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Most often, clients come to Zoomers for physiotherapy in Halifax for pain relief. Sometimes the pain is new and associated with an acute injury like a fall or an accident of some kind. Sometimes the pain has been around for a long time and may be associated with a chronic condition like arthritis. In any case, it is common for clients to discontinue care when their pain is better…

After all, when the pain is gone, isn’t the issue resolved?

The answer to this is trickier than you may think. Pain can definitely be an indicator that there is problem in your body. However, pain can improve for a variety of reasons and its absence isn’t enough to be sure that the issue is resolved.

At Zoomers, we take a 3-step approach to fit for life physiotherapy care. Ensuring our clients are fit for life helps them receive the full benefit of physiotherapy care. Following an assessment of the client’s issue(s), we outline the path that we anticipate the client will need to follow to be fit for life and reach their goals.

Step 1 – Manage the Pain
Pain management is an important part of fit for life physiotherapy care. Pain can impact the way our clients move and the quality of their sleep. When our clients have pain, they are also often unable to cope with their activities of daily living and recreational activities.

Zoomers’ approach to pain management is always individualized to the client. We regularly educate our clients about the issues they are facing and why they are experiencing the symptoms they have. We also coach them through which activities are safe and appropriate to continue (even if uncomfortable) and those that are best left out initially while trying to get the pain under control.

Fit for life physiotherapy care requires an active approach to, we often prescribe gentle exercises that can reduce pain and improve the quality of movement. We also use hands on treatment to improve joint stiffness or muscle tension. Additionally, we can make use of modalities like ice, heat, acupuncture and other instruments that can provide immediate short term pain relief.

During this initial step of fit for life physiotherapy care, we often see clients twice per week to ensure the strategies are being effective. Often it will take 10-14 days to start to get pain under control. After the pain is more manageable with these tools, we are able to move our clients into the second step of their physiotherapy care.

Step 2 – Address the Underlying Issue
During the physiotherapy assessment, Zoomers physiotherapists do a comprehensive evaluation of the body. Often, the pain is located in one area while the issues causing the pain may actually be elsewhere. For instance, a foot that doesn’t have strength may be the reason that a knee is sore.

Once the pain has settled somewhat, Zoomers physiotherapists begin to implement the fit for life physiotherapy treatment program that actually addresses the areas at fault for the dysfunction. This work is key in ensuring that the improvement in symptoms is able to be sustained in the long-term.

Typically in this phase of fit for life physiotherapy, our clients will be working on an active rehabilitation program in the clinic as well as completing a home exercise program. These exercises can include strengthening, muscle flexibility, alignment practice and more. We often make use of mirrors, pictures or video recording to help our clients “see” how they move and be able to better learn new strategies that serve their bodies better. The better our clients are able to monitor their own position and alignment, the more likely they are to be successful in staying fit for life.

The duration of this step of care varies between clients. However, commonly It is 6-8 weeks and we might see our clients weekly or biweekly during that time. The visits serve as a time to progress exercises sufficiently to prepare our clients’ bodies to go back to all of their regular activities.

Step 3 – Gradual Return to Full Function
Once “all systems are a go” and their body is feeling and moving well, our clients progress into the final phase of fit for life physiotherapy care. They receive specific guidance on return to activities that are maximally challenging for the injured area. It is important to have guidelines about how to return to activities of daily living and sport so that we can reduce the risk of re-injury or symptom recurrence. The best way to stay fit for life is by implementing a proactive approach that minimizes the risk of new or recurrent injury.

During this last phase of fit for life physiotherapy care, visits are often spread out with weeks between visits. During this time, our clients integrate back into their regular routines. When they return to follow up through this period, the physiotherapist assesses their movement, strength and listens to how they felt during and after the activities to determine whether or not it is safe to proceed with more intense activities.

This third and final step in fit for life physiotherapy care can often extend 3-6 months beyond the initial injury depending on the severity of the issue and the intensity of activity the client is returning to.

Getting a comprehensive fit for life physiotherapy plan of care and following it through until the end is key to ensuring that our clients not only feel better but also move better for the long run!

Book an assessment with Zoomers

Use our online booking tool to find a time that works for you!