Choosing a physiotherapist can be challenging. You want physios who are highly trained and educated in the field they work in. It is also important that you have therapists who can provide you with education for injury prevention and lifestyle changes.
Over half of all physiotherapists in Canada are working in a community setting. These outpatient clinics treat many people each year for injuries or illnesses.
If you need help finding quality physiotherapy services near you, then keep reading on for more information.
What Is a Physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists are health care workers. They specialize in treating various diseases, illnesses, and injuries through a hands-on approach. These therapists also use different manual techniques and exercises for patients.
Through these tools, they help promote health education and wellness.
Physiotherapists do not use invasive techniques. All of the hands-on approaches and modalities are non-invasive and safe.
These techniques are not limited to hands-on assessments. They can include modalities, exercises, and at-home programs.
Physiotherapists also work in different settings. The type of clinic you choose also determines what kind of physiotherapist you will likely see. Just like doctors – it is common that there are options for physiotherapists to specialize in coming out of universities.
Inpatient physiotherapists largely work with people who are extremely debilitated or post-operative cases. These may also include specialists who work directly with oncology or neurology.
However, some inpatient clinics are designed for intensive therapy. This usually happens once someone has stabilized medically. They might help teach people basic skills such as walking, transferring, climbing stairs, or getting out of bed.
Sports medicine clinics can focus more on athletic injuries and task-specific exercises. These might include higher-performance activities used in sports. Most adults don’t need that same level of function for their day-to-day lives.
Women’s health specialists are also becoming more popular. These treatments focus on the pelvic floor, incontinence, or other concerns.
People who have experience with physiotherapy are usually from community clinics. These therapists specialize in a wide variety of ailments that the population suffers from. This can include chronic pain and illnesses.
Finally, at-home physiotherapists visit you at your house or work. They can help carry-on treatment plans from an inpatient or outpatient stay.
What Do Physiotherapists Treat?
Physiotherapists treat anything from musculoskeletal to nervous system conditions. They can be involved in post-surgical rehab or ongoing therapy for patients managing chronic diseases.
This is not a comprehensive list, but some of the more common diagnoses that physiotherapists see are:
- Low back pain
- Orthopedic injuries from MVA
- Neck pain
- Sprains or strains
- Rotator cuff injuries
A physiotherapist in an outpatient clinic should have the expertise and knowledge to deal with a variety of these ailments. Additionally, look for physiotherapists who work closely with other disciplines.
You might need additional imaging such as X-Rays or MRIs. It is often common that physiotherapists work closely with kinesiologists. A clinic that has a multi-discipline approach can give you greater peace of mind.
You will have multiple, qualified therapists working to help get you back on your feet.
Physios should have in-depth knowledge of hands-on or manual skills. When you are looking at physiotherapy options, be sure and check with the clinic or therapist on what types of techniques they use.
During the first treatment session, a skilled physio provides an initial assessment. They will look at your medical history, injury or illness, and immobility. Then, they will provide a manual assessment that may look at pain, range of motion, strength, or neurological status.
The best physios use manual techniques and thorough patient history for developing a plan of care. Once a plan of care is developed between you and your therapist, you will meet with him or her a set amount of times per week.
As you improve, your physiotherapist reassesses your plan. This determines when you can stop your sessions or cut back on treatments. They may also send you home with specific exercises that supplement your treatment plan.
Some of the common techniques that the best physios use during treatment sessions include:
- Joint mobilizations or manipulations
- Functional training
- Home education
Some of the other techniques and modalities may include dry needling or electrical stimulation.
Is physiotherapy right for you? Choosing a physiotherapist can make all the difference. Studies are also looking at how this field of therapy can benefit patient populations.
One study looked at a physiotherapist’s role in back pain. This chronic injury sits at the number one spot for disability around the world. Seeing a physiotherapist not only reduced medication use, but it also helped curb the spread of opioids.
They found that almost half of people who abused opioid prescriptions was because of back pain. Physiotherapists can indirectly help reduce the usage of opioids and the risk of overdoses.
In fact, it was found that exercises and manual treatment were some of the most effective treatment tools for managing back pain. Additionally, physicians and physiotherapists who provided education made a big difference.
This education can come in the form of postural corrections and lifestyle changes.
Choosing a Physiotherapist
Choosing a physiotherapist doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. A skilled therapist can use manual and innovative techniques for helping you with any injury, illness, or disease.
During your first assessment, you can feel comfortable asking questions and concerns to your physio. If you are suffering from debilitating injuries or symptoms, don’t wait any longer.
You can find the best physiotherapist in Abbotsford by contacting us today.