Just 19 minutes of physical activity per day is required to facilitate rehabilitation after an injury. Even for the moderately injured, engaging in 19 minutes of physical activity per day seems a manageable suggestion, right? However, in order for the physical activity to be beneficial, it is crucial that the activity is designed and managed by a professional physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists utilise their scientific knowledge of the neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, to design a course of physical treatment and lifestyle recommendations that will improve the overall health of their clients. Because every client’s needs are different, so too are their physio plans. As such, physiotherapy is a truly bespoke medical service.

Physiotherapists tend to specialise in certain areas. However, as an industry, physio’s can assist with a wide variety of different ailments and conditions, from injury rehabilitation to dementia care to managing cystic fibrosis. Thankfully, locating the right physiotherapist need not be a difficult task, as online physio directories offer an opportunity for individuals to search for an appropriate physiotherapist quickly and easily. So, what do you imagine when you think of the word physio? For those who have tried physio before, the impression is likely to be a positive one. However, those who haven’t tried physiotherapy might be quite unsure about what to think or expect from this treatment.

Admittedly, some of the more cautious amongst us tend to imagine a physiotherapist to be an over-enthusiastic masseuse, intent on karate-chopping legs and digging thumbs into sore joints. However, physio is way more than just massage; physio is a multi-layered treatment informed by evidence-based science. With that in mind, here are 4 fantastic features of physio to flex your eyes upon.

  1. Physio takes a holistic approach to improving health

The most frequently celebrated principle of physiotherapy is that it adopts a holistic approach towards managing and improving physical health. For example, a physio will consider all ways (social, biological, occupational) that an individual’s lifestyle may be impacting on their health.

To take the example of chronic back pain, a physio would be interested in finding out about a patient’s height and weight, posture, occupational obligations and hazards, previous injuries and any relevant genetic conditions. These multiple insights would be used to design a health plan for managing the back pain and also preventing it in the future.

  1. Physio can prevent, or at least reduce, the need for medicine

This important point follows on from the previous one. Because physiotherapy relies on a holistic model for treating health, it differs from the more traditional, bio-medical model of health management, which predominantly treats illness by administering medical prescription drugs.

Seeing as many physio’s help their patients manage pain, physiotherapy can dramatically reduce a client’s reliance on painkillers and other pain management drugs. Given the recent association found between certain painkillers and an increased risk of heart disease, it seems that physiotherapy is able to offer a safer, natural alternative to managing pain.

  1. Physio can be a useful treatment at all stages of the lifespan

There is no risk of age discrimination when it comes to physio; physio is suitable for the young, the elderly, and everyone in between. For example, physio can be used early on, to help control the symptoms of cystic fibrosis and asthma in children. Further, into the lifespan, physio then helps women in pregnancy to manage urinary incontinence, as well as associated problems, post pregnancy.

Finally, moving further along the lifespan, physio is incredibly useful for helping frailer individuals to increase muscle strength and become more resilient to falls. Also, physio can be very useful for managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and helping with rehabilitation after a stroke. Seeing as most of us are likely to visit a physiotherapist at some point in our lives, it is useful to be aware of the multitude ways that physiotherapy can positively impact upon our health.

  1. Chartered Physiotherapists are regulated by the HCPC

Physiotherapy is a degree profession, so a professional physio will have completed adequate theoretical and practical training to be able to offer an effective and results-oriented service. A bonafide physiotherapist will be a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and will also be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Indeed, many clients will choose a physio over an ‘alternative therapist’ ‘massage therapist’ or ‘sports therapist’ because the HCPC regulation acts as the ribbon of approval that other non-regulated therapeutic industries do lack. Moreover, any therapist registered with the HCPC is compelled to commit to continuing their professional development, so this ensures that physio’s are able to offer the most up-to date, evidence based interventions to improve health outcomes.

With 7 out of 10 of us requiring a prolonged session of pain management at some point in our lives, pain management is definitely on the health services’ agenda. Physiotherapy proves itself to be an effective treatment for managing pain, not only because it reduces the need for medicinal drugs, but because the holistic nature of the treatment encourages overall health benefits.

Indeed, it is these overall health improvements which should encourage the resilience and strength needed to prevent further pain from occurring in the future. With these fantastic, four features in mind, will you be opting for physio or paracetamol

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