Physiotherapists are skilled healthcare professionals who assist in rehabilitation and restoration of a patient’s body, helping them regain their physical abilities following an injury or a major surgery. Yet, many of us may not realise that their physiotherapy expertise extends to guiding patients on injury prevention, be it during daily activities or engaging in their favourite sporting pursuits.
What Do Physiotherapists Do?
A physiotherapist is an allied health professional who works with patients to help them restore their physical function and movement.
Physiotherapy benefits those who are grappling with movement difficulties such as joint stiffness, limited range of motion, weakened muscles, or pain during movement. These movement difficulties may be attributed to a variety of factors, including illnesses, underlying health conditions, injuries, the natural aging process, or other contributing causes.
Physiotherapists are trained to develop customized programs specifically for each patient and their respective issues. A physiotherapy program comprises a series of treatments to retrain and strengthen muscles, improve joint mobility and flexibility, and generally aid in the overall recovery of the affected area while considering the entire body’s movement system.
Utilizing a variety of methods, physiotherapists are dedicated not only to facilitating the recovery process but also to optimizing physical performance and preventing the recurrence of injuries.
Understanding Injury Types
Let’s look at the possible scenarios where an injury may happen and physiotherapy is needed.
Active individuals who exercise, work out, or engage in sports may suffer from acute injuries in the course of being active or while playing their sport. Acute injuries happen as a result of accidents, falls, hits, sprains and other factors.
At Performance Sports & Rehab Specialists, patients who come to us seeking physiotherapy are commonly treated for acute injuries such as ankle sprains, knee injuries (e.g. patella tendinopathy), shoulder strains (e.g. rotator cuff strains), and more.
The other type of injury is known as chronic injury. This refers to pain or discomfort that develops in our body over a period of time. Typically, chronic injuries treated by our physiotherapists here include lower back pain, neck pain, plantar fasciitis, and more.
Chronic pain or injury can be caused by a variety of factors, some which may be interrelated. These include poor posture, improper movement patterns, aging, being overweight, congenital conditions, illness, and so on.
Physiotherapy for Injury Rehabilitation
As part of the recovery and rehabilitation process, the patient is prescribed customised physiotherapy exercises to strengthen muscles, improve joint mobility and flexibility, and retrain movement patterns.
Physiotherapy also plays a major role in the healing process as movement and exercise encourage cell growth and repair by circulating blood and sending healing nutrients to the injured muscles and tendons. In addition, physiotherapy helps to remove cellular debris from damaged tissues and speeds up the flow of synovial fluids that act as lubrication for the joints.
Furthermore, a physiotherapist supports the full recovery of the patient by working with them to promote safe participation in physical activities, adapt exercises to prevent injury, restore optimal function, and enhance the patient’s performance in their sport.
Preventing Injury With Physiotherapy
Beyond injury rehabilitation, physiotherapists also play a crucial role in empowering their patients to proactively prevent injuries with physiotherapy techniques.
A physiotherapist conducts body mechanics assessments and functional tests to evaluate the patient’s movement patterns. They will request patients to perform basic movement routines such as walking, squatting, stair climbing, running, and more. Following that, the physiotherapist identifies the differences in joint mobility, neuromuscular strength, motor control, and coordination that are present in the body.
Using their expertise and knowledge of body mechanics, the physiotherapist will uncover deficits or weaknesses in the patient’s movement patterns that may be affecting their daily activities or hindering patients from reaching their goal. Through further testing, they zero in on the individual muscle and joint components that require strengthening.
Following a comprehensive assessment, the physiotherapist will design a tailored program that revolves around injury preventive strategies and exercises according to the patient’s needs. The treatment stage also incorporates manual therapies ranging from soft tissue release to joint manipulation and mobilization.
A physiotherapist will also teach patients the suitable exercise routines and may provide advice on ergonomics and posture to reduce the risk of injuries. Patients learn self-management through exercises that strengthen weaknesses and enhance muscle conditioning to prevent injuries and help patients meet their wellness goals.
The Patient’s Role in Preventing Injury
Seeking treatment and guidance from a physiotherapist is just the first step. Guidance and a step-by-step physiotherapy treatment plan from a physiotherapist encourages patients to cultivate body awareness, steer clear of risky activities, and proactively manage their well-being.
Following the completion of their physiotherapy sessions, patients will gain a good understanding of body mechanics, becoming more attuned to their posture, movement patterns, and areas of vulnerability. Implementing ergonomic adjustments and making lifestyle modifications also contribute to minimizing stress and strain on the body. By heeding the advice of physiotherapists on safe and efficient movement in daily activities or sports, patients can significantly reduce the risk of sustaining injuries.
A Healthy and Injury-Free Life
A quality life free from the burden and prolonged pain from injuries is on everyone’s wish list. Remember, your partnership with a physiotherapist is not just a reactive measure for rehabilitation, but a proactive action towards optimal well-being.
With the guidance of our dedicated team of physiotherapists at Performance Sports & Rehab Specialists, we will guide you to take care of your body well, and optimize it through the right body mechanics, tailored exercise routines, and lifestyle modifications.
If you ever find yourself having pain or limitations in movement and are in need of further support, we are here to help. Together, we'll keep you on the path to a healthy, injury-free life.
The medical/health information is provided for general information and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with appropriate professionals. The use or reliance of any information contained on the site is soley at your own risk.