As active, sporting individuals, the majority of us will probably have some sort of physiotherapy experience at some stage.
Traditionally physiotherapy is considered to be:
‘The treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise rather than by drugs or surgery”
While this is still applicable, the profession is evolving. These days our focus is as much on injury prevention and performance optimization, as it is on cure.
When seeing a therapist , it’s important to have your personal goals in mind. To help you do this, here is the IFC guide to getting the most out of physiotherapy:
1) Get regular check-ups to prevent unnecessary injury
This should include:
- Analyzing your movement patterns
- Determining areas of potential injury
- Identifying muscles imbalances
- Postural analysis
This will help you use your body in the most safe and efficient way possible, maximising your performance and keeping you pain free.
2) Use prehab/rehab training to improve your movement patterns
Our body has around 600 muscles, all working together; while one contracts, another relaxes and another stabilises to create smooth, well coordinated movement. If one component of this chain is tight, weak or has a history of injury, the surrounding muscles can be forced to compensate, increasing your risk of secondary issues.
Make sure you get a functional, full body screen for effective, long term results.
3) Be proactive
You will get as much out of physiotherapy as you put in. While passive treatment options such a electrotherapy, massage and manual therapy are fantastic adjuncts, we believe the primary focus should be on specific, well targeted exercise.
If your therapy end goal is healthy, well balanced muscles and joints, then sadly the only way to achieve this is through plain old hard work.
4) Train to compensate for the less healthy aspects of your day to day life
Sedentary modern lifestyle choices, such as desk based jobs, are a major contributor to movement disorders.
Spending prolonged periods sitting can result in tightness of the anterior muscles, such as the hip flexors, coupled with laxity/inactivity in the muscles of the posterior chain, such as the glutes.
Specific, well targeted prehab/rehab training can be used to compensate for this and prevent potential overuse injuries.
5) Don’t view physiotherapy as a stand alone profession, get a good support network around you.
These days the most successful athletes have a good multidisciplinary team around them, usually, but not exclusively, consisting of:
- Sports massage therapists
- Personal trainers
- Strength and conditioning coaches
If you want to achieve the best, make sure you have the best support team working together to help you take your performance to the next level.
Here at IFC we aim to offer all the above services under one roof, with the common goal of helping you to find the perfect balance between achieving your personal best and staying injury free.
For more information on this or any of our services, drop an email to Annie@IFCPT.com or give me a call +65 9821 1222.
Annie trained in the UK and has worked in both London and Singapore. She is a rugby enthusiast and head physio for the Bedok Kings RFC as well as working closely with the Singapore Rugby Union. She, and the therapy team are also affiliated with the British Dragon Boat Team and the crew from Juggernaut Fight Club.