Top 16 Reasons to See a Sports Physiotherapist
Even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete, or have never experienced a serious injury, you can improve your quality of life by visiting a sports physiotherapist. In fact, you don’t need to be a serious athlete to enjoy the lifelong benefits that come from a few sessions with a skilled physiotherapist.
Working with a sports physiotherapist is often the solution to a variety of common ailments. Whether you want to stay in shape and prevent injuries further down the line, or you are seeking help for a specific problem, like chronic pain, physiotherapy treatment is often the answer you might be looking for.
Helping patients of all ages and levels of activity, some benefits of working with a sports physiotherapist include improved quality of life, improved physical function, and management or control of existing conditions. These results can be accomplished through a variety of methods including heat therapy, joint manipulation, ultrasound, acupuncture, and manual therapy.
What do physiotherapists do?
All sports physiotherapists in Toronto belong to the regulated healthcare body, The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. This body regulates physiotherapists, to ensure the ongoing improvement of the practice of physiotherapists and to serve the public interest. Physiotherapists are university-trained movement specialists and are knowledgeable in the anatomy and mobility of the body.
This means they are highly qualified professionals who can help you optimize your mobility to improve your quality of life. In fact, the benefits of visiting a sports physiotherapist in Toronto are vast.
Here are our top 16 reasons to schedule an appointment with a physiotherapist today:
- Improve Posture
- Improve Flexibility
- Pain Management
- Correct Muscle Imbalances
- Improve or Prevent Injuries
- Improve Stabilizer Muscle Strength
- Post-Operative Care
- Improve Balance and Coordination
- Reduce the Frequency of Headaches
- Improve Athletic Performance
- Improve Range of Motion
- Deal with Injuries Related to Motor Vehicle Collisions
- Pregnancy/Postpartum Exercises
- Weight Management
- Disease Management
- Manage or Cure Vertigo/Dizziness
Scroll down to the area you’re curious about or read about all the applications of physiotherapy below.
1. Improve Posture
Now that many more people have been working from home for a number of months, many have realized their home office or desk/computer situation is less than ideal. With no twice-daily commute to and from the office, being reduced to only moving between rooms of your apartment or house has led to more inactivity. Poor home working setups have led to poor posture.
Poor posture is not just displeasing to the eye, the larger issue is that it can lead to pain, muscle imbalances, misalignment of the body, and headaches. As many desk workers slouch forward into what they believe to be a comfortable position, over time this position leads to misalignment and pain in the neck, back, shoulders and pelvis.
Seeing a physiotherapist can help identify areas of postural correction, muscle strengthening, and/or stretching, as well as providing strategies to reduce the load of these positions throughout the workday.
2. Improve Flexibility
If you are sedentary in work, life, or both, you might not place much importance on flexibility. However, if you’ve been experiencing any new pains over the past few months or years, this could be from sitting in the same static position all day. Desk jobs often lead to tight, shortened muscles.
As mentioned above, this can cause pain in the neck, back, shoulders and pelvis. You may also experience overuse in the forearms from typing and using the mouse or trackpad. Physiotherapists can evaluate the musculoskeletal system to determine whether you have shortened muscles that need to be stretched. You can also see a local physiotherapist in Toronto to provide stretches and exercises that will help strengthen your system and provide some relief.
3. Pain Management
Seeing a physiotherapist for pain management, either to alleviate acute pain or for chronic pain management, is one of the more common applications of physical therapy. Physiotherapists can provide an assessment of your pain and will work with you to identify the source and recommend a treatment plan.
Many patients who follow their physiotherapists’ treatment recommendations will enjoy an improved quality of life with less or no pain.
4. Muscle Imbalances
More often than not, muscle imbalances are barely noticeable. However, sometimes they can reach a point where they become painful and uncomfortable. Imbalances occur from chronic overuse of a muscle or muscle group or from prolonged periods of poor posture. Some have even earned their own nicknames like “tennis elbow” (this can also occur from overuse of the mouse or keyboard). Another common imbalance we see is in runners, irritating their iliotibial bands from repetitive movements of running (IT band syndrome).
Visiting a sports physiotherapist in Toronto will help you by assessing your muscles for imbalances, providing treatment, and providing a plan to strengthen weak muscle groups and optimize the function of the overworked groups.
5. Improve or Prevent Injuries
Unfortunately, injuries happen. But we can cry about them or we can work with physiotherapists to create a plan to improve existing injuries and even prevent future injuries through preparation.
Whether the injury is from a sport or an accident, working with a physiotherapist can help assess the mobility, strength, and stability of your body. They will work with you towards your specific goals while providing a treatment plan that is customized based on your current condition.
6. Improve Stabilizer Muscle Strength
Part of physiotherapy involves examining all muscle groups, and how they interact, in order to move your body the way you need to remain healthy and comfortable. By visiting a physiotherapist in Toronto you can improve the strength of your stabilizer muscles (the ones that work to steady your body during movements while supporting your joints). These muscles aren’t as visible as the ones you train at the gym, but they are important to produce movement. If you have any instability or have trouble performing certain motions, physiotherapists can provide a plan to improve the strength and control of your stabilizer muscles.
7. Post-Operative Care
Physiotherapy is often used to improve post-surgical recovery outcomes. In other words, working with a physiotherapist can help you heal after surgery as a form of rehabilitation.
There are a number of reasons to consider working with a physiotherapist after surgery. Whether you are experiencing muscle atrophy, weakness, or general deconditioning, or your recovery has been limited by poor pain management, physiotherapy can help.
Physiotherapists are often involved in care after orthopedic surgery, such as knee replacement or ACL reconstruction surgery, but can also be involved after events like colon surgery, to help reduce pain and improve function in the abdominal and core muscles.
8. Improve Balance/Coordination
Just as physiotherapy is used to improve stabilizer muscles, it can also be used to improve balance and coordination. Often it’s the lack of balance or coordination in the joint that’s been affected by an injury that can lead to loss of function or another injury in the future. An example of this is recurrent ankle injuries. People twist an ankle, then think it’s “weak”, causing it to twist over and over. But it’s the lack of balance, or “proprioception” in the ankle that can cause future injuries to occur.
Working with a physiotherapist to improve balance and coordination can help reduce the risk of future or more severe injuries, and will also reduce the risk of falling, particularly in older people.
9. Reduce the Frequency of Headaches
If you’ve ever had a migraine, tension, or cluster headache, you know that they’re no fun! These headaches are called “primary headaches” and are caused by disruptions in the pain sensors in your head or neck. For example, sitting at your desk lurched forward all day or with your shoulders tensed up can lead to irritation of the muscles and nerves.
If you have frequent headaches, physiotherapists can assess your head and neck and work with you to find the source of your headaches. If you’re experiencing primary headaches, your physiotherapist can offer a treatment plan to help alleviate the pain or reduce their frequency.
10. Improving Athletic Performance
Physiotherapists are skilled in assessing your movement patterns, determining whether tight muscles, weak muscles, or poor control of muscles can be influencing those patterns. Working with a physiotherapist can help you to stretch, strengthen or retrain those muscles into a more efficient pattern. This could help: improve your personal best as a runner; lower your golf handicap, or just get you moving without pain and limitation for whatever activity you love.
11. Range of Motion
Similar to “flexibility”, seeing one of our physiotherapists in Toronto to improve your range of motion is quite common. Stiffness and issues with joint mobility are not a foregone conclusion with aging, so if you are experiencing either of these issues you could benefit from working with a physiotherapist.
Damage to ligaments, muscles, and joints could be the cause of the limited range of motion, and your physiotherapist will help navigate the restrictions safely to gradually expand the range of movement. Over time, you will experience better mobility and less stiffness, as long as you follow the treatment plan.
12. Deal with Injuries Related to Motor Vehicle Collisions
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, creating a plan for the next steps towards recovery can seem daunting, stressful, and scary. It doesn’t have to be.
Working with a physiotherapist will allow you to focus on your recovery from MVA-specific injuries like sprains, whiplash, and even head or spinal injuries.
If one of our Torontophysiotherapists feels you need additional support for your recovery (maybe you should be seeing a chiropractor as well, for example), they will refer you to the appropriate professional so you can get the help you need. Our physiotherapists work in a large, interdisciplinary team including many other professionals to ensure you make the best recovery possible.
13. Pregnancy/Postpartum Exercises
Using a physiotherapist after pregnancy and childbirth is often a very effective way to come out of pregnancy stronger than ever. Our physiotherapists’ knowledge of muscles, ligaments, and joints and how they change throughout pregnancy can be applied to your recovery in the early months after giving birth.
Women’s health physiotherapists can also help new mothers by treating incontinence/weak pelvic floors, bladders, or bowels. Your body will thank you for following a plan from your physiotherapist to safely increase activity while strengthening weak areas.
14. Weight Management
Those struggling with weight management may benefit more from working with a physiotherapist to identify areas potentially limiting their ability to lose weight.
Pain or limited mobility may be holding you back and a sports physiotherapist can help you to manage the pain while creating a plan to improve your range of motion.
Because physiotherapy is the study of the movement of the body, these professionals can often help improve your quality of life through activity. Through a combination of physio, diet, and an exercise plan, you will be able to reach your healthy lifestyle goals.
15. Disease Management
Physiotherapy can help prevent, treat, and manage a number of chronic diseases Canadians are experiencing on a daily basis. As many as 50% of Canadians live with a chronic disease, including hypertension, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, arthritis, or obesity. Working with a physiotherapist can help manage these conditions.
Physiotherapy treatment will look different for each individual and could range from safe exercise plans to symptom and pain management, and other treatments like ultrasound, stretching, or manual therapy.
Those with chronic diseases should consider an assessment from a physiotherapist in Toronto to help manage symptoms and improve their quality of life.
16. Vertigo or Dizziness
If you experience dizziness, vertigo, or associated balance issues, you may be experiencing other problems that are preventable through physiotherapy treatments.
For example, it’s possible your dizziness comes from a problem within your ear’s vestibular apparatus or neck, which are treatable through physiotherapy.
Of course, dizziness and vertigo may indicate a more serious medical issue. Always consult a physician before physiotherapy, if you are experiencing these symptoms. Ask your doctor if physiotherapy could be a treatment option.
As you can see, there are many possible applications of sports physiotherapy. Whether you choose to use physiotherapy as a pain management tool, preventative measure, or recovery method, the options for treatment plans are endless and are always completely tailored to your body’s needs.
And while treatments can become a routine line in your budget for health and wellness, physiotherapy can also save you a lot of money by identifying issues and preventing injuries before they occur.
One important fact to note is that results from physiotherapy are compounded. And so, one treatment will not magically cure whatever ails you. Following your physiotherapists’ recommendations and keeping up with your home exercises are paramount to a successful application of physiotherapy treatments.
Physiotherapy should always be a welcome addition to your regular health and wellness routine!