We know that it’s best to see our dentist at least once a year for a clean and a check-up, even if our teeth aren’t hurting and we don’t have a cavity. We go to see our optometrist every year to check our eyes, even when we can see just fine. We go to our doctor for our annual checkup, even when we aren’t sneezing.
So why don’t we see our physios for a checkup too?
The reason why we get checkups every year is because we understand that a checkup from a trained professional can identify an issue early before it becomes a bigger problem. We can then work with them to address any concerns that come up, and focus on finding helpful solutions so that we can enjoy living with optimal health.
Seeing a physio to get a ‘checkup’ is no different. A physiotherapist is trained in anatomy and physiology and has a great understanding of injury prevention and healthy movement. An assessment with a physiotherapist involves an examination to determine your range of motion, flexibility, and strength. They will help you to identify any areas of discomfort or pain and identify your baseline of functioning. Your physiotherapist will also ask you about your goals, concerns, and priorities. Then they will work with you to address any concerns and assist you to reach your goals.
What are the benefits of physiotherapy?
Seeing a physiotherapist is individualised, and you might still be able to go with a list of goals or concerns that you would like to discuss. For example, some people might be focused on sports injury prevention, while others would like advice on posture.
Here are some of the most common benefits of seeing a physiotherapist:
Strength and conditioning support
A physiotherapist can assist clients with strength and conditioning exercises. These focus on building strength and improving the endurance of our muscles. Some people may assume that this type of targeted exercise is only useful for a passionate bodybuilder, but that’s not the case! A physiotherapist can assess your daily activities and fitness or wellbeing goals and provide specific recommendations for the best muscle groups to target.
Strength and conditioning training done under the supervision of a physiotherapist can:
– assist you to use your muscles as effectively as possible, reducing pain and discomfort from muscle overuse and even helping to avoid common strain injuries.
– improve your bone density and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
– improve your cardiovascular health.
– improve your mental health.
– speeds up your metabolism, leading to weight loss.
If you aren’t sure which areas you would want to target or improve, there’s no need to worry. Your physiotherapist can perform a physical assessment, ask questions about your lifestyle and activity levels, and identify strength and conditioning strategies that will be of the most benefit for you.
Many people are aware of the risk of falls as we get older. In fact, a third of older Australians have experienced a fall in the last year. This is an increasingly concerning phenomenon, with falls leading the way as the number 1 cause of hospitalisations due to injuries.
The upside is that fall risk increases with age due to a range of factors, and many of them are preventable. This includes difficulty balancing and muscle weakness.
When a physiotherapist performs an assessment and a person begins strength and conditioning training, falls can reduce by as much as 34%.
Early identification and management of problems
How many times have you woken up with a twinge in your neck? Or lifted a heavy box and felt that familiar pain in your back? How often do you sit at your desk and ignore your neck and shoulder pain, or push through the discomfort you feel when you are playing sport and that old injury starts to bother you again?
We live busy lives and it can be easy to ignore chronic concerns until they become acute, when we suddenly wake up in terrible pain and are forced to head down to our local physio ASAP to fix the irritated joint or muscle that has finally become an urgent problem.
The thing is, these troubles are often brought about by months or even years of incorrect posture, using incorrect lifting techniques or incorrect form when exercising.
Just as a dentist can give you advice and address problems in your teeth before they become cavities, a physiotherapist can assess your range of motion and identify unhealthy habits, postures or movements that could be causing problems for you. Once you have identified these underlying concerns, you can address them before they ruin your day – or your grand final.
Just as physiotherapists can help identify and fix chronic conditions or aches and pains early before they become acute pain, a physiotherapist can support you to prevent injuries from occurring. They say prevention is better than a cure, and this is definitely no exception!
As well as avoiding pain, discomfort, and recovery time, avoiding injuries can also reduce your risk of developing compilations later in life. An injury to a joint can increase a person’s likelihood of developing arthritis in that same joint later in life.
So how does a physiotherapist do that?
Physiotherapists are highly trained and work with a multitude of clients, so they have a good understanding of the most common injuries and their causes. If you say you work in an office all day and then go and play netball, they can take a good guess about what injuries are most likely to affect you, and provide you with strategies and tools to reduce the risk of that injury occurring.
They can also use strength and conditioning training to improve your agility and range of motion, as well as reinforce the strength of joints. This reduces the risk of injury occurring.
How Physionorth can help
Here at Physionorth, our friendly physiotherapists are happy to consult with you and take pride in helping you to function at your best.
When you book a consultation with us, you can be confident that you’ll be receiving the best advice and empathetic care that we can provide. We approach physiotherapy holistically, and examine the underlying causes of any concerns you have. We are dedicated to helping you live pain-free.
Don’t wait until it’s urgent – book now.
All information is general in nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Physionorth can consult with you to confirm if this advice is right for you.