When someone mentions physiotherapy, it’s only normal to think of treatment for physical aches and pain. People seek out a physiotherapist to manage their sports injuries, control back pain, or alleviate a shoulder ache that won’t go away using other treatment options. But, did you know your physiotherapist can also assist in improving your mental and emotional health?
Mental health issues continue to increase globally and Australian society hasn’t escaped unscathed as people of all ages battle conditions such as depression and anxiety. Medication and seeing a therapist or psychologist are essential elements of a mental health treatment plan. But, booking a physiotherapy session with a Noosa physio can play a vital role in experiencing the change you’re after.
Statistics: Mental Health Disorders in Australia
Current statistics show that 1 in 5, or around 4.2 million, Australians from 16 to 85 years old have experienced a mental health issue in the past 12 months. Anxiety disorders are most prevalent with depression following close behind. Furthermore, the same study revealed that 14% of children aged between 4 and 17 have experienced a mental health challenge in the same period.
With over 800,000 Australians living with severe mental illness, finding ways to support and improve their emotional wellness is vital. Physiotherapy is one treatment that offers a holistic approach to managing such debilitating conditions by promoting health and enabling rehabilitation that empowers people to live a fulfilling life.
3 Ways Your Physiotherapist Can Support and Improve Your Mental Health
1. Reduces Pain for Better Mental Health Management
Chronic pain and mental health are often interconnected with the conditions exacerbating each other! People suffering from chronic pain are more likely to develop a mental health disorder while it’s possible for anxiety and depression to make a person less resilient to handle pain.
Battling chronic pain causes you to have poor sleep while increasing your stress levels, all of which give rise to depression and other mood disorders. It’s not unusual for someone suffering from arthritis, back pain, migraines or fibromyalgia to experience depression or anxiety at the same time.
Pain management is key to controlling mental illnesses and having massage therapy with an experienced physio gives you the following benefits:
- Pain relief
- Reduction in stress levels
- Improved blood pressure
- Better management of anxiety
- Increased flexibility and movement
Your physiotherapist can help reduce chronic pain while keeping it under control to alleviate unpleasant side effects such as mental and emotional distress.
2. Increases Body Movement and Improves Mood Disorders
Physiotherapy requires you to move your body and the more you exercise the better your serotonin levels and this occurrence is known to improve mood disorders. This therapy isn’t about exercise such as spinning on a stationary bike or pushing weights—your physiotherapist will be moving your body parts to strengthen and condition them for better physical performance.
A physiotherapist can treat musculoskeletal conditions, rehabilitate sports injuries and manage persistent pain which is commonly associated with mental health issues. By treating these troubling conditions, a physio can help restore physical fitness levels and increased mobility has been shown to improve mood disorders.
Other benefits of physio treatment and more body movement include:
- Improved sleep
- More stamina and zest for life
- Less stress and anxiety
- Better weight management
With a stronger body, you can become more active which is hugely beneficial for your psyche.
3. Get Back Your Sense of Hope
Hope is one of the first feelings to disappear when you’re battling chronic pain, depression and anxiety. When you’re feeling hopeless you experience despair, withdraw from life and suffer from low self-esteem as you believe nothing will ever come right again. Persistent pain can rob you of ever feeling hopeful again and this affects your mood as well.
Receiving physio treatment for chronic pain does more than help remove unpleasant physical symptoms. It can increase your mental and emotional health when you notice you have less pain and better mobility. You may start feeling that life isn’t that bad after all!
Attending small group physiotherapy rehab classes not only helps improve your body but encourages social interaction. This can lead to improved moods, especially with others encouraging you regularly.
Managing chronic pain is key to preventing distressing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Likewise, alleviating pain associated with mental illnesses improves the way you manage your emotional health and wellbeing. A holistic treatment plan should include a physiotherapist who not only understands physical pain but mental and emotional concerns as well.
Working with a physio who uses a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare empowers you to find solutions, no matter the original source of the problem. Pick your healthcare partners in such a way that you have the best possible chance of improving all aspects of your life.