Remember the old proverb, “no pain, no gain”? While it might inspire your workout or look cool on a graphic t-shirt, this motto isn't a fact – it's fiction. We tend to believe that pain is an indication of success when in reality, it’s a giant red flag that we should always pay attention to.
“Usually when people have pain, they avoid getting it looked at by a professional,” says Alex Chow, a Physiotherapist at HealthOne. “But pain is often a warning signal that you shouldn’t ignore because it can lead to a more serious or chronic issue.”
That's right — even a minor injury can turn into something more complicated. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or ultra-marathon runner to visit a physiotherapist. For everyday injuries like sprains, strains, and pains, you deserve a seat in our Rehab clinic as much as the next person does.
We interviewed Alex to understand more about how he treats common injuries. But first, let’s take a closer look at what physio is all about.
What is Physiotherapy Treatment?
Put simply, physiotherapy is used to assess and diagnose injuries. There are other things a physiotherapist can help you with – like creating an exercise program or teaching you more about your body – but ultimately, injuries are the “bread and butter” of what they do.
An injury can happen practically anywhere on your body. If it’s affecting your muscles, bones, joints, tendons, or ligaments, it’s something a physiotherapist can treat. There are two main types of injuries people can experience, according to Alex. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the differences between them.
Acute vs. Chronic Injuries
An acute injury happens suddenly, without warning. “For example, a sports injury where you twist your ankle or injure a ligament in your knee,” Alex explains. “You’d experience some sort of pain and your function would often be limited.”
In comparison, a chronic injury develops slowly over time. You’ll still experience pain, but it will develop more the longer you go untreated. “There might not be an actual injury, but you’ll notice aches and pains starting to creep up,” he adds.
Having an acute or chronic injury is a telltale sign you should visit a physiotherapist. They’ll assess the issue at hand and come up with an individualized treatment plan to get you back to a pain-free life. With that, let’s uncover the five everyday injuries a physiotherapist can treat.
- Neck injuries. Alex shares that these tend to be more chronic. The progression of pain will be slower and more gradual. In many cases, neck injuries prevail in people who work at a desk all day and don’t exercise much.
- Low back injuries. These also tend to fall under the chronic injury category. Pain, stiffness, and tightness are especially common in people who work from home. Low back injuries can also develop in people who do sports or physical activities.
- Shoulder injuries. On the other hand, these are usually acute and onset. “The most common examples for shoulder injuries are from working out at the gym - so things like push-ups and shoulder presses,” Alex says. “Even rowing and overhead sports like volleyball, tennis, and baseball can put more torque on the shoulder.”
- Knee injuries. These also tend to be acute onset injuries. They’re frequently seen in people who play lower body sports (think: running, basketball, or soccer).
- Ankle injuries. As with knee injuries, ankle injuries are also found commonly in athletes. If you play a sport that requires cutting or pivoting, you have a higher chance of developing this type of acute onset injury.
When a patient comes in with any of these everyday injuries, the first thing a physiotherapist will do is evaluate their mobility and functionality. “This helps me formulate a diagnosis, identify the cause, and come up with a program to help them recover,” Alex shares.
How is Physiotherapy Done?
Staying active is of utmost importance whether you’re rehabbing an injury or just living a healthy life. At HealthOne, we encourage our patients to be active participants in their recovery because it speeds up the healing process.
You might think that sitting on the couch for weeks is the best-case scenario for your acute ankle sprain. But in reality, this could leave you stiffer and prolong your recovery even more.
Most treatment plans that Alex creates for patients involve some sort of exercise program. That could include gentler exercises, like stretches, or more strength-based moves to build muscle. It’s largely dependent on the type of injury you have and the goals you have for the future.
“There is also a hands-on therapy component,” he adds. “Depending on the practitioner, that could involve acupuncture, electroacupuncture, deep tissue massage, or even adjustments – similar to what chiropractors do.”
Your practitioner will explain to you their recommended course of action and book follow-up appointments, if necessary. Our clinic offers both in-person and virtual physiotherapy so you have the option of completing your check-ins from home!
Who needs Physiotherapy?
Alex shares that everyone can benefit from physiotherapy at some point in their life. “From a young age, it’s so ingrained in us that we have to see a dentist every year and brush and floss between appointments to maintain our oral health. Physio is no different than that, except it’s for the entire body.”
So, if you’re wondering who needs physiotherapy... the answer is technically everyone! First and foremost are the people who have acute or chronic injuries. On top of that, you can benefit from visiting a physio if you want to learn more about your body and exercise better.
What many people are surprised to learn is that physios can also treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Patients with bell's palsy disease, cerebral palsy disease, strokes, cardiovascular issues, lung issues, and metabolic issues can also benefit from physiotherapy.
One of the best ways to discuss your suitability is by booking a FREE 15-minute consultation!
How much does Physiotherapy Cost?
During a consultation, you can meet one of our physiotherapists and ask any questions you have about their treatment approach. They’ll discuss how you could work together and whether your injury could be resolved at our clinic.
Following this, your initial 60-minute assessment will cost $130. Follow-up appointments are usually 30-minutes in length, and cost $85 per session. Most major insurance plans cover in-person physiotherapy as well as virtual appointments. You can contact our clinic at 416 477 0033 for a free insurance check.
At the end of the day, we all want to be in harmony with our bodies. The everyday tasks of life are so much more enjoyable when we don’t experience pain. Whether you sit in front of a computer all day or live an active lifestyle, injuries are bound to come up at some point. We can’t determine when they’ll happen, but we can decide how to react.
Visiting an experienced physiotherapist is the first thing you should do when you develop a chronic or acute injury. The longer you wait, the longer your recovery will be – and no one likes to be couch-ridden on a beautiful sunny day.
Alex works at our Rehab & Orthotics clinic along with many other professionals. We have an Osteopath, Kinesiologist, Registered Massage Therapist, and Chiropractor – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Our multidisciplinary team would love to help you recover from your injury and get back to living an inspired life.
One Life. Live Inspired.