Why would I see a Physiotherapist?
Post by Kerry Staples (MPhysio (Sports) BPhysio (Hons) B HMS (Ex Sci) Sports Physiotherapist APAM)
Physiotherapists are highly qualified health professionals who work in partnership with their patients to help people get better and stay well.
Physiotherapists also work closely with GPs and other health professionals to plan and manage treatment. GPs refer more patients to physiotherapists than any other healthcare profession.
Using advanced techniques and evidence-based care, physiotherapists assess, diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders. Physiotherapy helps repair damage, reduce stiffness and pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life.
Physiotherapy extends from health promotion to injury prevention, acute care, rehabilitation, maintenance of functional mobility, chronic disease management, patient and carer education and occupational health.
Common reasons people seek help
All Australians can benefit from physiotherapy at some point in their lives. While it is well-known that physiotherapists treat injuries, increasing numbers of Australians are coming to physiotherapists when they want to take control of their health and stay well. Some of the needs physiotherapists address include:
- Cardiorespiratory – prevent, rehabilitate and support people living with, or at risk of diseases and injuries affecting the heart and lungs, such as heart disease or asthma.
- Cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema – address a range of patient needs, including treating, managing or preventing fatigue, pain, muscle and joint stiffness, and deconditioning.
- Continence, men’s and women’s health – manages and prevents incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction in men, women and children. Physiotherapists work in areas including pregnancy, birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding, menopause, loss of bladder or bowel control, and with men living with or recovering from prostate cancer.
- Supporting older Australians – using evidence-based care to promote healthy and active ageing among older Australians, including falls prevention.
- Musculoskeletal – prevents and treats clients with musculoskeletal conditions such as neck, back and joint pain. Techniques include addressing underlying problems, preventing further injury, and prescribing exercises and other interventions to promote mobility.
- Neurology – promotes movement and quality of life in patients who have had severe brain or spinal cord damage from trauma, or who suffer from neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
- Orthopaedic – helps patients prevent or manage acute or chronic orthopaedic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and amputations. Physiotherapists also help patients prepare for or rehabilitate from orthopaedic surgery, or another orthopaedic hospital admissions.
- Occupational health – supports the health and wellbeing of workers, reduces safety risks in the workplace, prevents and manages injuries and diseases, and support workers in returning to work.
- Paediatric (supporting infants and children) – aims to prevent conditions such as plagiocephally (misshapen head) or support a child’s development such as addressing milestone delays with sitting and walking, clumsiness, or hyperactivity.
- Pain – manages or prevents pain and its impact on function in patients using a psychologically informed and interdisciplinary approach. Physiotherapists work with other health and social-care professionals to manage pain at the acute stage of an injury or condition, including through identifying psychosocial risk factors that may lead to chronicity.
- Sports – prevents, diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal and sporting injuries among all types of people, from professional athletes to everyday Australians.
- Acupuncture and dry needling – which helps to manage both chronic and acute conditions such as sprains and strains, spinal dysfunction, arthritis and neurological conditions.
- Aquatic – using a pool, physiotherapists treat patients with a multitude of conditions using hydrotherapy including sports injuries, post-operative and orthopaedic conditions, spinal pain and/or injuries and arthritis.
About a typical physiotherapy session
A typical session with a RHP physiotherapist is unique to a patient’s needs and their health condition. RHP Physiotherapists are all expert clinicians with a wide range of interests and experiences.
A‘typical’ initial physio session would usually involve:
- Assessing and diagnosing your condition and needs. A careful explanation of the condition is a key focus at RHP Physiotherapy.
- Working with you, the patient, to set and attain goals—whether that's maintaining mobility and independence in aged care to running a marathon.
- Developing a treatment or prevention plan with you that will take into account your lifestyle, activities and general health. At RHP Physiotherapy, we take the extra time needed to carefully design a treatment plan with you.
- Prescribing exercise, maintenance strategies, and physical aides if required. These are often simple strategies that are effective and time efficient.
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