Physiotherapy is a health profession that helps people maintain, restore and improve their physical wellbeing. Physiotherapists are experts in helping people affected by injury, illness or disability.
In private practice physiotherapists often treat a range of conditions using a variety of therapies. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common conditions physios treat and the therapies they use to do so
Every Physio Is Different
I would just like to start by saying every physio is different. Each physiotherapist finds their own style, their own personal interests in specific areas of physiotherapy, specific therapies, conditions, or area of the body that they focus on. For example, some physio’s find a particular interest in upper extremity conditions, why some take an interest in the lower extremity.
Some physio’s find the complexity of the foot interesting, and its importance to the rest of the body. Some physios find a sport, like running or tennis, and treat a large cohort of runners or tennis players.
Additionally, there are physiotherapists that prefer a more hands-on approach and others quickly more on the more exercise-based approach. Some of the old school, some of the new school. Some read a lot of research, some not so much. Some are in the middle.
So, while this blog post will give you a general overview of some common physiotherapy treatments, it is by no means an exhaustive list.
Another point about physiotherapy is that is it known as an autonomous profession – meaning physiotherapists act within codes of professionalism but they can exercise a degree of freedom and autonomy within professionalism to consider their patient’s needs, their own judgment, and expertise.
Also, another thing is physios often work with other professionals – GP, consultants, occupational therapy, speech and language therapies, neurologists, radiologists, surgeons, and the list goes on. They consult together, share knowledge and come up with treatment plans together.
I believe, as a physiotherapist, it is very important to be open-minded, and willing to explore new options with clients – because everyone is different, and new is exciting, also be adapting.
Low Back Pain
One of the most common conditions physios treat in private practice is back pain. Back pain can be caused by a number of things such as muscle strains or spasms, ligament sprains, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis.
Physios treat mid-back pain a lot as it is often a symptom seen during pregnancy, and in those who work at a desk and also amongst teenagers due to prolonged sitting.
Another common condition that physiotherapists treat is knee pain. Knee pain can be caused by a number of things such as ligament tears, cartilage damage, and meniscal tears.
Knee pain is particularly common among recreational runners, and hence the nickname ‘runner’s knee’ for patellar-femoral pain syndrome. It is common among runners because of the repetitive stress that running puts on the knee joint.
Another common condition physiotherapists treat is shoulder pain. Shoulder pain can be caused by a number of things such as rotator cuff tears, bursitis, and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).
However, these terms are now going out of fashion due to their catastrophizing nature and inaccuracy – the most accurate term is simply ‘a painful shoulder’ or ‘a stiffness shoulder’ to describe the stages of what used to be called ‘a frozen shoulder’.
The shoulder is a complex joint, as it has so many muscle attachments, is the most mobile joint in the body, and it is connected to both the shoulder blade and collar bone, all of which have to work together for supply, functional movement. The shoulder also has such an important functional role, we depend on it for so many day-to-day activities.
Physios also treat headaches. Headaches are an interesting one because it is always that easy to figure out the cause – that is why I like helping clients, in particular, suffering from headaches for that reason, and for the fact that headaches really are no fun at all, they can be very debilitating, especially what is known as ‘cluster headaches’.
Another kind of headache is known as a ‘cervicogenic’ headache – a headache being caused by a problem in the cervical spine or neck. This headache is usually described as a band or pressure around the head, and can sometimes be accompanied by pain in the shoulders, neck, and temples.
Physios also treat tennis elbow – which is an interesting condition because it can be caused by different things for different people. For some people, it is simply due to overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm. For others, it can be caused by a traumatic event such as a fall or car accident.
Therapies Physios Commonly Use In Private Practice
There are countless different therapies or interventions or modality physios used in private practice, however, the overarching principle and the cornerstone of the profession is ‘movement is key, the right kind of movement, at the right time, for the right person, at the right dosage and intensity will produce a positive outcome or adaptive response in the body.
Here are some of the therapies physios like to use:
- Manual therapy, hands-on therapies, manipulations, mobilizations, and massage therapy.
- Exercise Therapy.
- Laser Therapy.
- Shockwave Therapy.
- Kinesio taping.
- Medical taping.
- Martial Arts.
- Blood Flow Restriction Training.
- Lyampthic drainage (manual or with the use of boots or sleeves).
- Joint Traction & Spinal Decompression.
- Dry Needling.
- Electrostimulation Therapy (TENS).
- Fascial Distortion Model
This is just a small example of the kinds of therapies physiotherapists use in Ireland, in other countries different therapies might be more commonly used.
Do you want to feel better?
We’re Dublin Chiropractic & Physiotherapy, and we’ve been helping people just like you for over 30 years. Our highly trained team of professionals is committed to providing the best care possible. And that starts with a thorough evaluation of your condition so we can determine the root cause of your problem and develop an individualized treatment plan.
You don’t have to live in pain anymore! We offer a wide range of services including chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and more. So whether it’s back pain or neck pain or headaches or migraines – whatever your issue may be – our goal is always the same – to help you get back on track as quickly as possible so you can enjoy life again!