What is Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy in Canada is a regulated health profession.  The terms Physical Therapist and Physiotherapist are used interchangeably in Canada and recognizes that the therapist is a registered member of their provincial regulatory body, in Ontario the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.  You can recognize a physiotherapist by the use of the title “PT” after their name.  Physiotherapists have completed extensive post graduate university level education on anatomy, biomechanics, pathology and exercise therapy.  This can be used not just to diagnose current injuries, but also preventatively before starting a new exercise routine (“prehab”).  One way to think of physiotherapy is that we are movement specialists helping you to achieve your goals.

 

How can a physiotherapist help?

Physiotherapy education does not end when a physiotherapist completes their degree.  Physiotherapists continue to upgrade their skills through post graduate courses, lectures and staying up to date on the current research and most evidence based practices.  The physiotherapists at Family Physiotherapy have all upgraded their courses through many post graduate courses including the use of advanced manual therapy assessment and treatment techniques, spinal and peripheral manipulation, acupuncture, dry needling, intramuscular stimulation (IMS) and advanced exercise prescription to name a few.

 

The Family Physiotherapy approach

Detailed Assessment

At Family Physiotherapy you will be seen by a registered physiotherapist that will take a detailed history of not just the current pain or problem that you are having but also previous injuries, pains or changes in your routine that may have contributed to your current symptoms.  Additionally, the initial assessment will also include a thorough and detailed biomechanical and musculoskeletal examination to determine the source of pain as well as the contributing factor.  This may include tests of flexibility and range of motion (ROM) and movement of your limbs and spine to determine local or global movement restrictions.  Evidence based techniques will also localize your symptoms so that the most appropriate treatment techniques can be utilized.

Evidence Based Client Centred Treatment

After your physiotherapist has explained the diagnosis and treatment options that are available and their associated risks and benefits, they may use:

  • Manual therapy techniques (hands on treatment) to restore movement to stiff joints
  • Electrical agents such as interferential current and ultrasound to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) for muscle tightness and to stimulate healing of slow healing injuries
  • Acupuncture for pain, swelling
  • Dry Needling and IMS to relieve painful trigger points
  • Therapeutic taping to reduce pain and improve movement
  • Soft tissue or massage techniques to improve flexibility and reduce pain
  • Advice on ways of modifying your current daily tasks to assist healing. This may include advice on your work station setup or exercise routine
  • Therapeutic exercises to improve muscle imbalances that may be contributing to your current symptoms

In all but rare cases your treatment will include a specific home program that will be prescribed to you and will change as your symptoms improve.  In early stages of injury and pain these are typically aimed at improving pain and preventing stiffness and weakness.  In later stages this will change to exercises to restore muscle imbalances and strengthening and flexibility exercises to prevent further injuries.  Your physiotherapist will also discuss with you specific ways that you may be able to modify your current exercises and activities to prevent de-conditioning during your rehabilitation.

Get on the Road to recovery

Our team at Family Physiotherapy have the tools to get you back to the activities that you love to do. Call us email us and let us help you get back on the road to recovery!