As one of the fastest growing professions in the US health sector, physiotherapy (also commonly referred to as physical therapy) is now a staple health practice for millions of people—and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Now covered by most health insurance extras policies and offering a wide range of health benefits for patients, it one health practice that’s here to stay.
Here are just some of the reasons why so many people are incorporating regular physiotherapy activity into their health regimes.
- Rehabilitation following injury
Possibly the most well-known benefit of physiotherapy is its role aiding rehabilitation following an injury. Whether it’s used to treat ankle or wrist sprains, stress fractures, cartilage or ligament injuries in the knees, calf, quadriceps or hamstring tears or shoulder dislocation, physiotherapy is almost always recommended as part of any injury rehabilitation program.
The importance of physiotherapy aiding rehabilitation following injury is something which is echoed in this article published by South University—because of its role helping patients rebuild strength and movement in specific areas of their body, providing better management of pain and preventing permanent damage and recurring problems, physical therapy is considered crucial to sports injury recovery.
- Improved performance
The benefits of physiotherapy also extend to improved sporting performance. While the main goal of physiotherapy is usually to reduce pain and stiffness and speed up the healing process, it can also be used to improve strength, mobility, balance and function.
According to Physiotherapy New Zealand, by undertaking a screening assessment, developing an individual performance plan to address any weaknesses, adopting activity-specific exercises to improve efficiency of movement patterns, improving core stability and breathing control, undergoing biomechanical screening to identify any faulty movement patterns or even conducting video analysis of activity or movements, physiotherapy could make a valuable contribution to enhancing performance.
- Better manage various health conditions
Physiotherapy can also be highly beneficial in the treatment or management of a range of chronic and other health conditions.
According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, physiotherapy can be helpful in managing health conditions including ankylosing spondytilis (a painful inflammatory rheumatic condition associated with swelling in the spine), arthritis, bowel, bladder and pelvic issues, diabetes, dizziness and vertigo, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, burn injuries and even acquired brain injuries.
Physiotherapy has also been shown to be particularly helpful in speeding up recovery following stroke, with numerous studies finding that more intense physiotherapy treatment is associated with an enhanced rate of recovery.
- Injury prevention
The role of physiotherapy in the prevention of injury is also often undervalued. With their intimate knowledge of the structure of the human body and its movement, physiotherapists can apply a range of proactive techniques to prevent injury before it occurs.
By developing specially tailored programmes based around sports-specific conditioning and strength and flexibility training, they can effectively reduce the likelihood of injury occurring in a wide range of scenarios. For example, in a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine which investigated how supervision by a doctor and physiotherapist impacted the occurrence of soccer injuries, it was found that soccer teams who received correction and supervision from a doctor and physiotherapist over a period of six months experienced 75% fewer injuries (such as sprains and strains to ankles and knees) than team that didn’t receive the same care.
With so many applications and benefits on offer, it’s likely we’ll continue to see the popularity of physiotherapy continue to grow well into the future.