Physiotherapy dates all the way back to 460 BC, with Hippocrates advocating the use of massage, manual therapy and hydrotherapy to treat those with bone and muscle-related disabilities. Physiotherapists have come a long way since then, with specialists in neuro-muscular disorders, heart and lung-related disorders, and paediatrics. At the end of the day, we are experts in muscles, bones, their neurological connections, and exercises.
Physiotherapists are commonly consulted to rectify aches and pains. These may be secondary to an injury, or may have developed for no apparent reason. Interestingly enough, most patients complain of back and neck pains, which “just woke up in the morning”. Questions on their lifestyle (at home, work and recreation), coupled with a musculoskeletal assessment, give clues as to what may have happened.
Such “random” pains seem to be largely due to anomalies in posture and alignment. These irregularities may occur due to unequal forces applied on the skeletal system, for example, repeatedly using one side more than the other.
This got me thinking — what if the muscular imbalances were identified in advance? Addressing these differences would thus prevent seemingly innocent movements from triggering such aches and pains. Muscular weaknesses and tightness could be used to PREDICT the development of postural anomalies, misalignments and points of degeneration (in weight—bearing joints).
I believe that today, the role of the physiotherapist is not restricted to pain management alone. It is also to PREVENT the deleterious effects of an imbalanced musculo-skeletal system.
Over the next three months, we will discuss the concept of Preventive Physiotherapy in the following areas:
1. Degenerative diseases (osteoarthritis,spondylitis)
2. Slipped disc
3. Before pregnancy and postnatal
In the meantime, move holistically! Consult one of our physiotherapists to identify your muscle imbalances and rectify them.
Article written by Aparna Shah, Physiotherapist
Image credit: Canva Pro