Physiotherapists (also called Physical Therapists) work within the health care system to improve many different physical problems associated with musculoskeletal (soft tissues, bones and joints), cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
If you’re experiencing common age-related conditions like back pain, joint pain, and arthritic conditions, consider exploring the benefits of Brisbane physiotherapy. The specialized care they provide can successfully treat these issues, potentially eliminating the need for surgeries and other invasive medical procedures. Physiotherapy can also help wean people off pain medication and reduce side effects.
Back pain is one of the most common ailments that physiotherapy can effectively treat. It affects up to 80% of people at some point in their lives. This may stop them from participating in their hobbies, hinder their ability to work, and keep them up at night.
The good news is that most cases of back pain can be treated with physiotherapy and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, if symptoms of weakness or numbness are present, it is important to seek professional guidance from a physiotherapist as soon as possible.
Physiotherapy treatments for back pain can include manual therapy, in which the therapist manipulates and mobilizes stiff joints in the spine. They can also use TENS, in which electrodes are placed on the skin to reduce pain and provide a soothing sensation. They can even use dry needling and medical acupuncture, which involve inserting needles into specific body points to reduce pain.
Neck pain is a common condition that affects men and women of all ages. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, including muscle or ligament strains, arthritis, pinched nerves or trauma. It is important to treat neck pain immediately to prevent it from getting worse and causing more serious complications.
The neck supports the head and is made up of 7 square-shaped bones (cervical vertebrae) stacked one on top of the other. It is bound together by 2 facet joints and a disc, and supported by muscles.
As we age, normal wear and tear can cause the spinal disks to flatten out and narrow the space between the vertebrae. This is called cervical spondylosis and can lead to stiffness, soreness and loss of mobility. Over time, this can also put pressure on the nerves that travel to the rest of the body.
Joint pain is a common problem that affects the bones, ligaments and tendons that connect and support your body. It can cause a lot of discomfort and limit movement. Physiotherapy can help relieve the pain and get you back to moving normally again.
Doctors use a careful history and physical examination to determine the source of joint pain. This includes whether it’s mild or severe, and if there are any warning signs.
They also check for tenderness in the area, swelling and the location of the pain — whether it’s localized at a joint line or more diffuse. Then, they decide if it’s an arthritic problem (eg, osteoarthritis) or other diseases (eg, rheumatoid arthritis). They may draw fluid from the joint for testing and then treat with medication, ice or heat, exercise and physiotherapy. They might suggest surgery if it’s serious or doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes fragile, porous bones. It increases your risk of breaking a bone (fracture). It most often affects the hips, spine and wrists. In some people, osteoporotic bone fractures can cause pain and result in a hunched or stooped posture.
Everyone loses some bone density as they grow older, but in people with osteoporosis the bone loss happens faster. Women are more likely to have osteoporosis than men because they experience faster bone loss at the time of menopause and have smaller, thinner bones to begin with.
Physiotherapy can reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoporosis. Doctors may also prescribe medications, such as bisphosphonates (such as Fosamax), raloxifene (Evista) and calcitonin (Calcimar). These drugs slow or reverse bone loss and decrease your risk of a fracture. Getting regular exercise can also help keep your bones strong.
Wear and tear from age or conditions like osteoarthritis take a toll on your body’s joints. If the condition becomes severe, joint replacement surgery may be required.
Physiotherapy can help manage the pain and discomfort associated with this procedure. It can also strengthen the muscles around the joints, allowing for improved mobility.
Postoperative pain is common following joint replacement surgery, but physiotherapy has been shown to significantly reduce this pain. This is achieved through a series of progressive exercise therapy techniques that promote circulation and break down adhesions in the tissue, which can slow down healing.
Physiotherapy can also help improve the longevity of your replacement joints. This is important, as it will decrease the likelihood of further damage and improve overall life expectancy. This is especially true in cases of total hip and knee replacements.
ALS is a disease that gradually destroys nerve cells called motor neurons, which send signals from the brain to the spinal cord and then to muscles throughout the body. The muscles that control breathing, movement, and speech gradually weaken. There’s no cure for ALS at this time.
Some people with ALS develop problems with decision-making and language, and may eventually need a feeding tube to meet nutritional needs. They are also prone to aspirating saliva, liquids, or food into their lungs, which can cause pneumonia.
Symptoms include weakness in the arms or legs, muscle cramping and twitching, and difficulty swallowing and speaking. It’s not clear what causes ALS, but it’s believed to be the result of mitochondrial dysfunction, immune system over-activity, glutamate toxicity and toxic exposures. Physiotherapy can help manage the pain and discomfort of ALS symptoms.
Arthritis is a disease that develops as cartilage in joints breaks down, leading to pain, swelling and limiting movement. It is the most common chronic joint condition, affecting everyone at some point in life.
Symptoms of arthritis vary from person to person and can change from day to day. They can range from mild to severe, and include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, heat or loss of motion in affected joints.
Physiotherapy can help with many different types of arthritis by managing pain and improving strength, balance and mobility. In some cases, therapists may recommend surgery or injections to treat the condition. Physiotherapy can also assist with recovery after surgery or joint replacement.
Other conditions a physiotherapist can help with include:
Cerebral palsy, or CP, is caused by damage to the brain, typically before or during birth. It’s the most common cause of motor disabilities in children. It can lead to problems with posture, movement and muscle tone. It can also affect hearing, vision and speech.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy can include trouble walking, unsteady movements and a lack of balance. It can also make it difficult to swallow or chew. It can be classified as hemiplegia (one side of the body), diplegia (2 limbs), monoplegia (1 limb) or quadriplegia (4 limbs).
There is no cure for CP, but treatments can improve a person’s symptoms and help them live more independently. These treatments can include physical and occupational therapy. These therapies focus on reducing muscle stiffness and improving balance, strength and coordination. They can also help improve cognitive ability and manage secondary conditions.
Dizziness can be a sign of an underlying health condition, like low blood pressure or anxiety disorders. You can also experience dizziness from a variety of inner ear issues like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vestibular migraines.
The inner ear contains motion sensors that send information about your head and body’s position to the brain. These signals are compared to your sensory and visual cues to determine what position you are in. A mismatch between the signals can cause you to feel dizzy.
Dizziness can be a side effect of medications and can also occur if you’re dehydrated or have a high fever. It can also be a symptom of heart problems, like gummed up blood vessels or a stroke. Seek emergency care if you have sudden, severe or recurrent dizziness. Untreated dizziness can lead to fainting, falls and serious injuries.
Playing sports is a great way to get exercise, but it can also lead to injuries. Physiotherapy can help treat these injuries and improve performance.
Physiotherapy can involve massage, joint mobilisation, exercises, acupuncture and other techniques to reduce pain and improve mobility. Physiotherapists can also treat neurological conditions, such as dizziness and vertigo, and cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.
Sports injuries can be divided into two broad categories, acute and chronic. Acute injuries happen suddenly, such as when you fall or receive a blow. Examples include fractures, sprains and dislocations. Chronic injuries develop over time, such as runner’s knee, jumper’s knee and shin splints. They can be caused by repetitive movements or poor technique. Symptoms of these injuries can include pain when you move the area, swelling and tenderness. A physical exam can confirm a diagnosis.