Physical Therapy, often shortened to ‘Physio’, involves restoring function of the body’s physical performance caused by acute trauma or due to chronic illness. A Registered Physical Therapist completes a minimum of six years university training to study the anatomy, physiology and natural healing properties of the human body. They learn how to assess and treat problems with human movement involving the Cardio-Respiratory System, Neurological System and Musculoskeletal System. Using techniques that are supported by research, Physical Therapists help people reduce pain and expedite physical recovery. Some of these techniques include exercise, massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, acupuncture, education, joint mobilizations and joint manipulations. To put it plainly, if you are having trouble moving any part of your body, you should see a Registered Physical Therapist.
Your therapist will start by asking you some questions about your health and your mobility issues. Once they have gathered enough information, the physical examination will start. This involves demonstrating your physical abilities for standing, walking, balancing and moving in different directions. This allows the therapist to observe how your body moves in different ways before they begin the hands-on assessment. You may be asked to expose the body part that is affected and your therapist may ask to move your joints and touch your muscles.
Once the therapist has determined the source of your problem, they will begin by educating you about the diagnosis and potential treatment options. Depending on the severity of your movement issue you may be required to begin treatment on the same day as your initial consultation. This will be discussed with you so you are comfortable with any treatment decisions that are made.
Physiotherapy treatment can involve using one or more of the following interventions:
- Manual mobilization of the joints, spine, tendons, muscles and fascia.
- Exercise therapy that targets areas of pain, weakness and tightness.
- Thermo and cryotherapy treatments (use of hot and cold) to help improve circulation, promote healing, and decrease problems with swelling, edema and lymphatic drainage.
- Massage treatments to target specific areas of tightness to aid in healing and muscular performance
- Other forms of treatments and therapies based on your specific needs can include acupuncture, custom orthotics, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, vestibular rehab, pelvic examination among others.
We treat every person the same and present you with the most effective, evidence-based plan to get you feeling better as soon as possible. Some clients will need to attend three to four times per week until pains have subsided and then frequency can be re-evaluated by you and your therapist. Others may benefit more from other services such as chiropractic care or massage therapy. For people seeking preventative wellness, they are able to complete a simple home exercise program and see excellent results. Your therapist will explain why each service is recommended and ensure that you get the results you want.
- Relief Benefits: For severely painful problems, the first 1-6 visits are often spent reducing pain and inflammation. This is a critical stage of your recovery and requires close supervision by your therapist. In addition to using hands-on and other techniques supported by research, they will teach you home strategies to manage flare ups.
- Corrective Benefits: When pain is less prominent a focus, visits 6-12 teach you how to progressively strengthen your injured body through gentle exercise and use of pacing, while continuing to manage pain flare ups. Clients often think that when pain goes away, the problem is gone, and they fall back into old habits that led to pain in the first place. The corrective phase of a recovery can be anywhere from three to six weeks before a client can move into maintenance or a more dynamic fitness training program.
- Return to Sport/Return to Work/Preventative Benefits: Continue on a regular basis to check in with your healthcare provider to learn more advanced exercises and for services like massage, acupuncture and stretching that prevent chronic movement problems and keep your long term recovery on track. Why wait for that major repair when you can keep your body tuned up all year round?
- Neck pain
- Low back pain/sciatica
- Shoulder pain
- Rotator cuff tears
- Knee pain, acute or chronic
- ACL reconstruction
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Whiplash injuries
- Recovery after fall
- Workplace injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis/Foot Pain
- Degenerative or Herniated Discs
- Pelvic Pain
- Urinary Incontinence
- Post-Surgical Rehabilitation
- Post-Fracture Rehabilitation
For cases that apply, We-Fix-U also accepts workplace insurance (www.wsib.com) and Motor Vehicle Insurance plans which can help you get access to the professional help you need.
Returning to sport or work too soon can lead to re-injury and your therapist will help you re-integrate these activities into your daily life under their supervision. Visit frequency will likely decrease but it is important that you continue with home strengthening exercises in between scheduled follow up sessions.
As our clients get farther and farther away from their initial injury, and regain strength, many tell us that they feel better than they did before the injury that led them to us. Many say that they wish they had started Physical Therapy years ago so they had not wasted all those years living in pain.
It is at this stage that your We-Fix-U therapy team will work with you to create an easy-to-follow preventative plan that will keep you miles away from chronic pain for years to come. You only have one body to get you through life, so treat yourself to some tender, loving, care before it becomes a major issue.