Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help to reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care.
When is physiotherapy used?
Physiotherapy can be helpful for people of all ages with a wide range of health conditions, including problems affecting the:
- bones, joints and soft tissue – such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and sports injuries
- brain or nervous system – such as movement problems resulting from a stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s disease
Elbow pain is often caused by overuse. Many sports, hobbies and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist or arm movements. Elbow pain may occasionally be due to arthritis, but in general, your elbow joint is much less prone to wear-and-tear damage than are many other joints.
What can cause shoulder pain?
Other causes of shoulder pain include several forms of arthritis, torn cartilage, or a torn rotator cuff. Swelling of the bursa sacs (which protect the shoulder) or tendons can also cause pain. Some people develop bone spurs, which are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones. Shoulder impingement is a very common cause of shoulder pain, where a tendon (band of tissue) inside your shoulder rubs or catches on nearby tissue and bone as you lift your arm.
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems.
A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself. Some of the more common knee injuries include:
ACL injury. An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament— one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. An ACL injury is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
Fractures. The bones of the knee, including the kneecap (patella), can be broken during motor vehicle collisions or falls. People whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis can sometimes sustain a knee fracture simply by stepping wrong.
Torn meniscus. The meniscus is formed of tough, rubbery cartilage and acts as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it.
Patellar tendinitis. Tendinitis is irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons — the thick, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. Runners, skiers, cyclists, and those involved in jumping sports and activities are prone to develop inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the shinbone.
Plantar fasciitis is the result of damage to the tough band of tissue (fascia) that runs under the sole of the foot, which causes pain in the heel. It most commonly affects people aged 40 to 60 who are overweight or on their feet for long periods of time
Achilles tendon injuries ain and stiffness along the back of your heel could be a sign of damage to your Achilles tendon. This is known as Achilles tendinopathy.
The pain can often be relieved with rest, ice packs and painkillers at home, although it may take several months to resolve completely.
If you experience sudden and severe pain in your heel, which may have been accompanied by a “popping” or “snapping” sound, you may have ruptured (torn) your Achilles tendon.
Sprains and strains are very common injuries that affect muscles and ligaments (strong bands of tissue around joints that connect one bone to another). They often occur if you change direction or speed suddenly, fall and land awkwardly, or collide with an object or person, such as when playing sports.
Sciatica is the name given to any sort of pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet.
The pain of sciatica is usually felt in the buttocks and legs.
Most people find it goes away naturally within a few weeks, although some cases can last for a year or more.