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Signs and Symptoms: When Should You See a Physiotherapist?

Are you confused or overwhelmed by the countless physiotherapist treatments and rehabilitation options that exist? Are you unsure of what kind of physiotherapy treatment would be best for you? Worry no more! Your search for answers is over. This article will provide you with an overview of how you can best determine whether or not you need to see a physiotherapist, as well as what treatments you should undergo. 

Physiotherapy deals with the assessment, treatment, and prevention of injuries or illnesses that interfere with the body’s optimal function. This type of treatment is often effective in providing pain relief, restoring mobility, and allowing people to return to their every-day lives.

Affordable physiotherapist

What is a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who specialize in movement. They play a crucial role in your overall wellness by diagnosing, treating, and preventing injuries, pain, ailments, and disability through examination, evaluation, intervention, and education.

If you’ve ever wondered why you should see a physiotherapist or what kind of physiotherapy treatments are available, then read on below.

Common Reasons to Visit a Physiotherapist

Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, then a physiotherapist will be able to provide you with treatment options that can help. Pain may be generalized or localized to a specific area of the body. Chronic pain refers to pain that has lasted longer than three months. The following are some of parts of the body which are most prone to chronic pain:

  • Knees
  • Shoulders
  • Neck and back 

Reduced Mobility or Movement 

Physiotherapists will work on restoring movement and function no matter your age or fitness level. They will use a wide range of methods to help people move better and to feel good again!

Prenatal Treatments

A physiotherapist can provide prenatal treatments that include education, guidance, and specific exercises designed for pregnant women. This type of care is vital for the health of new mums as well as their unborn children.

Sports Injuries & Recovery from Sports-Related Surgery

A sports physiotherapy clinic is where sports-related injuries are assessed and treated by professionals. The professionals working within these types of clinics have extensive training in sports medicine. Some examples of the types of medical personnels you would find in a sports physiotherapy clinic include: massage therapists, orthopedic doctors, athletic therapists, and hydrotherapists. All sports-related injuries require a proper diagnosis before any recommended treatment plan can be provided to the patient.

Getting Back to Work After an Injury

Depending on your occupation, you may require specific return-to-work programs designed by a physiotherapist. Having these programs in place will ensure that you have the necessary equipment to reduce your risk of getting injured again while on the job site. Return-to-work programs are best undertaken with the support of your employer.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Women affected by pelvic floor dysfunction can experience conditions such as urinary incontinence and pelvic pain. These symptoms can often be alleviated with regular physiotherapy sessions. Treatment methods include pelvic floor muscle training, pelvic floor re-education, and pelvic movement re-patterning.  

Additionally, pelvic floor physiotherapy can be beneficial in alleviating the discomforts associated with pelvic floor weakness that occurs during pregnancy. 

Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety

Physiotherapy is a low-risk and cost-effective treatment for depression and anxiety, both of which can arise due to chronic pain. It’s important not to suffer in silence! A physiotherapist can provide you with a non-invasive treatment plan, which could include education regarding your current condition, self-management support, counseling, and psychotherapy- all of which could improve your mental health and well-being.

Stretching and Flexibility

Regular visits to a physiotherapist for stretching and flexibility is the key to maintaining good muscle health. Stretch programs will be tailored to your specific needs, abilities, and goals. Visits to the best physiotherapy near me help you to develop the critical lifelong routine of stretching, which can ultimately prevent injuries.

Disease Management

Some chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease can be managed more effectively through physiotherapy. A comprehensive home exercise program which is tailored to your body’s specific needs will help reduce symptoms, while improving your quality of life.

Types of Physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy involves the treatment of injury and symptoms associated with traumatic conditions, sprains, strains, fractures, and repetitive stress injuries. This type of physiotherapy could include manual therapy (hands-on treatment), exercise prescription, and pain management strategies.

Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy

Cardiopulmonary physiotherapy is often used in babies who are born premature or with a low birth weight. These treatments help to strengthen their bodies through exercises which have been specifically designed for children in the early stages of development. Then, from six years of age and onwards, children who once participated in this type of tournament will start an endurance program that would support them in achieving a higher level of fitness, while preventing further health complications.

Neurological/Neurodevelopmental Physiotherapy

Individuals of all ages can take part in neurological or neurodevelopmental physiotherapy.  IT is used to alleviate symptoms associated with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, head injury, back pain, neck pain, and leg or arm weakness. Treatment could include sensory integration therapy,  and other interventions which enhance motor skills.

Recreationally Active Physiotherapy

Recreationally active physiotherapy provides assessment and treatment programs for individuals who participate regularly in recreational sports or activities, such as yoga, weight training, dancing, or golf. Treatment methods include injury prevention strategies and the prescription of an exercise routine.

Orthopedic Physiotherapy

Orthopedic Physiotherapy treats conditions associated with the skeletal system, including injuries from traumatic accidents or osteoarthritis. Treatment methods include manual therapy (hands-on treatment), strengthening exercises, pain management strategies, and advice on how to maintain good posture.

Geriatric/Aged Care Physiotherapy

Geriatric or Aged Care Physiotherapy encompasses treatment options for older individuals who are suffering from chronic health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer. This type of physiotherapy has been proven to increase mobility and quality of life in older individuals. It has also been found to reduce the risk of falls, improve quality of life, and decrease one’s likelihood to be admitted to a hospital.

Women’s Health Physiotherapy

Female health physiotherapy provides assessment and treatment programs for women. Treatment plans of this type of physiotherapy tend to focus on the pelvic floor muscles, and can include manual therapy (hands-on treatment), education, biofeedback, and pain care clinic management strategies specific to the female anatomy.

Orofacial Myology

Orofacial myology is administered by a physiotherapist or an orofacial mycologist who has received extensive training and education regarding the muscles of the face, mouth, jaw, and tongue. These healthcare professionals are also well-versed in treating swallowing disorders. Intervention methods could include muscle re-education of the facial functions, such as chewing, speech production, and breathing patterns.

Cardiovascular Physiotherapy

Cardiovascular physiotherapy encompasses treatment for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or other cardiovascular problems. This may include the assessment and treatment of injuries or symptoms associated with these conditions.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is provided by an experienced physiotherapist who has received further training specifically related to the inner ear and its functions. Treatment methods aim to reduce dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. A vestibular physiotherapist might prescribe  specific exercises that improve balance and coordination.

How to Choose a Good Physiotherapist?

Finding a trustworthy physiotherapist is important if you want to get the best treatment possible.

Here are some things you should look for when choosing a physiotherapist:

Extensive Experience

Seek a physiotherapist who has been in practice for a while and has experience treating  various conditions. Additionally, he or she should have experience treating  the condition that you possess.

License to Practice

Each province has different regulations for practicing physiotherapists. Some require the completion of a four-year program followed by two years of supervised practice before they  become fully licensed. On the other hand, other provinces allow candidates to apply directly for their license once they have completed a master’s degree in physiotherapy and have passed their board exam. Regardless of which province you reside in, make sure to check that your physiotherapist has a valid license. 

Professional Membership

Look for a physiotherapist who belongs to a professional association that subscribes to ethical guidelines or standards aimed to serve patients better. This ensures that you will be in good hands when looking for help with your diagnosis.


You must choose a practicing physiotherapist who has received proper training and qualifications from an accredited university degree program. It’s also crucial that he or she is up-to-date with the latest scientific evidence and the best practice techniques.


A good physiotherapist will respect you and keep the information that you share with them private and confidential. 

Being Understanding

It’s important that you choose a physiotherapist who shows empathy. Your physiotherapist should be patient in listening carefully to what you have to say. He or she should also answer any questions or concerns which you might have about your diagnosis or treatment without making you feel judged or rushed.

Excellent Patient Reviews

It’s always a good idea to ask about your physiotherapist’s previous patients’ experiences, including how long ago they started seeing the physiotherapist and whether or not they were satisfied with their results. 


Trust is the key when working with a physiotherapist. Speak to your specialist face-to-face or over the phone to better understand their personality, bedside manner, and general demeanor.


Most professional associations set out guidelines for fair hourly rates. Additionally, some associations provide insurance plans which cover a percentage of the costs associated with physiotherapy treatments under certain conditions. Check to see if you are eligible for coverage before going to see a physiotherapist. 

How Does Physiotherapy Work?

Physiotherapy treatment for musculoskeletal injuries encompasses three major components: education, manual therapy, and exercise prescription. The goal of physiotherapy treatments is to restore normal movement patterns in the injured tissues.

Following an individual’s diagnosis, physiotherapists will start by educating him or her  about their condition and available treatment options. It’s important the individual is an active part of his or her own rehabilitation, such that they can be proactive in avoiding further injury. 

Physiotherapists may use different types of hands-on therapy to manipulate soft tissue structures to relieve the pain or discomfort of certain conditions. This could include massage techniques performed directly on the affected areas, as well as joint mobilization involving controlled movement.

Finally, physiotherapists will also teach their patients different exercises that can be performed at home to strengthen the affected tissues and gradually return them to full function. 

How Long Will I Need To See A Physiotherapist For?

Some conditions (such as lower back pain or fibromyalgia) may require daily treatments for weeks or months before symptoms subside. Still, the average patient only needs approximately ten sessions over six weeks in order to see results. Clinical trials have also shown that patients recover just as well after receiving six sessions compared to those who received more frequent treatments.

How Long Will It Take For Me To See Results?

The results you get from seeing a physiotherapist will vary depending on your diagnosis and current condition. A physiotherapist will be able to provide you with a better estimate of how long you’d need to see him or her after your first visit. It’s essential to remember that outcomes are often based on how well you follow instructions for at-home exercises and how dedicated you are to sticking with your treatment plan, even after being discharged

What Should I Bring With Me To Each Physiotherapy Appointment?

When visiting your physiotherapist, It’s always helpful to bring along any previous medical records or imaging results, medication information, as well as a list of questions or concerns that you have about your condition or treatment plan. You may also want to bring along a close friend or family member who can provide a bit of extra support throughout the meeting.

Will There Be Any Follow-Up Visits?

If you require continued physiotherapy care, your therapist will schedule follow-up sessions to monitor your progress and to implement treatment as necessary. To prevent reoccurrence, they’ll also discuss long-term strategies for avoiding injury as well as lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on your mobility.

How Soon Can I Expect To See Some Improvements With My Condition?

For some conditions (like lower back pain or hamstring injuries), improvements may be noticed after a few treatments. Still, it’s probably going to take a little longer for those who have arthritis or osteoporosis. However, most patients start to experience noticeable improvements within two weeks and feel a complete recovery after about three months.


Physiotherapy involves a variety of treatment methods, and they can be used individually or in combination with one another. The primary goal of physiotherapy is to improve mobility and function by restoring normal movement patterns through education, manual therapy, and exercise. 

In addition, choosing a physiotherapist who has experience working with your particular condition means that you’ll be able to see the best results possible. Best of all, there’s no need to wait until you’re in unbearable pain before seeking professional help, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.


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