Did you know that every year, something as seemingly innocuous as back pain costs the country millions of dollars? Back pain itself affects many people over the age of 40 but the truth is that most back pain remains undiagnosed, untreated, or in the “too hard basket”. What this means is that many people are suffering from back pain and other generalised complaints but they are not doing anything about it apart from popping painkillers or anti-inflammatories.
A Doctor or a Physiotherapist?
When we are in some pain and discomfort, our first instinct is to make an appointment with the local GP. In the context of checking for more serious illnesses and underlying problems, this makes perfect sense. Even someone with generalised back pain needs to know that there are no sinister causes.
The real problem occurs when no other cause can be found and the doctor simply tries to manage the patient on an ongoing basis by prescribing painkilling medication. In many cases, a doctor will say that a condition is idiopathic, meaning that he or she can find no known causes for it and the pain seems to be specific to the person.
For many physical ailments, a Camberwell physio is the better option. Physiotherapists are specifically trained in the workings of the human musculoskeletal system. They understand that many physical ailments are the result of untreated conditions such as trapped nerves, tight or knotted muscle fibres, poor posture, and so on.
When seeing physios, they will evaluate a person’s condition and talk to them about a tailored treatment plan. This plan may involve one or more of the following:
- Massage therapy
- Stretching exercises
How One Injury Causes Another
It is not uncommon for one injury to be the cause of other problems. For example, a sporting injury that causes a severely twisted ankle can certainly cause a person to alter his or her gait and the way that he or she moves and stands still. This altered gait and posture will then place undue pressures on other parts of the musculoskeletal system, possibly causing further complications such as an aching back and sore knees and hips.
The role of the physio in this example would be to discover the root cause of the issues, explain to the patient the mechanics of what is causing the problem, and then customise a treatment plan. In such a case, the treatment plan may involve icing the ankle and then rehabilitating it through a series of gentle foot-focused exercises in order to restore peak mobility and flexibility.
In many cases, seeing a physio in conjunction with taking medication is a good way to approach physical therapy and rehabilitation. Life is unpredictable and we don’t always know when we will be injured, lose our mobility, or face other physical problems. Seeing a physio can help to relieve and treat many of these problems.