Not sure if the pain or discomfort you’re experiencing is par for the course or something worth investigating? You’re not alone. To help, we’ve rounded up nine clear-cut signs you need to see a physio. And get your body back functioning at its full potential!
1. You have headaches
Headaches aren’t always a result of dehydration, eye strain, illness or stress – they are often caused by muscular tension in the neck or jaw, as well as poor posture. In many cases, your physiotherapist can assist with relieving your symptoms and assign exercises to prevent headaches from recurring. If your headaches are of a more severe nature, they will of course refer you to a medical professional.
2. You keep tripping over
If you’re struggling with your balance more than usual, it’s time to make an appointment with your friendly physio. There are a number of reasons your balance could be out of whack and your physiotherapist will be able to help by assessing the causes of your balance issues, then prescribing an exercise regime to restore your equilibrium.
3. You’re always tired
If you’re suffering from chronic back pain or a bung shoulder, it can be a struggle to manage the recommended eight hours of shut eye. Alleviating pain will help you to sleep better, and awaken bright and refreshed, rather than grumpy and achy. Your physio will also be able to advise on the right mattress/ pillow/ sleeping position to suit your individual needs.
4. You’ve rolled your ankle twice… this week
Recurring injury can be an indicator of inefficient movement patterns, restricted mobility, or underlying musculoskeletal issues. Your physiotherapist will be able to help correct any imbalances and provide strengthening and mobilising exercises. Ensuring those little accidents occur far less frequently!
5. Your ear aches
If you frequently experience ear ache, facial pain, a clicking noise when yawning or eating, headaches, tinnitus or neck pain, you could be suffering from TMJ or jaw dysfunction. A physiotherapist with experience in this area (such as The Alignment Studio’s Peter Bond) will be able to assist you in managing pain and correcting dysfunction with techniques including muscle massage, mobilisation and dry needling.
6. You have shin splints
If shin splints are derailing your training plans, a trip to the physio can be very beneficial. Your physiotherapist will be able to run a full biomechanical screening, assess your technique and identify any muscle dysfunction, advise on shoe choice and orthotics, and tailor a program to improve lower limb strength, stability and mobility, and expediate your return to running.
7. You have a stabbing heel pain
Sharp pain in your heel, particularly during the morning, is a sign you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Older people, overweight individuals, pregnant women, those with high arches or arthritis, and active folk with tight calf or lower leg muscles, are more susceptible to this condition. A physiotherapist can help alleviate your symptoms with soft tissue massage and taping, equip you with beneficial stretches, and address any biomechanical issues that may be at play.
8. You have restricted mobility
Being able to move freely is important for your sense of vitality, and mobility – like strength or fitness – is something that needs consistent work to maintain. Aside from helping you feel youthful and agile, maintaining a good range of motion will substantially reduce your risk of injury. Regardless of whether you’re loading your joints at the gym, or simply bending down to pick up a toddler.
A physiotherapist will address any issues hindering your movement and provide stretches and strategies for home, such as self-myofascial release using a foam roller or spiky ball.
9. You’re in pain
This one’s a no brainer! If you are experiencing acute or ongoing bodily pain that feels muscular or joint-related, an appointment with a physiotherapist should be your first port of call.
Also, if you would like to know what’s the best treatment for your pain symptoms – physiotherapy or remedial massage then make sure to read our latest article about it.
Pete Hunt is a highly skilled physiotherapist with nearly three decades of experience working in sports physiotherapy and private practice. The Director of The Alignment Studio, he has a special interest in musculoskeletal and sports injuries, orthopaedic rehabilitation and postural syndrome. With a caring, communicative approach, Pete uses a combination of joint and soft tissue mobilisation and exercise prescription to treat his clients. He’s also passionate about education for injury prevention and lasting results.