At Philip Wood Physiotherapy we’re passionate about human physiology and movement. We geek out explaining how your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) works. But we know that not everybody shares our enthusiasm for all things anatomy. Sometimes they just want simple answers to their questions. So, we’re jumping in and addressing some of the most frequently asked questions. We love helping our patients! 

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy, sometimes called physical therapy, is a form of healthcare profession that focuses on improving and restoring physical function and mobility. It uses various techniques like exercises and manual therapy, and technologies like ultrasound and electrical stimulation to address injuries, disabilities, and other conditions.

How long has it been around?

Modern physiotherapy has its roots in the early 19th century when Per Henrik Ling opened the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics in 1813. The profession developed over time and was used to address the rehabilitation needs of soldiers during World War I. The efforts of pioneering physiotherapists like Mary McMillan and Sister Elizabeth Kenny helped establish and advance the field, leading to its recognition as a crucial healthcare discipline focused on restoring physical function and improving quality of life. Of course, nothing is new under the sun! The origins of physiotherapy can be traced back to ancient times. The practice of physical therapy, in various forms, has been utilised throughout history by different civilisations to address injuries, disabilities, and improve physical function. However, the formalisation of modern physiotherapy as a recognised healthcare profession began in the early 20th century.

Who can benefit from physiotherapy?

Anyone can benefit from physiotherapy. If you’ve had an injury or suffer from a medical condition that affects your movement, you should see a physio. Elderly patients who are concerned about falling might benefit from physiotherapy to improve their balance and proprioception and give them confidence moving about once more.  Athletes wishing to improve their form – giving them an edge and preventing injuries might benefit from seeing a physio. Anyone with a backache, painful knee, muscle tightness or wonky gait… Physiotherapy can help people of all ages dealing with musculoskeletal issues, neurological conditions, post-surgery rehabilitation, and even chronic pain. 

Do I need a referral to see a physiotherapist?

You can self-refer. Although we’re always happy to work in collaboration with other healthcare providers. We’re a complementary medicine. That doesn’t mean we’re very nice and always saying lovely things about people (although we are). It means that our skills and knowledge fit like a jigsaw puzzle piece along with the skills and knowledge of other medical professionals. Come and see us pre and post-surgery for rehabilitation treatment and exercises – the missing piece of the puzzle.

What can I expect during my first physiotherapy session?

Your first session typically involves an assessment where the physiotherapist will ask about your medical history, current concerns, and goals. They’ll then perform physical tests to identify the root cause of your issue and create a personalised treatment plan.

Does physiotherapy hurt?

Physiotherapy aims to relieve pain and discomfort, but some techniques or exercises might cause temporary discomfort. Your physiotherapist will work with you to ensure the treatment is as comfortable as possible. Communication is key. Let us know how you’re feeling!

How long does each physiotherapy session last?

The duration of each session can vary depending on your condition and the treatment plan. On average, sessions last about 30 minutes. 

How many physiotherapy sessions will I need?

As with so many other things in life the answer is that it will depend. It depends on the severity of your condition and how well your body responds to treatment. Your physiotherapist will regularly evaluate your progress and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. But you’ll probably feel better after one or two sessions!

Can physiotherapy help with sports injuries?

Absolutely! Physiotherapy is commonly used to treat sports-related injuries. It helps athletes recover faster, regain strength, and prevent future injuries.

Is physiotherapy only for physical injuries?

Not at all! Physiotherapy also addresses neurological conditions like stroke or Parkinson’s disease, respiratory problems, and even pelvic health issues.

Can physiotherapy help with chronic pain?

Yes, it can! Physiotherapists use various techniques to manage and reduce chronic pain, helping you improve your quality of life.

Is physiotherapy safe during pregnancy?

Yes, physiotherapy is safe during pregnancy. It can help with back pain, pelvic discomfort, and prepare your body for childbirth. It can also help with postpartum issues.

Can I do physiotherapy exercises at home?

Yes, yes, yes! In fact, it’s almost a certainty that your physiotherapist will give you exercises to do at home to complement your in-clinic sessions and promote faster recovery.  Don’t let this scare you. We’re not about body building competitions (unless that’s what you want in which case we’ll be there to help with all our geeky anatomy knowledge). We are about effective exercises that start where you are and use what you have to get you moving well.

Is physiotherapy covered by insurance?

Many private health insurance plans cover physiotherapy, but you should check with your insurer if you’re unsure.

So, there you have it – all your questions about physiotherapy answered! If you have a burning question that wasn’t covered, let us know and we’ll include this in our next physio FAQs for you.

Physiotherapy is a fantastic way to improve your overall health and well-being, so whoever you are and whatever your concern, get in touch to get started. Give us a call on  02 9838 3030 to make an appointment. As you know we love sharing fascinating facts. Our social media accounts are also full of helpful health hints and only the occasional geeky gag so why not come along for the ride?

See you in the clinic soon!