What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is also called physical therapy. It is the scientific study of how and why the body moves and functions the way that is does. Physiotherapy involves treating any dysfunction that prevents the body from moving or functioning in its most optimal way. Sometimes these dysfunctions result in decreased range of motion, decreased strength or pain with movement.
Physiotherapy is performed by physiotherapists. Physiotherapists are highly trained qualified professionals and are considered movement specialists and experts in their field. In order to work in Alberta, physiotherapists must complete a university degree in physiotherapy and pass the national licensing exam. Physiotherapists use scientific evidence and a safe hands-on approach to help restore your body to its full function. As physiotherapists, we identify the cause of a dysfunction by a thorough assessment that includes history-taking and physical examination. Once the cause of the dysfunction has been identified, we then advise the patient of the findings and develop a treatment plan to help restore the patient back to full function and achieve an improved quality of life.
What do physiotherapists treat?
Physiotherapists treat both acute and chronic conditions that may restrict your body from optimum function. These conditions can include:
Orthopaedic injuries such as those to bone, joint, muscle and ligaments.
Chronic conditions such as back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and headaches.
Injuries sustained at work (WCB) or from a motor vehicle accident eg. whiplash.
Vestibular dysfunction such as vertigo, dizziness and imbalance.
Post-surgical repairs and rehabilitation.
What can a physiotherapy treatment include?
Most importantly, physiotherapy includes education for the patient regarding the diagnosis and treatment plan required to restore optimal movement and function. Health promotion and prevention of future injury and dysfunction is key in the rehabilitation process.
If it is determined at the assessment that the movement dysfunction is due to a soft tissue or joint restriction, then manual therapy techniques including spinal and peripheral joint manipulation and mobilization, massage, dry needling trigger point release, frictioning and active release techniques may be utilized.
If there is a neuropathic origin to the condition then intramuscular stimulation (IMS) or acupuncture needling may be performed.
Modalities such as electrotherapeutic agents may be used to aid in controlling inflammation, swelling and pain.
Spinal decompression (mechanical traction) can be applied to provide pain relief and increase space within the spinal or neural canals.
An active therapeutic exercise program may be personalized and provided in order to promote and more importantly maintain optimal movement patterns.
Prescription and provision of custom or off the shelf bracing may be beneficial for some patients.
Beaumont Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic has been serving the Beaumont community for 26 years. For more information or to book an appointment please call (780)929-5217.