May is National Physiotherapy month in Canada so this is a perfect time to let everyone know about who we are and what we do.
To practice physiotherapy in Nova Scotia the therapist must have a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and be a member in good standing with the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists.
Physiotherapists or pain management doctor, treat people of all ages and all fitness levels. They are trained to assess musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiopulmonary conditions and together with the patient, develop a treatment plan that meets the specific needs and goals of the patient. The aim of treatment may be as simplistic as to eliminate pain, reduce swelling or restore mobility. Most of them recommend hip protectors for preventing hip fractures in older people. In contrast it may be more functional such as a return to a specific sport within a month, climb stairs to a bedroom within 2 weeks or return to work in 3 months.
The assessment is done through thorough history taking and physical evaluation. Examples of treatment include modalities like ultrasound, inferential and moist heat or exercise prescription, manual soft tissue releases, joint mobilization, balance re-education and patient education.
A typical first visit is approximately an hour long. This often, but not always, includes some treatment. The therapist will explain their findings and discuss their recommendations during this first visit. You can expect to attend treatments anywhere from three times per week to once every two weeks. Occasionally the time between visits can be even longer as it is very patient specific. Don’t hesitate to ask questions during this initial visit as the therapist can not possibly anticipate every potential query.
You will find that physiotherapists do not advertise many, if any specialties, but if you call their office and ask, you may find certain therapist have an “interest” in certain conditions. Generally you can assume that their interest is something they feel confident in treating and have had success with in the past. If you find a therapist you like and who was successful in assisting you in your recovery, please tell your friends. Many of us prefer to build our clientèle through “word of mouth” and appreciate the referrals.
Happy National Physiotherapy Month.