The most common thing that physiotherapists at Broadmead Physiotherapy hear during their initial consultations and first-time assessments is how long their patient has been suffering from pain, and the measures they are taking to manage it.
This makes seeing a physiotherapist sound like something that needs to be apologized for because the patient couldn’t manage the pain any longer. But it shouldn’t be that way.
Physiotherapists often see people who are in bad shape, with all kinds of trauma and injuries – and often, they could have been treated much, much sooner.
It seems that most people don’t know when it’s time to see a physiotherapist. That’s why we’ve made this list of five things to watch for so you’ll know when it’s time.
1. A Sudden Change in Mobility or Movement
Your level of mobility and the way you move should remain relatively constant throughout your life. Of course, aging may affect mobility and your range of motion over time, but it shouldn’t happen overnight.
If you suddenly realize that you can’t move like you normally would, or if you have pain when making certain movements, there is usually something more complicated going on with your body. Usually, mobility and movement problems are caused by trauma or an injury – so see a physiotherapist right away.
2. Consistent Pain
While everyone does suffer from some kind of body pain at least a few times in their lives, it’s important to consider cause and effect. If you slept in a less-than-optimal position and wake up with pain in your neck, it should resolve after a few days and only need a few anti-inflammatory tablets.
Likewise, if you had an intensive workout at the gym, it’s normal for your body to feel sore afterward. However, if you experience persistent pain that won’t go away on its own, it’s a sign that you need to see a physiotherapist.
3. Avoiding Certain Movements
Although it may seem like common sense to avoid movements that you know cause pain, it can actually be detrimental to other areas of your body. As discussed, any change in your natural range of movement is a problem.
Avoiding physiotherapy and avoiding movements that cause pain will actually cause long-term problems such as knotted muscles, tension, and weight and pressure being placed on ligaments that weren’t designed to take it.
4. Loss of Balance
Loss of balance is a serious problem – not only because it can be extremely disorienting, but because it puts you at risk of a fall or serious accident.
If you notice that you have lost your sense of balance and it’s not related to a problem in your ear, like an ear infection, you need to see a physiotherapist right away.
5. Urinary Incontinence
Surprisingly, urinary incontinence affects a lot more people than you’d think – and it’s a common symptom that can alert you to other changes or problems in your body. But, whether it’s urge incontinence, a result of pregnancy, or from stress, physiotherapy can do a great deal to treat it.
Don’t be embarrassed or frightened to reach out and ask for help if you are suffering. Pain is not a chronic condition that you have to live with for the rest of your life, but rather something to take note of. Having pain is a good indication that you need to take better care of your body and health.