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Physiotherapy and mental health

When one thinks of physiotherapy one visualises exercise equipment, wheelchairs and walkers, however the work that physiotherapists do, goes a long way to maintaining proper mental health for their patients. Many people have found relief from depression by following a fitness program designed by their physiotherapist. In some cases they have been able to come off their medication (with their doctor's advice, of course), and resume a normal way of life.

Chronic pain often leads to depression, causing some people to be placed on antidepressants. A physiotherapy evaluation will begin by assessing your lifestyle, cause of the pain and any illnesses that may be present. The therapist will address the source of the pain, rather than just treating the pain itself. For example, if you suffer from headaches or back pain, your therapist will analyse every aspect of your life - work and leisure - before making up a treatment plan. This may include postural correction, workplace modification, body mechanics or even stress management. By eliminating the pain at its source, the depression can be overcome.

Overweight and obesity can also lead to depression. Many obese people isolate themselves, intensifying the problem of depression. The person's self-esteem is compromised, and some people may even become suicidal. Obese people can also be physically weak and lack proper balance, which makes them prone to injury and falls. Physiotherapy can help with exercises and counselling, which if followed, will help the person lose weight, look better and feel better about himself/herself.

Sleeping patterns can also be linked to proper mental health. Lack of sufficient sleep leads to a host of problems, including headaches, anxiety and fatigue. A physiotherapy program that includes aerobic exercise, massage, breathing and relaxation techniques can alleviate insomnia in a short time.

If you or someone you know has a mental health problem, speak to us or your doctor about physiotherapy. You may be pleasantly surprised at what we may be able to offer.


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