by David Dalton
Our body let’s us know if it needs something or if something isn’t right. This usually takes the form of pain or an increased consciousness of a certain part of the body. While this often is not serious, it is still a cause for concern due to the fact that your body is not working as well as it could and should be. Take note of these five signs listed below – they can be indicators that you may need physiotherapy treatment:
1. Your mobility has decreased – even only slightly
Regardless if you have an active or sedentary lifestyle and routine, you know your limits when it comes to your body. For example, some people can touch their toes and others cannot. If have been able to to touch your toes in the past and then come to find you can’t when you go to try, physiotherapy can help. In a similar way, if you can reach the top shelf of a bookshelf at home normally, but find that one day your arm or shoulder aches when you reach up to it – this signals a physical change to address. Physiotherapy can assess the situation (what has changed and why?) and guide you through exercises that increase your flexibility and mobility by targeting the muscles and tissues of the problem area(s).
2. Your balance has become unstable
Many people may attribute balance issues with something to do with their feet, legs or back; but more often than not the problem can be linked to you ears. Specifically, structures in the inner ear called the vestibular system are essential for maintaining balance. If these are affected you will notice symptoms such as unbalance, dizziness and possibly even vertigo – obviously difficult conditions to conduct your day with. Physiotherapy treatment can help by implementing a series of neck, head and even eye exercises that train your CNS (central nervous system) to combat these symptoms. This is what is known as vestibular rehabilitation. It must be noted that while physiotherapy can assist here greatly, vestibular rehabilitation (as with all patient cases) are treated a case-by-case as there is no one size fits all or quick fix to health problems. This issue may require surgery in particularly bad cases.
3. Your need the bathroom more often than before
Not being able to control or regulate when you need to pass urine is called urinary incontinence and it is a common condition amongst the population. This usually takes one or two forms, these being urge incontinence and stress incontinence. The former is characterised by a sudden and unpredictable urge to pass urine where the urine can leak from the bladder without warning whereas the latter stems from an increased amount of pressure on your bladder – even a cough or sneeze can prove too much incases. In these instances, you physiotherapist will assess the problem(s) and most likely prescribe tailored pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the area. While physiotherapy can be a great help here, it is highly recommended to visit your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions that may be attributing to this incontinence.
4. You are experiencing constant pain
After an injury, one expects a degree of pain for a while while the healing process takes place. However if pain still lingers well after the incident and healing period, you may need to see a physiotherapist to get what are known as ‘pain pathways’ evaluated. These are when the body has suffered an injury and the pain remains for a prolonged period of time in connection to the trauma in what is called chronic pain. Your treatment here may consist of manipulation, acupuncture and/or massage to help you getting and feeling better and to ensure that your condition has healed to the maximum and optimum possibility. You will also be given clinical advice and an insight into the self-management of your pain via exercises and techniques that can be completed at home for pain relief.
5. It hurts while sitting at your desk
For many office and desk-based workers, it is common to feel stiff and rigid after a long day sitting fixed in the same position. Couple this with bad posture, with slouching common in office chairs, and you are unfortunately en route to prolonged muscle and joint strain thus causing repetitive pain. As an offshoot of this, one may experience headaches or a manifestation of pain the lower back region for example. As a physical structure, our bodies are designed to be mobile and to move regularly. With this thinking, it becomes clear why staying in a fixed position brings with it these negative and painful consequences. It is recommended to take regular interval breaks away from your desk at stages when possible and take a brisk walk and stretch your arms and legs to counteract this. See your physiotherapist for postural advice, treatment and management and they will also give you instructions to pass to your line manager/superiors to undertake a desk and workplace assessment to target your individual ergonomic and working needs.
At PhysioCare we deploy a wide range of techniques performed by qualified and accredited professionals to help you get and feel better. Our clinics practice physiotherapy, personal training, massage therapy, acupuncture and more.
Please call 015310007 to enquire about our services and book an appointment.
Kennedy, P. (2015). 5 signs that you may need physiotherapy. (online) Available at: http://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/5-signs-you-may-need-physiotherapy [Accessed 23/09/15]
Scupham, B. / Flickr. (2012). Image of human body silhouettes. (online) Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bethscupham/7387111804 [Accessed 23/09/15]