As you probably already know, seeing a physiotherapist can improve your muscle movement and functionality due to an injury, an illness or a disability, and can help to reduce the risk of injury or illness in the future; however, this does not answer the simple question of what exactly it is that a physio does. Typically working alongside hospitals and GPs, with some with sports teams, physiotherapists mainly provide advice and education, manual therapy such as massages and recommended exercises tailored for a programme to exactly fit you.
Additionally, physiotherapists can offer more specialised techniques such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (using a TENS machine) to get to the heart of a problem. The typical advice given revolves around diet standard exercises for your body type, or how to maintain decent posture if you have back pain. Manual therapies are a great source of pain relief, due to their ability to improve circulation, drain fluids, improve movement and make you feel relaxed; manual therapy is where the specialist uses their hands manipulate body tissues. In regards to the exercises programme, you will most likely have a list to perform which is focussed on strengthening and improving the movement of a specific body part or area; these are usually low-weight exercises to be done regularly.
Physiotherapy can be useful for people of all ages and backgrounds to cover all manner of health issues, from standard body injuries, to heart attack rehabilitation, lungs and breathing improvement and movement problems stemming from such diseases as MS or Parkinson’s. Whilst people are often referred by their doctor, most physiotherapists accept self-referral. Any issues, no matter how small can be aggravating and can take away from life’s simple pleasures, so it is important to get treatment and bring yourself back to full health.