Thinking of having physiotherapy? Many people hope that a bit of muscle tweaking will result in a miraculous cure. 7 out of 10 people can improve in just 5 sessions. However, physiotherapy will only work if they undertake the prescribed treatment. With an increase in age comes an increase in the likelihood of gaining a joint or muscle injury. For example a staggering 80% of people are affected by back injury at some point in their lives. It pays to know a bit about what physiotherapy involves and what to expect from it to get the most out of your physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy aims to restore the range of movements to injured muscles or joints. It can even be used to improve the efficiency of the heart, circulation and lungs. A physiotherapist will do this by recommending an exercise programme to strengthen the muscles. He or she may offer massage to relieve pain and deep muscle tension and in some case electrotherapy may be used.
Your physiotherapist will love you if you do the exercises. Surprisingly few people carry out the programme prescribed to them and this unfortunately gives physiotherapy a bad reputation. I began a series of physiotherapy exercise for a shoulder injury just over a year ago and noticed gradual improvement in just a matter of weeks. As an extra bonus my muscle tone in my arms improved and I even achieved muscle definition in my abs! To stay committed my regular time for the exercises was (and still is) first thing in the morning, when I come home from work and last thing at night. Physiotherapy exercises are not the most exciting movements in the world so I supplement my after-work exercises with a few minutes’ of yoga as an extra treat.
Whilst at physiotherapy make sure you make the most of your session by bringing relevant letters from your GP or consultant and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Ladies, if the physiotherapist needs to see your back, wear a sports bra. Try to be as specific as you can about the type of pain or loss of movement you are experiencing. Take notes when the physiotherapist goes through the exercises so that you can that target group of muscles to work properly. Finally, obvious as it sounds, be on time and keep your appointments. Quite a few people don’t and guess what? No improvement.
Be realistic about the change in your condition. You may not be 100% cured after half a dozen appointments but the exercises will strengthen your muscles, increase your mobility and keep most of the pain at bay. You may need to alter your general lifestyle – eat more healthily and take up more exercise if you are not already doing so. Be aware of any bad habits with your posture which could be underlying or highlighted by an injury – for example, do you slouch when standing or whilst sitting at the computer? Physiotherapy is a great opportunity to learn more about how you live in your body and if necessary to make changes to look after yourself.
Therapy Life Centre
11 Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 0RX.
Telephone 01702 433959 for more details.