What is Physiotherapy? It is literally ‘physical therapy’ – a therapy focused on the physical aspects of life, i.e. movement and function. These basic features of life are often affected by injury, illness or disability, and they don’t have to involve significant trauma to make a big impact on a person’s life.
Physiotherapy identifies the true cause of your problem, be that your environment (like a poor desk posture) your movement (for example tall people having to stoop their whole lives!) or your function (is your body and all its components working in harmony, or is there a weak link somewhere?).
The assessment is both active and passive: your physio will ask you to move in various ways related to your problem, perhaps performing a movement or series of movements so they can determine what is contributing to your pain or discomfort. There will also be a ‘passive’ assessment, where your physio will assess by touch, or ask you to relax while they move your limbs without your active involvement.
The treatment you receive will depend on your unique situation. You may have massage or acupuncture to release and relieve tensions, and usually you will be given ‘self management tools’ – stretches and exercises to progress your condition towards a resolution.
Again these depend on you – is your goal just to be pain-free? Run a marathon? To be able to put your socks on?
Nobody who comes to Arcadia will be given exactly the same solution as someone else, because everyone is an individual.
‘Hands-on therapy’ is done through a wide range of techniques, such as joint mobilisation, massage, assisted stretching and medical acupuncture, to name just a few.
What’s the difference between Physiotherapy, Osteopathy and Chiropractice? Find out about their histories, their concepts and how they are overlapping in modern therapy.
“Physiotherapists are not going to lie you on the plinth (massage bed) and just treat you, though of course in private clinics there is an enthusiasm to get ‘hands on’ and ease patients’ pain and restrictions. There is a strong emphasis on self-management and long-term recovery, and though there is a reputation for physios to “just give a sheet of exercises”, it should be clearly explained that rehabilitation is a process that needs to happen all the time, not just in the hour you are seeing your physio…”
“Despite the knee being ‘just’ a hinge joint, at the mercy of the huge muscles of the thigh and calf, it is still amazingly complex, and there are a huge number of intricate structures that work silently in the background along with the obvious big movers. Here’s an introduction to just a few of my favourites that may help you appreciate the wonder of the inner knee!”
“Arguably the most important function of the Serratus Anterior is scapular stabilisation. If it is strong and functioning well, it holds the shoulder blade (the Scapula) flat to your back throughout its various movements, providing a stable base from which your hand can perform all the myriad tasks we want it to. Like nun-chucks for ninjas. Or getting chocolate off the ‘sin’ shelf without rustling when nobody’s looking. Like all shoulder muscles, it rarely acts alone, and is supposed to work in harmony with the rest of the shoulder movers…”