Physiotherapy FAQs: All You Need To Know

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From pain management to treating injuries, physiotherapy can help you in several conditions. If you are new to the treatment method, you ought to have a few questions. We have them covered here.

1. What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a treatment method that helps restore and maintain a patient’s mobility and other physical functions. Apart from a physical examination and diagnosis, the treatment also involves patient education, physical intervention, rehabilitation, and follow-up.

2. What are the conditions that can be treated by physiotherapy?

The treatment can treat acute or chronic pain due to various conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, neck pain, sciatica, etc. It is also extremely effective in treating physical impairments due to injury (including sports injury), trauma, or illness, usually due to musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrinological, or neurological issues.

Physiotherapy is beneficial in post-surgery rehabilitation. Also, many may not know that it is used to treat vertigo and manage urinary incontinence (with the help of pelvic floor exercises).

The infographic below mentions the various conditions physiotherapy can treat:

Infographic - Conditions treated by physiotherapy

3. Is physiotherapy painful?

Your physiotherapist would strive to minimise pain and discomfort during the sessions. The therapist will work within your pain threshold while ensuring the maximum benefit of the therapy.

But note that the strengthening exercises can be tough, and other techniques that may be used such as clinical massage, dry needling or electrical stimulation may cause mild discomfort. If at any point it becomes painful, let your therapist know. 

4. What can I expect during my first physiotherapy visit?

During your first consultation, your physical therapist would assess your condition by conducting a physical examination. You would also most likely fill up a standard health questionnaire to let the therapist know your medical history to carry out the assessment in a holistic manner. He/she will then formulate a treatment plan and provide you with the necessary explanation and advice to take it forward.

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5. How do I prepare myself for the consultation?

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes that permit ease of movement such as sports attire as your assessment would involve a range of mobility based tests.

Also, bring along relevant medical records such as any test reports and x-rays as applicable so that the therapist will assess your condition correctly.

6. How long does each session last?

A typical physiotherapy session would last 45 minutes, although the first consultation session might take longer, maybe up to 60 minutes. 

7. How many sessions do I need to attend?

The length of the treatment process depends on the specific issue and the respective diagnosis. For example, treating minor injuries might require only 1 or 2 sessions, while a chronic condition might need several months to be treated. After your initial assessment, your therapist will provide an insight in this regard.

8. What should I do after a session?

Be mentally prepared for the soreness that will set in after the sessions. Drink plenty of water, use ice or cold packs to relieve soreness if recommended by your physical therapist, and also remember to rest well to recover. Do the prescribed exercises at home; also, take note of any pain or discomfort to discuss with your therapist on the next appointment.

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