Physiotherapists have been considered experts … in this field for over a hundred years.
Once a dysfunction has been identified and addressed, it is important to maintain this improvement by the patient performing specific exercises.
Exercises are given specifically for the individual problem.
They may be given in order to mobilise a hypomobile or stiff joint eg a frozen shoulder or a stiff knee following surgery, or a stiff back. This is a way for the patient to continue at home the treatment given by the therapist’s manual therapy in the clinic.
Exercise may be given to stabilise an area of hypermobility (too much movement, lax joints), eg a shoulder that recurrently dislocates, or back that recurrently “goes out”.
Often, a combination of both the above are necessary. One area is stiff and the neighbouring area is hypermobile (too loose!).
Many people have muscle imbalances, caused by poor posture or by work or lifestyle. This means that some muscles become short and tight, and others long and weak. This may cause pain, or be the result of previous pain. Stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak, underactive muscles helps to resolve the problem.
Of course, some people require exercise to improve their general fitness, and we can help and advise with this too. Many older people find that their balance becomes a problem, and exercises can help here. It is important that the reasons for loss of balance is assessed fully first by the physiotherapist. Exercises may be given for certain types of dizziness and vestibular disorders.
Your physiotherapist is an expert in assessing what is required, and you will be given a comprehensive programme of exercise to help resolve your problem.
We usually give a print-out of your exercises, or email them to you so that you don’t forget what you have been taught in your physio session. It’s good to attend a follow-up to ensure the exercises are being done correctly, and they can be adapted …. and of course made harder if necessary!