Have you often asked yourself who should you see to help you with an injury? You are not alone. Many people are on the same boat as you.
Recently, a patient at our clinic came for knee pain. It took her over a month to see a physiotherapist. She wanted to wait and see if the pain could go on its own.
After doing some research about knee pain treatment, she found us. The physiotherapist recommended a treatment plan with some home exercise. The inflammation around the knee improved considerably after doing some in-clinic therapy. She got better after 4 weeks of treatment.
It appears that physiotherapy can treat a large number of injuries. In this article, I will cover 9 of the most common injuries physical therapy can treat.
Physiotherapy can help you achieve a few goals, including but not limited to:
Ligaments are strong bands of fibrous connective tissue that connect bones together. An ankle sprain occurs when a ligament has been stretched, damaged or ruptured.
The most common mechanisms of ligament sprains include twisting, tripping or when contacted by a strong force. Ankle and wrist sprains are common examples and usually happen after a slip or fall or during contact sports.
You may have heard of an "ACL tear" or "MCL tear”, these are examples of ligament sprains in the knee joint, and commonly occur during sports.
Sciatica is the presence of pain in the lower extremities of the thigh, leg, and buttock. Our lower body is supplied by a large nerve known as the sciatic nerve, which is formed from a bunch of smaller nerves leaving the spinal cord.
Once the small nerves unite, the sciatic nerve moves through the buttock, thigh and the leg to supply the region.
It can get pressed against any underlying structures like bones or joints along its course through the lower body, which causes the pain in Sciatica.
As the name suggests, frozen shoulder occurs when the shoulder capsule (a ligament that surrounds the shoulder joint) adheres too tightly to the joint.
This freeze or restricts the movement of the shoulder joint, causing stiffness, pain and in some cases an inability to move the shoulder.
Frozen shoulder usually develops gradually and gets progressively worse, but without treatment the effects can become permanent.
There are three main stages of Frozen Shoulder. All cases will go through each phase, but the duration and severity of each phase depend on whether or not treatment is being performed.
The typical course of frozen shoulder can last anywhere between 6 months and 3 years.
1. Freezing: Shoulder pain is often felt at night, and an individual will notice that their shoulder is feeling more stiff than normal. As this phase worsens, pain is felt during the day and people will complain of pain during most movements.
2. Frozen: This phase can last 6 months or more and is characterized by extreme stiffness and loss of movement of the shoulder joint. Pain is generally less during this phase, compared to the Freezing phase.
3. Thawing: As the capsule starts ‘unstick’ from the joint, more movement can be performed with less pain.
The carpal tunnel is an anatomical structure within the wrist. It acts as a passageway for 10 different structures and is surrounded by a tough band of tissue called the flexor retinaculum.
For a variety of reasons, the carpal tunnel can become compressed, or swollen, which places additional stress and irritation on the contents of the tunnel.
The vestibular system is the part of the inner ear and brain that is responsible for controlling both eye movement and balance, therefore an accident or disease affecting this system can result in a vestibular disorder.
There is no specific prevention for vestibular disorder but there are various treatment physiotherapists can help you with. There also a few home exercises you can do.
Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain is often associated with general wear and tear from daily activities.
It also may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Some medical conditions such as arthritis and gout can also cause knee pain.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders.
A type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD, can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
Not much to do there, except maybe to:
A muscle strain is any injury that occurs to a muscle or tendon. Sometimes called "pulled muscles", muscle strains vary in severity and commonly occur in the back, neck, shoulders and legs.
A muscle spasm occurs when a muscle is abnormally used, and causes an involuntary contraction, often described as feeling "locked" or "stuck".
An injury to a tendon that causes inflammation is often referred to as "tendonitis". Tendon injuries can be caused by traumatic incidents or chronic overuse.
Symptoms of a muscle strain and tendonitis are similar, so a detailed assessment is recommended to ensure the right treatment is being provided!
A concussion, it's a trauma caused to the head due to a fall or an accident of some sort. It is usually a hard hit on the head.
Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.
Those 9 types of injuries often require physiotherapy treatment. If you don’t exercise much or you aren’t used to stretch, it’s always best to speak with a physiotherapist first.
They are well-trained and experienced in musculoskeletal injuries. For a concussion, you must ensure to speak with a specialized health practitioner in brain injury. Not all physical therapist can treat a concussion.
Generally speaking, Physical therapy can help you reduce inflammation by using certain modalities such as TENS, Ultrasound and Acupuncture. If your injury is too inflamed, it will be more difficult to stretch and likely more painful.
As mentioned above, I would like to offer you a FREE Downloadable Guide on Home Exercise for the most common injuries. It doesn’t replace the expertise of a physiotherapist or a sport medicine doctor but it’s a good start.
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Yes, most health insurance will cover to a maximum amount. It is recommended you contact your health insurance to identify if you are covered and to how much.
No, you don’t but if it is recommended to bring any reports on scan imagery you may have done as well as a copy of any prescription you are currently taking.
It really depends on your injury. The assessment will identify the next step. Your physiotherapist will let you know the course of action and the recommended treatment plan to follow.