So what exactly is physiotherapy and how could it help me?

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In the first of a series of occasional articles Jen Redfearn talks about the rudimentaries of physiotherapy and how, why and when a professional practitioner can help us

Physiotherapy is essentially a ‘hands on’ profession which assesses and treats a range of health issues and people of all ages.

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Treatment is designed to restore movement and function when someone has been affected by injury, illness and/or disability.

Physiotherapists can assist people to regain, maintain and improve their independence

whether that’s for work, rest or play!

The role of a physiotherapist is vast, including dealing with several areas of specialty such as musculoskeletal conditions, neurology, women’s health, paediatrics, and cardio-respiratory.

If you decide to access private physiotherapy treatment, it is worthwhile seeing someone who specialises in treating your particular problem or condition.

For instance, my business’s area of expertise is in the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, work related disorders and sports injuries.

Therefore, we could potentially help someone experiencing back pain associated with work-related tasks or someone who likes to play football but is struggling to run due to knee pain.

How do you get to call yourself a physiotherapist?

To work as a physiotherapist, individuals must have successfully completed a university level degree course. The title ‘physiotherapist’ is a protected title and must not be used by anyone who doesn’t have the necessary credentials.

The Health & Care Professions Council (HPC) registers and regulates physiotherapists, as it does for other health-related professions.

It is mandatory to be HPC-registered when working as a physiotherapist in the UK. You should be quite confident that registrants have met national standards in training, skills and professional behaviour. The HPC can also take action against practitioners who fall below such standards.

The best way of checking if your physiotherapist (or another health professional) is registered, is to visit www.hpc-uk.org. Physiotherapists are also members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)which provides trade union support, training nationally and it also provides members with professional indemnity insurance.

How can musculoskeletal physiotherapy help me?

Physiotherapy can play an essential part in helping you get back on your feet and to

the activities you love.

Generally speaking, a physiotherapist can give an impression of how likely treatment is going to benefit you, perhaps after a short telephone call but most often after a detailed examination.

For the majority of people, physiotherapy can help resolve most acute and straight-forwards issues within six to eight sessions but if you have a longer term condition, it may need a little longer and sometimes, it’s about managing the problem rather than solving it.

It is important that you ask your physiotherapist as many questions as you feel appropriate in order to make an informed decision about whether physiotherapy (and the physiotherapist) is right for you.

Please also be aware that your consent should be obtained at every stage of your sessions and without your permission, a physiotherapist shouldn’t progress with tests or treatments.

Remember, you can say no to treatment at any time.

Examples of conditions responsive to physiotherapy include ...

• Back/Pelvic Pain

• Neck Pain and Whiplash

• Shoulder Pain

• ‘Tennis’ and ‘Golfers’ Elbow

• Wrist/Hand Problems

• Hip/Knee Pain

• Ankle/Foot Pain

• Work-related problems

• Sports Injuries

• Arthritis

• Rehabilitation following

• Joint Replacement Surgery

Jen is a director of Physiotherapy Plus, which is based in James Street, Halifax. To find out more about her business log onto www.physiotherapy-plus.co.uk or email jen@physiotherapy-plus.co.uk