Physiotherapy has proven to be effective in the treatment and management of arthritis, diabetes, stroke and traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and a range of respiratory conditions offering those afflicted with tools and techniques to acquire and maintain an optimum level of function and pain free living.
Physiotherapy treatment can include therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, acupuncture, electrical modalities such as TENS or ultrasound, and work hardening. A physiotherapist promotes independence. Emphasis is placed on what you can do for yourself and on education to prevent future injuries or disability.
Everyone can benefit from physiotherapy whether you are living with a chronic illness, recovering from a work injury or suffering after that weekend hockey game.
When you see a physiotherapist, he or she will complete an extensive assessment that may include your health history, evaluation of pain and movement patterns, strength, joint range of motion, reflexes, sensation and cardiorespiratory status. In addition, the physiotherapist examines relevant xrays, laboratory tests, medical records and surgical notes. Based on this assessment the physiotherapist establishes a diagnosis and works in partnership with you to develop individualized goals and treatment programs.
Recent studies indicate that the most important factor in avoiding back injury may be your general physical conditioning. This suggests that regular aerobic exercise, such as walking or swimming, may provide the conditioning a back needs to stay healthy. However, a specific exercise program to mobilize and strengthen the spine can also be effective in preventing a recurrence of back pain. Strong back and stomach muscles are necessary to support your spine properly, and a physiotherapist can provide guidance on the appropriate exercises to tone and strengthen these muscles.
BENEFITS OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
Physiotherapy can make a difference in an individual’s ability to live an active, healthy lifestyle. For many seniors, disabled or chronically ill people, physiotherapy is the key to restoring and maintaining a level of physical function that permits independent living. Physiotherapy is one way to successfully push physical limitations to secure the Freedom to Function™. Physiotherapy benefits include:
Improving Joint Mobility
Improved Cardiorespiratory Function
Physiotherapy increases your independence and gives you the Freedom to Function™ in your home, workplace or your favorite leisure activity. Physiotherapy offers a range of specialized services of benefit to patients with heart and lung disease, traumatic, workplace and athletic injuries, amputations, arthritic joints, stroke, brain injury, spinal cord and nerve injury, cancer and pre- and postsurgical needs.
VALUE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
To influence change it is important that statements are supported by evidence-based data. The OPA recently undertook a large literature review that focused on four conditions that have been identified as adding to the mounting health care costs in Ontario and the role that physiotherapy can play: Falls in the Frail Elderly, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)/Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), and Stroke. The research shows that not only does physiotherapy treatment benefit the patient, but it is also a cost-effective measure that can help ensure the sustainability of the Ontario health care system.
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References: Grimmer-Somers K, Milanese S, Kumar S, Brennan C, Mifsud I. Number and frequency of physiotherapy services for motor vehicle-induced whiplash: Interrogating motor accident insurance data 2006–2009. J Rehabil Med 2012; 44: 774–780.