Physiotherapy assesses, diagnoses, treats and works to prevent, disease and disability using physical means. It aims to help restore movement and function and reduce pain and stiffness in disorders that were present from birth, acquired through an accident or injury, or are the result of ageing or life-changing events. Physiotherapy can improve your physical activity while helping you to prevent further injuries.
Our physiotherapists are fully trained and experienced to assess your condition, diagnose the problem, and help you understand what’s wrong. They’ll work in partnership with you to develop a treatment plan taking into account your lifestyle, activities and, general health. They can also plan the most appropriate treatment for your condition to prevent further injury by listening to your individual needs.
They are registered with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, have access to our diagnostic services and excellent physiotherapy facilities including gym equipment as required, as well as working in close partnership with Consultants from a range of specialities.
A physiotherapist will use a combination of education and advice, movement and exercise and manual therapy approaches depending on your individual needs.
When is physiotherapy used?
People of all ages and with a wide range of health conditions can benefit from physiotherapy. The type of problems physiotherapy is used for include:
Bones, joints and soft tissue
Your physiotherapist can provide treatment to relieve back pain if it isn’t settling with self-care options. They can also teach you how to look after your back and prevent future episodes. If you’ve a long-term back problem your physiotherapist may design a suitable exercise program for you.
If you’re experiencing neck pain, you should have it assessed by a physiotherapist. They may prescribe a tailored series of exercises to manage the pain and help optimise your health.
It’s best to arrange an appointment with a physiotherapist if: your shoulder pain fails to clear up after a couple of days of rest and ice or heat, you can’t use your arm or to carry objects, you can’t raise your arm, you’re feeling shoulder pain whilst resting or you’ve swelling or bruising around your shoulder joint.
If you’re suffering from a sports related injury, it’s important to have your condition assessed by a physiotherapist. Our physiotherapists are experts in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and sporting injuries and they can help you to return to your best level of function following an injury.
They can assess and treat: joint sprains (knee, ankle, shoulder and fingers), muscle strains (hamstring, calf, quadriceps), tendon injuries (achilles, patella and gluteal tendon pain), bony overuse injuries (shin splints, stress fractures) and rehabilitation from surgery (knee, shoulder or ankle arthroscopies or reconstructions).
They may use manual therapy techniques, offer rehabilitation exercise and advice and, taping or injury support:
Brain or nervous system
Physiotherapy plays an important role in the recovery process following a stroke. After a stroke it’s a good idea to consult a physiotherapist who can discuss your problems with the team that has been working with you, and help you to work on an exercise program designed to maximise your strength, balance and mobility. Your physiotherapist may offer specialised equipment to aid your exercise program and continue your recovery.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson's disease
Physiotherapy as part of a multidisciplinary team approach provides physical, psychological and social benefits to enhance the quality of life for people with MS and Parkinson’s disease.
Physiotherapy improves and maintains the functional abilities of MS patients and helps to manage long term symptoms including pain. It can increase activity and improve the health and well-being of people with MS.
For people with Parkinson’s disease, physiotherapy offers advice and education in the early stages to help maintain general fitness, minimise deterioration and promote self-management. As the condition progresses physiotherapists can offer advice and develop strategies to compensate for loss of function and reduce the risk of falls.
Heart and circulation
Physiotherapy-led cardiac rehabilitation is an effective intervention for people living with cardiovascular disease, for example following a heart attack.
Our physiotherapists support heart patients to learn how to be more physically active and embrace activity to improve their lifestyle by using individually tailored exercise programmes.
Lungs and breathing
Physiotherapists are an essential part of the multi-disciplinary teams that run programmes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.
Our physiotherapists use and teach cystic fibrosis patients a variety of techniques to aid their airway clearance and maintain their fitness through regular physical activity and exercise. They provide expert ongoing assessment and adapt treatment plans to reflect changes in the condition to maintain optimal health and wellbeing.
Physiotherapists can assess your pelvic floor muscles and help you to regain control if necessary.
Physiotherapists help women manage changes to the whole body (muscles, ligaments and joints) that can occur during and after pregnancy. Physiotherapy can help prevent or lessen symptoms of pregnancy and after childbirth such: as back and neck pain, abdominal muscle weakness, breast problems, incontinence and prolapse. Advice on positioning, rhythmic movement, massage, relaxation and breathing awareness offers support to pregnant ladies and beyond.
Treatments used by physiotherapists
Physiotherapists use many different treatments depending upon a patient’s condition. Common treatments include:
- exercise programs to improve mobility, strengthen muscles and bestow a feeling of wellbeing. Sometimes for the whole body or specific areas, hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy may be suggested based on individual goals and history.
- joint (toes, knees, shoulder, hips) manipulation and mobilisation to reduce pain, tension and stiffness and improve your range of movement.
- soft tissue (muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs) mobilisation is a type of massage to relax tense muscles, break up scar tissue, and reduce fluid build-up in the tissue. Commonly used for sprains, strains, bruises, tendonitis, bursitis and stress injuries.
- muscle re-education to improve control
- assistance with use of aids, taping, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs
- airway clearance techniques and breathing exercises