Physiotherapy is a Health Care Profession, and in keeping with that we play a vital and varied role within Ireland’s Health Service (public and private). Most people have seen physiotherapists treating injuries and assisting sports teams, but what about the other, less obvious roles we fill, specifically with regard to Health Promotion and Hospital Discharge? I’ve written this article so that when you next get sick, you know how my colleagues and I can better assist you in getting better and staying better.
Assess Your Fitness, Flexibility & Posture
If you’ve got any problem, no matter what it is, getting a comprehensive assessment is a crucially important step towards solving the problem. As a physiotherapist, I have assessment expertise in the areas of both Posture and Fitness.
Posture: From the top of your head right down to your feet, I can assess your posture and identify structures (muscles, bones, joints etc.) that are out of place, however slightly. Issues that might seem small, like fallen arches or forward shoulders, can nonetheless cause you big problems down the line, like Shin Splints or Frozen Shoulder. Posture assessments also includes assessing your flexibility, because tight muscles and joints inevitably lead to bad posture. After assessing you, I’ll prescribe exercises and strategies to help you achieve and maintain good posture.
Fitness: The health of your cardiopulmonary system (heart and lungs) is crucially important to your overall body health. Poor fitness can contribute to heart disease, lung disease or obesity, and generally makes everyday tasks that much harder to perform. Our physiotherapy degree includes comprehensive study of heart and lung biology, and physiotherapists play a central role in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes in hospitals. I can assess your fitness and prescribe you exercise at a precise level for your age and ability.
Both of these important areas come under the idea of Health Promotion. As experts on the mechanics of your body, physiotherapists have a duty to teach and help people like you maintain a fit and healthy body and that is exactly what I aim to do everyday in my Flynn Medical Exercise clinic.
Encourage and Facilitate You in Exercise
As physiotherapists, we can’t just prescribe you exercises and hope that you do them. It is my firm belief that we should also provide you with easy, sustainable ways of getting those exercises done. I’ve put that belief into practice in my clinic by offering regular Group Exercise Classes which my patients can access as much as they require. Offering my patients regular, cost-effective ways to maintain your flexibility, improve your posture and increase your fitness is the most important service I offer to my patients.
Of course, not every patient is suitable for group classes. Some patients have complex heart, lung or weight issues and require individual attention. That is why I also offer Individual Exercise Therapy sessions of which all my patients can avail. Getting time to exercise individually with your physiotherapist is an essential part of any rehabilitation programme, because we can target the exercises to your specific goals.
To Be Continued…
Be sure to keep an eye out for my next Community Physiotherapy Article to read about physiotherapy’s role in facilitating Early Hospital Discharge and Achieving Functional Independence. Until then, all the best!