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Physiotherapy 101: Why it could work for you

27 October, 2022

Physiotherapy can make all the difference for over 60s. Discover how physio can help your mobility and confidence, so that you can get the most out of life.

Why Try Physiotherapy?

Our bodies may change as we age, but the desire to stay independent doesn't. 

A major part of this independence comes from being able to move our bodies in the ways that we need. And this is where physio can make all the difference. 

Michael, Director of Limp in Leap Out, is a physiotherapist with extensive education and industry experience.

Sitting down for an interview, we got to know more about what a physiotherapist does - and why it’s worth a try!

What is a physiotherapist? What do they do?

“Physiotherapists are experts in the structure of the human body and its movement,” says Michael. 

“We work with people of all ages, treating a broad range of health conditions!”

Common conditions include:

  • Sports injuries

  • Musculoskeletal conditions

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Osteoarthritis 

  • Stroke.

How can physiotherapy support independence?

Overall, the mission of physiotherapy is to enhance people’s participation in everyday life. It’s their job to support your strength and mobility - ensuring you can continue to live life independently as you age. 

“Physiotherapists are heavily involved in the assessment, diagnosis, planning and management of physical conditions or limited mobility in our clients,” says Michael. “Especially in Aged Care.”

“With a holistic approach, we look at your overall physical function and your ability to complete activities of daily living (ADL’s),” Michael continues. “Then, we can provide functional ‘capacity building’ interventions to help you achieve your goals.”

“For example, if one client would like to improve their ability and walk to their mailbox every day, we would create personalised strategies and exercises to help them achieve that goal!” 

A physiotherapy plan could can help you:

#1 Breathe better

Whether it is clearing secretions, improving exercise tolerance, reducing breathlessness, or minimising neck and abdomen pain, a physio can assist. 

#2 Manage swelling

Swelling is the result of inflammation, which is often caused by sprains, muscle strains and fractures. Physios can use ice compression, exercise and massage to improve mobility and reduce the pain caused by swelling. 

#3 Relearn the art of walking

After a stroke or a fall, walking may need to be relearnt. This may occur through strength and balance exercise, biofeedback, treadmill training and even robotics. 

#4 Keep you in control of your bowels and bladder

Through an assessment of bladder function and your pelvic floor muscles, a physio is able to help you strengthen this wondrous set of muscles and regain control of your bladder, bowels and life!

#5 Improve your heart health

Cardiovascular disease (‘heart attacks’, stroke, coronary heart disease etc.) was the cause for 27% of deaths in Australia in 2021. Physios are able to tailor specific exercise programs that greatly improve heart health and prevent disease.  

#6 Prevent falls

At least one third of people aged 65+ will fall once or more annually. A fall can obviously be devastating for you and your family. Through exercise, an assessment of your environment, and cognitive techniques, fall risk can be minimised. 

#7 Support brain function

Physiotherapists can even provide specialised advice and treatment for neurological disabilities such as Parkinson’s Disease and Acquired Brain Injury. 

Why should someone try physiotherapy?

“Physiotherapy offers a diverse range of treatments,” says Michael. “Not only is it proven to help a multitude of conditions, but there are so many reasons it’s worth a try!

Physiotherapy is:

  • Non-invasive - This type of therapy works with your body to optimise mobility and functionality in a gentle, manageable way.

  • Safe - You can feel confident that the exercises you are doing and the way you are doing them is safe and will actually help you.

  • Meets you where you’re at - Physios always begin with a holistic assessment of the individual they are treating. A program is specifically tailored to suit your unique needs. 

  • Adaptable - Leaving your home for regular physio appointments is not always straightforward, which is why in-home physiotherapy is available. Plus, it helps a physio help you if they are familiar with your home environment.

  • Social - Physio can take place in a group or one-on-one context. |

  • Confidence building - Rather than being purely reliant on medication or assistance from others, physio allows people to develop their independence through maintaining or restoring their strength, balance and mobility.

  • Included in your NDIS plan - Read about this here.

When is it wise to get an assessment?

“A physiotherapy assessment is beneficial at any age,” says Michael. “But becomes all the more essential as your mobility starts to slow down”. 

“Think about how you’ve been moving lately. 

Do you: 

  • Have any difficulty walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car?

  • Have a decreased tolerance for sitting, walking, reaching, lifting?

  • Feel as though your everyday activities are harder to complete than before?

  • Experience issues with balance and coordination?

  • Have ongoing pain that restricts your daily activities?

  • Have any condition that could benefit from guided exercise?

  • Need assistance with mobility aids such as braces?

If you answer yes to any of Michael’s questions, booking a physio assessment may be your next best step.

At Focus Care, our goal has always been to come alongside our clients; working with people's strengths to offer highly individualised support. Since 2018, we’ve proudly partnered with Limp In Leap Out to help more clients enjoy safe, effective and regular exercise. 

If you’re currently on - or commencing - a physiotherapy plan, we offer a range of complementing services such as:  

  • Transport - to assist you in getting to your physiotherapy appointments

  • Support workers - to guide you on walks or help you follow your personalised program, as created by your physiotherapist (once you’ve had your physio appointment, our Care Coordinator will receive a copy of your program - so your support workers can stay up to date with your plan). 

For a no-obligation, complimentary care consultation, contact us today using the form below or call us on 1800 362 871

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