Physiotherapy is a treatment that aims to improve the way your joints and muscles work. It can help to maximise your movement, flexibility, coordination and strength, and to optimise your body’s normal functioning and physical ability. Here at Core Physio, Physiotherapy is used to help people recover from illnesses and injuries, and to help treat long-term health conditions and disabilities.
What does a physiotherapist do?
A physiotherapist at Core Physio is a health professional who specialises in maintaining and improving movement and mobility. Your physiotherapist will discuss your care with you before carrying out any treatment. They will carry out a thorough examination to understand how best to help you. Your care may be different from what we describe here as it will be designed to meet your personal needs. This information explains what physiotherapists do, some of the techniques they use and answers to some frequently asked questions about physiotherapy.
How can physiotherapy help me?
Physiotherapy can help to treat a wide range of conditions including:
acute injuries or pain (pain that starts suddenly, for example, because of a fall) in your muscles, bones and joints, such as back pain, neck pain or knee injuries
chronic (long-term) musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis
conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke or multiple sclerosis (MS), which affect your nervous system
recovery after stroke, bed rest or surgery
Our Physiotherapy tends to be a combination of ‘hands-on’ care, supervised exercises within our rehab centres, advice and education. Our physiotherapist may coach you through exercises that you can then do yourself at home or with some support. Physiotherapy is also sometimes called physical therapy.
How can I find a physiotherapist?
Your GP may refer you to an NHS physiotherapist or you may be able to refer yourself directly (self-referral). You can ask for information about this at your GP surgery. Alternatively, you may wish to book to see a private physiotherapist. If you have private health insurance, contact your insurer as they should be able to refer you quickly to a physiotherapist in your area.
Make sure your physiotherapist is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This means they have completed approved standards of training and follow the HCPC rules of professional conduct.
What are the different types of physiotherapy?
Your physiotherapist will ask about your symptoms and examine you. Working with you, they’ll create a treatment programme that will be most helpful for you. This may include advice and information, exercises for you to do and manual therapy. They will aim to treat and ease your symptoms, and to look at and solve any factors that may have contributed to the problem. This will also help prevent the problem from happening again.
The exercises or techniques your physiotherapist suggests will depend on why you’re having physiotherapy. There are a number of different techniques they may use. The ones explained below may be used at clinic appointments (out-patient physiotherapy).
As with every procedure, there are some risks associated with physiotherapy. We have not included the chance of these happening as they are specific to you and the treatment you’re having. Ask your physiotherapist to explain the risks that apply to you.
If you have stiff joints, these exercises (also called range of motion exercises) can help to increase your flexibility. Mobility exercises may help you to get your movement back after a stroke or a long period of bed rest, for example. Your physiotherapy sessions might involve you doing exercises and stretches by yourself or with the physical support of your physiotherapist.
Strength exercises are a relevant part of treatment for any area of the body that has lost strength because of pain, injury or lack of use. These exercises may help prevent injury from happening again by supporting and protecting the bone, joints, ligaments and tendons. For example, you might do these types of exercises after an ankle sprain or dislocating your shoulder. Or you might do core stability exercises to strengthen your abdominal (tummy) and back muscles to help protect your spine from injury. Exercises might also include resistance training (moving your muscles against some kind of force). For example, your physiotherapist may ask you to use stretchy bands, weights or your own body weight.
During manipulation, your physiotherapist moves or puts pressure on a precise area of your body, such as your back, to loosen it. They may use increasing pressure or a sudden controlled push for this. Back manipulation is safe and can be effective at reducing back pain and improving mobility. It’s important that it’s carried out by an appropriately trained physiotherapist who can assess when it will be a helpful treatment to use.
Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that typically involves inserting fine needles into your skin at defined points. Your physiotherapist may use it with other types of physiotherapy to help relieve pain.
Dry needling (often called western or medical acupuncture) is a technique involving needles but is different from acupuncture. Acupuncture and dry needling have differences in their philosophy, where the needles are placed and how the treatments are practised.
In dry needling, needles are placed into specific points of your muscles in order to treat pain and tightness and to improve movement.
Electrotherapy is a general term for therapies that use low-level electrical energy to reduce your pain and encourage healing. It can be used in combination with other types of physiotherapy. For example, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses a low-level electric pulse to relieve your pain. This usually feels like a tingle.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are looking to book an appointment with a Physiotherapist you can call our team on 0800 054 6430 or even book online at www.core-physio.org
Our clinics in Hamilton, Bothwell and Glasgow are all registered with major health insurance providers including BUPA, AXA and AVIVA.