What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a form of treatment often used to restore, maintain or improve a person’s movement and physical wellbeing. Physiotherapy helps individuals suffering with prolonged pain, reduced movement, weak bones, joints and tissues, sports injuries and other debilitating conditions. It can also be used as a practice to educate patients on improving their physical performance, avoiding injury and maintaining physical wellbeing.
Physiotherapy at the HSA:
If you or your loved one would benefit from physiotherapy, please contact a member of our Physiotherapy Team at 244-7675 or 244-2730. Our Therapy Services are located at our Bay Town House location, 36 West Bay Rd.
When is Physiotherapy needed and what conditions can it treat?
Although there are a variety of reasons as to why someone may see a physiotherapist, some of the main reasons include:
- Chronic illnesses that have affected one’s balance, mobility or motor skills, such as diabetes.
- Post-surgery: if a limb or joint was affected or operated on, movement in this area is vital to proper rehabilitation, therefore physiotherapy can assist with accelerating the healing process.
- Ageing: as we age, we experience changes in our physical movement/ease of functioning. Physiotherapy can help educate such patients on how to improve movement in the areas they are concerned with.
- Injury: physiotherapy is often used to treat those recovering from sports-related injuries to manage pain, increase mobility, and educate on avoiding injuries in the future.
Most people are familiar with physiotherapy to manage back, joint and neck pain but there are also multiple other conditions that can be effectively identified and managed with physiotherapy. These conditions and treatment options, as listed below, are all available at the Health Services Authority through our highly trained staff who provide individualized assessments and management to maximize each patient’s recovery and functional return.
Types of Physiotherapy Treatment/Rehabilitation
The goal of rehabilitation after limb loss is to ambulate successfully with the use of a prosthesis and to return to a high level of function within the community. HSA provides rehabilitation from pre-surgery through acute post-surgery, prosthetic prescription and training to community reintegration.
Lymphoedema is often the result of surgery (lymph node removal, mastectomies etc.) and radiation therapy for cancer. Other causes include trauma or infection of lymphatic system and severe venous insufficiencies. There are four Certified Lymphoedema Therapists who provide manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandages and garments and exercise prescription to manage symptoms.
Women’s health physiotherapy at H.S.A. is available to treat women’s health issues such as incontinence, pelvic/ vaginal pain, prenatal and postpartum musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, rehabilitation following breast surgery, lymphoedema, education prevention, wellness and exercise and so much more.
Pelvic floor stimulators, for the treatment of incontinence, are also available for rental.
Hand Therapy & Upper Limb Therapy
This form of physiotherapy is geared towards treating conditions / injuries of the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand as well as post operative rehab involving these areas. These conditions include but are not limited to: rotator cuff injuries and repairs, shoulder replacement, nerve injuries and repairs, tendon transfers, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, DeQuervain’s, flexor and extensor tendon repairs, ligament injuries, management of various fractures, dislocations, arthritis and management of upper extremity burns.
Types of therapy often include use of continuous passive motion, supervised exercise programs (active and passive), Edema management, custom splinting services using Thermoplast, electro acupuncture, soft tissue manipulation and scar management.
Physiotherapy for neurological conditions is quite often tailored for those who have had a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord or neuromuscular degeneration/disease. On staff are two physiotherapists who have pursued specialization in neuro-rehabilitation with an aim to provide our patients with the best possible care and help them to return to as close to their prior level of function as possible. We use a broad range of therapeutic modalities to achieve this including but not limited to therapeutic exercise and neuromuscular electrical stimulation.
Physiotherapy for orthopaedic rehabilitation is available for a wide range of conditions. Some of these include hip and knee replacements, arthritis, spinal pain, muscle and joint pains and sacro-iliac dysfunction.
Spinal and radicular pain can be managed by the specialized McKenzie method.
Paediatric physiotherapists help children to achieve their optimal physical development. They have specialist knowledge in the movement, development and varying conditions that are likely to affect the baby and growing child. Our Physiotherapists treat babies from day one in the neonatal unit, until adolescent age. As children are not small adults, it is important to understand the anatomy of a child and use age-appropriate treatment methods and play based therapy, to achieve the best outcome.
Our paediatric physiotherapists care for babies and children with a range of conditions affecting their physical development. This may be due to difficulties experienced at birth, trauma, illness, disability, and developmental delay.
Some examples of common concerns that parents may have include:
- Newborn babies not tolerating tummy time
- Babies having flat spots on the back or side of their heads, especially after 7 weeks old
- Babies who have difficulty with rolling, sitting, crawling and walking
- Toddlers with pigeon toes, bow legs, in-rolling ankles, knock knees.
- Children who have difficulties with coordination, balance, walking and running
- Frequent falls, poor balance and coordination
- Children and teenagers who have any sports related injuries
- Children with poor posture or children who complain of frequent muscular pain
- Premature infants or low birth weight infants (<1500g)
Movement is a very important aspect of development for babies and children, allowing them to explore their environment to grow and learn.
Sports Medicine Rehabilitation
The treatment for sports injuries is skilled and multidisciplinary. Injuries can range from overuse injuries (typically from repetitive motions), to large macro traumas (such as ligament tears), and even include
injuries related to growth (for example, Osgood Schallter’s). After a comprehensive assessment, rehabilitation will include a personalized exercise prescription to increase mobility, strength, and proprioception with the aim to return the client to their prior level of function (pre-inury state) or to achieve peak athletic performance.
This form of physiotherapy is largely exercise-based to assist with disorientation and dizziness. This intervention is often needed if one is struggling with prolonged dizziness, nausea, headaches, vertigo (room spinning dizziness), frequent falls or visual disturbances. There are three therapists on staff with specialization in vestibular rehabilitation.
Work Site/Ergonomic Evaluations
Within the workplace environment, the body can be stressed by awkward postures and repetitive movements leading to musculoskeletal problems such as neck/back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Ergonomic assessments are provided by Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialists.
Physiotherapy Group Sessions Offered at the H.S.A:
Neurological Rehabilitation Class
- Once per week
- Exercises for Neurological patients who have completed intensive rehab and require a maintenance programme to help prevent severe disability and maintain the patient’s functional independence (with input from an Occupational Therapist).
- Education regarding proper use of walking aides, falls prevention etc.
- Once per week
- Exercises for Back patients who have completed individual sessions with their assigned Therapist and require further education and exercise to assist them with core stabilization and muscle strengthening to help offset pain and minimize recurring episodes of pain.
- Education regarding lifestyle modifications including posture correction, proper ergonomics and proper bending and lifting techniques.
- Once per week
- Exercises for patients who have Parkinson’s disease with an emphasis on coordination, balance and gait retraining as well as muscle strengthening, to help delay the onset of severe disability.
- Education regarding proper use of walking aides and falls prevention.
- Twice per week
- Part of a multidisciplinary team program with collaboration between the Physiotherapist and the General Practitioner, the Nutritionist, and the Psychologist prior to Bariatric surgery.
- Exercises to facilitate better cardiovascular health and muscle strength preoperatively thereby improving the postoperative outcome.
- Familiarizes the patient with gym exercises thereby facilitating compliance with a routine exercise program post operatively
- Educates the patient on the physical / exercise aspects of weight loss and calorie expenditure I.e., strength training, cardio, NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).
- Once per week
- Exercises for patients who have undergone a Total Knee Replacement to promote improved joint range of motion, muscle strength, gait and balance retraining.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Class
- Three times per week
- To facilitate full recovery and lifelong management after a cardiac event including stents and Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts (CAGB).
- Combination strength training and cardio
- Education sessions with Clinical Psychologist, Pharmacists, Nutritionist, Cardiac Nurse are also included.
Group Exercise Classes
- Once weekly
- Those whose conditions are being managed primarily through exercise therapy.
- Those who still need some guided supervision with their exercises.
Shoulder Rehab Class
- Once weekly in the Physio gym or at a pool facility
- Exercises are primarily resisted and strengthening work suitable only for patients in the intermediate to advanced stage of post operative rehab.
- Primarily geared towards patients who have had shoulder surgery and are in the final stages of their rehab or those plateauing and no longer require multiple one on one sessions weekly.
- Lays the groundwork for discharge from Physiotherapy and the resumption of their normal life duties, tasks, and functions.
Modalities available at the Health Services Authority
- Shortwave Diathermy
- Shockwave Therapy
- Low Intensity Laser Therapy
- Acupuncture and Dry Needling
- Continuous Passive Motion
- Multi-Frequency Stimulation (NMES) including Interferential, Russian, Diadynamic, TENS, Sinusoidal, Faradic, Galvanic, Interrupted Galvanic, Trabert, Medi-Wave, Microcurrent and S/D curve
- Therapeutic Exercise Prescription
- Paraffin wax
- Heat and Cryotherapy