What physiotherapists do
Physiotherapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and well-being, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle.
At the core is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.
You can benefit from physiotherapy at any time in your life. Physiotherapy helps with back pain or sudden injury, managing long-term medical condition such as asthma, and in preparing for childbirth or a sporting event.
Physiotherapy is a degree-based healthcare profession. Physios use their knowledge and skills to improve a range of conditions associated with different systems of the body, such as:
- Neurological (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s)
- Neuromusculoskeletal (back pain, whiplash associated disorder, sports injuries, arthritis)
- Cardiovascular (chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack)
- Respiratory (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis).
Physiotherapists work in a variety of specialisms in health and social care. Additionally, some physiotherapists are involved in education, research and service management.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy work wells for managing back pain. If you see a physiotherapist quickly, this can not only speed up recovery but also prevent the problem happening again.
A physio will first check out if you have a serious health problem that may be connected to your back pain. They will then find the reason for your back pain and look at ways to help prevent further problems.
Physios offer a range of treatments that have proven to be effective with back pain. These include manual treatments, and acupuncture. Your physio will also advise you on appropriate exercise and pain relief.
Physios are the third largest health profession after doctors and nurses. They work in the NHS, in private practice, for charities and in the work-place, through occupational health schemes.
What will happen when I see a physiotherapist?
When you see a physio, they will assess your problem and give you advice. They may give you a physical treatment. Everything you tell the physio will be completely confidential.
So that your physio can have a good look at your back and possibly feel your spine, they may need you to remove some clothes. It’s a good idea to dress comfortably and wear suitable underwear.
How can I help myself?
There is a lot you can do to help yourself. Continuing with your usual work and activities, as much as possible, can help your back pain.
There are exercises that can reduce your back pain and help to prevent it returning. The right sort of exercise, as advised by a physiotherapist, can make a big difference.
Research has shown lower back pain may return if it is ignored. Lifestyle changes, such as being more active and improving your posture, are important.