1 – Chronic Back pain
Pain in the lower back is extremely common, with 1 in 6 Australians suffering from some type of back pain1. However, your persistent back pain or sciatica can be due to a number of different factors, and it may not even be the back itself that is the real culprit behind your pain. Whilst X-rays and other imaging can be used to try and find the source of your back pain, mostly they can show normal signs of ageing and can be totally unrelated to your pain! With up to 30% of 20-year-olds and up to 85% of 80-year-olds showing spinal disc degeneration and bulges even though they have no pain or symptoms2!
Physiotherapists are able to use detailed physical examinations to not only identify what structures are affected, but also find what other factors have contributed to the onset of pain (eg, poor upper back or hip mobility, weak hip muscles, poor movement patterns, etc) and treat these factors to both alleviate your pain and help retrain your movement patterns to prevent it from coming back in the future.
2 – Headaches and Migraines
You shouldn’t put up with persistent headaches and just accept it as part of your normal life. Headaches and migraines can be debilitating and significantly affect your daily life. Physiotherapists can carefully take a detailed history and assess potential triggers for your headaches, helping to narrow down the potential sources, whether it be related to stiff upper neck joints, sustained neck positions during sitting or driving, or pain that starts in the shoulders/neck and travels upwards to the head. Physiotherapists can often provide treatment giving quick and effective results to ease the severity and frequency of headaches and migraines.
3 – Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a very common condition, particularly among older Australians, causing pain, stiffness and inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is a big contributor to pain and disability in those affected, significantly impacting quality of life. Whilst currently not curable, there is lots of research supporting the use of tailored exercise programs to strengthen the muscles around the affected joints and improve mobility to ease symptoms and have a protective effect to decrease the rate of degeneration.
Physiotherapists can not only help you return to walking and climbing stairs more easily but can also aid you to return to sports and activities that you enjoy that will keep you living and feeling young!
4 – Women’s Health Problems
Issues like incontinence, pelvic floor problems, pelvic organ prolapse, pre-natal and post-natal matters, including abdominal tearing, can dramatically affect your quality of life and your confidence. Specifically, trained women’s health physiotherapists use treatment options and prescribe modified exercise programs to identify, re-train or strengthen those structures affected. This helps to improve your overall quality of life as well as to help prevent complications further down the line that may otherwise require surgical intervention.
5 – Joint replacement surgery
If you get to the point of having a knee joint or hip joint replaced, chances are you were previously dealing with a significant amount of pain that was limiting your mobility and functioning. After surgery, early physiotherapy treatment (often just one day after surgery!) whilst you’re still in hospital helps to kick start your rehabilitation to get you back moving easily again! Ongoing physiotherapy once you are discharged from hospital is really important to continue improving your joint mobility and strength. This helps to get you back to your day to day tasks like walking and getting up and down stairs with ease, and to also get you back into activities and sports you thought you would have to give up!