WHEN DOES PHYSIOTHERAPY WORK FOR YOU, AND WHEN IT DOESN’T
It is heartening to know that more and more people are aware of Physiotherapy profession and trusting us to help them improve their health. However, some people didn’t feel that they get significant improvement with physiotherapy, and may think that physiotherapy is not for them. But actually based on our years of clinical experience, there are several key factors that determine whether or not anyone can see a significant improvement with physiotherapy.
Mindset towards own health
There are many people have lasting pain, but not all of us taking personal responsibility towards our own body, and health. Some are not committed towards exercises prescribed by physiotherapist, while some others are just looking for short term relief of symptoms and not willing to work harder in changing unhealthy habits. Some people are wanting magical relief in a few sessions but when they don’t experience their expected outcome, they just go and seek help from other professionals instead of giving feedback to the current Physiotherapist and work together to achieve the goals.
In fact the best relationship between physiotherapist and client is similar to that between coach and athlete. Both parties need to work hand in hand together to ensure excellent outcomes are realized.
Complexity of the existing condition
If there are existing significant health issues that hinders body function, problems from one system or one body part may affect other systems. For example, some bony degenerations can’t be reversed, altering how the joints can move around. Sometimes, in systemic diseases, cancer or autoimmune disorder, one must be able to understand the complexity of the symptoms.
Therefore please inform the attending physiotherapist all your past and present health issues, and the physiotherapist will need to take all health issues into consideration and evaluate how one issue affect the others, and to what extend all the issues can be solved.
Time commitment towards recovery
Living in a fast-paced society, all of us hope to get quick and good recovery or pain relief when we are injured. However healing of the body happens gradually, thus we need to be patient to nurse the body back to optimal recovery, instead of rushing back to normal performance when the body is not yet ready. The danger of premature return to high performance, is higher risk of re-injury, or new injuries.
Furthermore, most of the chronic pain conditions are linked to unhealthy body usage habits. Without committed time to practice changing the habits, the problems remain and any improvement from physiotherapy may only last for a short period.
Therefore we should take the healing process seriously and do all exercises as guided by the physiotherapist, to ensure a smooth and optimal recovery.
Dealing with symptoms or root problems
Sometimes the area with discomfort coincide with the actual injury, while other times the source of injury may not be at the location where we feel the symptoms. For chronic conditions, the root problem usually is due to imbalance in the muscle system and involves multiple structures. Thus if we only aim for symptom relief, the improvement in the long run may be minimal.
The better approach is always to consider our body as a holistic entity, and identify both the source of present symptoms as well as the root problems. Address the issues from the root and restore the integrative balance of our body.
Improper posture and movement habits
Imagine what will happen to a high-performance race car if one of the wheel is out of alignment with the rest of the wheels. Small issue initially can lead to multiple serious breakdowns in the long run. Likewise our body is also been optimized to perform tasks in certain ways, we need to pay attention to our posture, the way we sit, stand, lie down and walk, all of these has a great impact on our musculoskeletal system. When we developed unhealthy postural habits, and not even aware of it, then we may suffer from pain and strain and we don’t know why it happens.
Working with your physiotherapist, learn how best to utilize your body, and practice the exercises designed to restore integrative balance is the best way to get rid of your nagging pain for good!
Approach of your physiotherapist
Physiotherapy is a growing profession globally, new knowledge about the human body has been discovered and tested around the globe. Physiotherapists from different institutes and different culture all have the same basic knowledge and skills, but the clinical practice may have different emphases.
When you engage a physiotherapist to help you in recovery, it is important to get a clear understanding of the approach and the reasons, so that you can work closely with your physiotherapist. If you are not able to improve despite a period of therapy, it is appropriate to seek second opinion from another physiotherapist.
In summary, in order to make the best out of the physiotherapy treatment, you need to be committed to work hand-in-hand with your physiotherapist, let your physiotherapist understand all of your health issues,learn with right ways to use your body, and work consistenly to address the root problems. We wish you a speedy and complete recovery!