4 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist
Physical therapy or physiotherapy is a branch of rehabilitative medicine that utilises exercise and specialised equipment to prevent, treat, and manage various disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Given its broad scope, physiotherapy has a wide variety of applications and is often recommended by medical professionals as a primary or secondary intervention for many conditions. From the management of pain to enhancing one’s quality of life, here are a few reasons to visit a physiotherapist clinic Singapore residents trust:
You suffer from chronic pain
One of the main reasons why someone might visit a physiotherapy clinic is to seek non-invasive treatment for persistent aches and pains. After performing a thorough assessment to identify the source of your pain, a physical therapist will move on to any number of active and passive interventions to decrease it. These can include:
- Manual or manipulative therapy involves the manipulation and mobilisation of muscles and joints. This intervention can include stretching, kneading, and massaging the affected area(s).
- Applying heat packs to the affected area causes tissues to relax, thus relieving pain brought on by muscle spasms or tension. It also promotes circulation. Meanwhile, ice packs or cold compresses can decrease inflammation and swelling by inhibiting blood flow. The cold also renders the affected area numb, thus offering relief from pain.
- TENS therapy is an effective pain management strategy that makes use of low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the nerves in the affected area. This overloads the nervous system, thus drowning out or disrupting its ability to send pain signals to the brain and spinal cord.
- Ultrasound can also be used to identify and treat some soft-tissue injuries.
Other physical therapy treatments for pain management can include low-impact aerobics and muscle strengthening exercises. These exercises can help restore range of motion and improve flexibility.
You need rehabilitation after a surgery
Surgeries are invasive by nature and can leave patients weakened and bed-ridden for weeks after the procedure. Post-surgery physiotherapy and rehab is a vital part of the recovery process. In addition to post-surgical pain management, physiotherapy can promote healing while preparing a patient for discharge and his return to daily activities.
During the early recovery phase, physiotherapists will focus on interventions that offer relief from pain and decrease swelling. Gentle manual therapy helps preserve a patient’s muscle tone and restore range of motion. Physiotherapists may also assist post-surgery patients while walking, or offer instruction on how to use prescribed gait aids such as canes or walkers. After the surgical site has healed sufficiently, a post-surgical physiotherapy program will be tailored to focus on strengthening the body and restoring full range of motion.
You want to regain some of the functions you’ve lost after a stroke
Strokes or cerebrovascular accidents are the leading cause of long-term adult disability in Singapore, according to SingHealth. More than half of all stroke survivors will require some form of rehabilitation to relearn skills and functions that may have been lost as a result of damage to the brain.
Physiotherapy can help post-stroke patients recover from some of the common effects of a stroke, such as weakness, fatigue, and paralysis. It can also aid stroke survivors who may develop spatial issues after the incident. Physiotherapeutic interventions for stroke survivors usually focus on improving movement and mobility. They can include walking assistance, balance training, circuit therapy, and repetition of daily activities.
You want to age well
Older adults are subject to several conditions that can limit mobility and reduce physical function. Seniors are also at greater risk of developing orthopaedic pain, preventing them from performing work normally and living life to the fullest.
Physical therapy can help address certain age-related conditions, including arthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Seniors who have recently had joint or hip replacements can also benefit from physiotherapy. Geriatric physiotherapy focuses on improving overall fitness, balance, and mobility. Interventions geared towards these goals reduce a senior’s risk of falling and can mitigate any injuries that may be incurred because of it. Circuit training, muscle strengthening exercises, and low-impact cardio may also be recommended. Manual therapy can be prescribed as a way to manage pain and lessen the need for prescription medications.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that physiotherapy is only for individuals who have suffered severe injuries. In truth, physical therapy has a myriad of applications across all aspects of health and wellness. It can improve performance in sports, help prevent injuries, and address physical disorders brought on by repetitive stress. Physiotherapy can also function as a quick tune-up if an individual finds himself having difficulty or experiencing pain when performing normal activities such as walking, lifting, or running. Physical therapists can help improve movement patterns, postural deficits, and other issues so that clients can more thoroughly enjoy their favourite activities.