In regard to the assessment, the physio will choose the appropriate exercises for their patient. But in general, the rehab follows these different steps:

  • Pain reduction: Physio will use cryotherapy, hot therapy, and massage to relieve the patient’s pain
  • Reduction of the oedema: Physio will use lymphatic drainage or compression boots to drain the oedema and reduce the swelling.
  • Passive mobility work: Physio will hold the injured limb of the patient and mobilise the joint of the patient without the patient contracting their muscles
  • Active mobility work: Physio will hold the injured limb of the patient but this time it is the patient contracting their muscle who will make the joint move
  • Muscles strengthening: Physio usually uses targeted exercises and increases the intensity of these exercises over time until the patient finds their normal strength back
  • Proprioception and re-introduction to sports: Once mobility and strength are back to normal the physiotherapist will finish the rehab with balance and proprioception exercises. Proprioception is a very important part of the rehabilitation as it is the phase where physio trains the patient’s reflex in order to avoid any relapse of their injury.

How often should I see a physiotherapist?

The frequency of visits to a physiotherapist depends on the severity of your condition. For minor injuries or pain relief, once or twice weekly sessions may be enough. More serious conditions may require three to five sessions per week initially, tapering off as you improve.

The number of sessions per week will be decided between the physio and the patient based on the assessment.

Why choose Excellence Physiotherapy for Physiotherapy?

At Excellence Physiotherapy our team of experienced professionals provides high-quality evidence-based care to patients of all ages. We offer a wide range of services including sports physio, back physio, hand physio, neuro physio,  neck physiotherapy, and much more as well as musculoskeletal assessments & rehabilitation programs.

If you want to be treated by the best, contact us today to book an appointment!    02071250262 – 07825554742

Or simply book online by: CLICKING HERE