Physiotherapy is a self-regulated profession that encompasses the training to treat a broad array of medical conditions. Physiotherapists have a University degree and are primary health care providers skilled to assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of health conditions.
They incorporate their comprehensive knowledge of the human body and translate it into a customized treatment plan specific to the individual, injury, diagnoses and goals.
There are many conditions that Physiotherapists can treat. The most common we think of are musculoskeletal pain ( ie Low back pain, knee pain) and/or sport or activity related injuries ( ie. rotator cuff strain, ankle sprain).
There are many other conditions, although perhaps some less common that Physiotherapist can treat that many people do not realize.
Pelvic Pain & Sexual Dysfunction (Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, PFD)
Pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction can dramatically affect quality of life for men & women. Infact 20% of people experience PFD in Canada.
For all people PFD can lead to:
- Pain with intercourse
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Leakage or urine or stool throughout the day or night
- Loss or bowel or bladder control with a cough, sneeze, laugh, or physical activity
- Inability to hold your urine and/or stool when you feel the urge to do so
- Low back pain +/- pain travelling down to into buttock area and/or thigh
- High urinary frequency
- Feeling of the balder not being empty after voiding
Physiotherapists trained in Pelvic Floor rehabilitation are trained to assess Pelvic Floor bones, musculature, ligaments, and fascia of the pelvic area. As well as the low back, hips, and pelvic floor parts of the core. The pelvic floor is the bottom of your core system and is very important to core strength, urinary, bowel, sexual, and reproductive functions of the core. For example, similarly to other joints and muscles in the body, in the internal part of the exam of pelvic floor area strength and endurance will be assessed. Along with range of motion (amount of movement) of the hips and pelvis (sacroiliac joint). If needed trigger points in the pelvic floor (internally) and/or hip/pelvic girdle externally will be manually released and passively stretched. You will then be shown how to properly contract your pelvic floor, commonly known as a “kegel” which is the primary key to recovery. When this is not done correctly it can cause more harm than good.
Upon mastering your pelvic floor contraction or “kegel” you will be given a core and strength program to prevent further symptoms and get you on the road to recovery!
Foot Pain & Custom Orthotics
Physiotherapists are thoroughly trained in all areas of the body including your foot. What many people don’t know is that Physiotherapists can create a cast of your foot to produce your very own custom foot orthotic. Orthotics are helpful for pain throughout the body, but specifically the lower back and downward.
They will first perform a thorough gait analysis and assessment. Then they will cast a mould of your foot in a neutral position. These plaster casts are then shipped to Paris Orthotics where they will fabricate your individualized custom orthotics from the mould supplied. Essentially the orthotics work by bringing the ground up to your foot minimizing maligned joints and supporting the affected areas needed in a neutral position. These malalignments can cause our gait mechanics (walking pattern) to put unnecessary stress on our joints and tissues thus causing pain into the feet, lower extremities, and even travelling up to the back.
Custom Foot Orthotics for all types of footwear can be created from runners and everyday shoes to dress shoes and even hockey/figure skates.
ie. Delayed Motor Milestones, Torticollis & Plagiocephaly, genetic disorders (Down syndrome, Prader-Willi), Cerebral Palsy and so on.
People of all ages benefit from Physiotherapy whether it is an injury, a chronic back problem or someone trying to get back into fitness and wanting an area assessed to prevent the risk of injury.
People wonder, why would an infant need Physiotherapy? In the first year of life in particular babies experience a widespread amount of gross motor development from being a little newborn to a toddler efficient in exploring their environment.
Physiotherapists that are trained in Pediatric Physiotherapy have a comprehensive knowledge of these motor skills and tools to help parents assist their children attain them. For all children early intervention is key. Your Physiotherapist will teach you as the parent or caregiver strategies and exercise designed to help your child progress through their motor milestones.
There are also other conditions that would benefit infants such as torticollis (shortened neck muscle on one side). This can lead to pain impaired neck movement, difficulty feeding, and if not corrected delayed motor milestones or plagiocephaly (a flat spot on the head).
There are a vast number of genetic disorders as well that can result in developmental delays due to poor muscle tone and/or strength, impaired cognition, joint pain and so on.
With all pediatric concerns early intervention as mentioned above is key!
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Dysfunction
This is a disorder of the jaw which causes varying degrees of pain. Although some experience slight pain and tightness, others may experience severe pain affecting their sleep or quality of life, for example. When TMJ pain is severe often your jaw will lock on you. Other less intense symptoms along with mild pain include clicking or popping of the jaw.
Often TMJ dysfunction can happen due to stress. Many of us clench our jaw or grind or teeth when experiencing stress. This can happen all day long or only throughout the night. A nightguard can be very helpful to lessen tooth damage, as well as pain. However, Physiotherapy can be extremely helpful in relieving and managing TMJ pain.
Techniques Physiotherapists in Winnipeg will use to treat TMJ include manual therapy (joint mobilizations), soft tissue release (releasing trigger points in muscles commonly known as “trigger points”, stretching musculature), as well as exercise prescription and education on how to avoid irritation of the jaw and symptom management thus lessening pain.