May is National Physiotherapy Month! This is an annual event celebrated in Canada every May to recognize and celebrate the important contributions of physiotherapists in promoting health, wellness, and physical rehabilitation. This year’s theme is Leading Action Toward Better Pain Management and Rehabilitation. Physiotherapists are primary health care practitioners who focus on improving and restoring movement and function to clients with various health conditions and injuries. It is a non-invasive, drug free approach that helps to reduce pain, restore function and mobility, and improve overall health and wellness. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, to improve quality of life.
So what are the benefits of physiotherapy?
- Pain relief: Physiotherapists use manual therapy (hands-on) techniques as well as exercises (motion is medicine) and modalities such as heat, ice or ultrasound to reduce pain.
- Improved mobility: Physiotherapists can help improve mobility, flexibility, and range of motion, making it easier to perform activities of daily living.
- Improved strength and endurance: Physiotherapists can help improve overall performance by assisting clients with injury specific exercises.
- Improved balance and coordination: Physiotherapists can help reduce the risk of falls and provide clients with greater independence.
- Prevention of future injuries: Physiotherapists can help reduce the risk of future injuries by addressing muscle weakness and imbalances.
Physiotherapists perform detailed assessments to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a wide range of physical injuries. They use various techniques such as manual therapy (mobilizations and manipulation), education, postural restoration and stability exercises, strength and balance retraining, and modalities to assist clients to achieve their functional goals. Physiotherapists treat not only musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures, but we also treat and manage neurological conditions, sports injuries and provide post-surgical rehabilitation.
As I write this month’s blog I can’t help but reflect on my 23 year career as a physiotherapist. I always knew I wanted to work with people; I would never have been happy sitting at a desk all day. And the one-on-one contact with patients appealed to me, a social introvert. I have the opportunity to build rapport and a relationship of trust and mutual respect with patients and really get to know them and their families who they often refer. Patients come to me when they are vulnerable, fearful and uncertain, and I have the privilege of guiding them from a place of pain and dis-ease to a place of pain free living and possibility.
Every patient who comes to me is unique. They have injuries and pain unique to them; they share their private and not so private goals for pain free living and life in general. I have been called a “therapist” by too many to count over the years. But it is truly an honour to listen to your story, to hold your hand when the tears of pain or life overwhelm you, to share in your joy as you begin to move with ease and to be there for the beautiful life moments you choose to share with me. These are the reasons I love what I do. My patients are the reason. And if a physiotherapist has helped to make a difference in your life, I’d love to hear about it. Please email Sara with your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Maryann Fabrizio, PT