A common question friends and family members ask me is.. “when should I see a physiotherapist versus another health care provider.” I have heard far too many times that people believe they are not injured enough for physiotherapy or that they did not even know they could attend physiotherapy because they were never referred. The following list provides several reasons you might want to consider seeing a physio like myself!
1. Rehabilitation From Injury
This is the most common type of referral I see as a physiotherapist by far. Physiotherapists are well trained in diagnosing and treating common muscle, tendon, joint, and bony injuries. After an injury, it is appropriate to see a physiotherapist first to assess your injury and provide a treatment plan, including both passive and active care. You will be provided with education on your diagnosis, given a prognosis on how long this may affect you, given education on the tissue healing process, and if there is a need for further medical referral, we can advise you where to go to get more help.
2. Recovery From Surgery
This is another common type of referral I see as a physiotherapist, but also one that sometimes slips through the cracks. Having a competent physiotherapist on your team following surgery can be extremely helpful in your recovery. I have seen many patients several months or years after surgeries with remaining pain or mobility/strength deficits that could have been helped with earlier physiotherapy intervention. Some of these patients were either not referred for therapy or were actively told it would not be helpful for whatever reason.
A physiotherapist can provide education, accountability, and treatment to ensure you get the most out of your recovery post-operatively. If something does not go according to plan following surgery, we can also be great eyes to catch it early.
3. Mitigate New and Recurring Injuries
Do you have areas of your body you worry about injuring with certain activities or bother you consistently throughout the year? Physiotherapists can help to assess your joint mobility, muscle and tendon strength, and movement patterns to ensure you are in good physical condition for the activities you love to do.
Having problem areas treated before they are severely injured can be incredibly beneficial in keeping you moving and doing the activities you love. Injuries happen, and there is not a lot we can do to 100% prevent them but keeping your body resilient and in good condition can decrease the amount of damage done by an injury and improve the rate of recovery.
4. Alternative Form of Pain Control
Everyone experiences pain at some point in their life. Some people have pain occasionally in certain areas of their body, while others experience pain constantly, making it difficult to function in their everyday life. While pain medication can be helpful and is sometimes necessary, most people would prefer to manage their pain without a drug or injection. Physiotherapists can provide treatments such as massage, joint mobilization and manipulation, passive stretching, dry needling, and active release techniques to reduce pain. They can also provide education on different exercises and modifications to activity and posture to aid in decreasing your pain levels.
5. An Essential Member of Your Health and Wellness Team
It is common for patients to have massage therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists, etc., that they see semi-regularly to maintain their health and wellness. Variety is the spice of life, and having a group of specialists aiding you to live your best and healthiest life is awesome! A wellness check-in with a physiotherapist can help you to find areas of your body that could use a little more attention before they become larger or ongoing issues. It can also be an excellent time to address the “small” things that bother you but not enough that you would book an appointment on their own. A team of healthcare providers working together can be an excellent way to ensure you are well cared for and that nothing gets missed!
Don’t let pain or the fear of an injury stop you from enjoying your favourite activities!
If you are recovering from surgery, need help reducing pain after an injury, want to reduce your risk of future injury, or want another member of your all-star healthcare team, go no further!
Click HERE to book an appointment with our incredible Saskatoon Physiotherapist, Nick, today!