It’s been a hard year for everyone this year adapting to a new way of life with isolation procedures.

September 8, marks World PT Day, a reminder that there’s never been a better time to look after your mental and physical health than now.

What is World PT day?

World PT day was designated in 1996, and each year the day marks solidarity of the global Physiotherapy community. It’s an opportunity to recognise the work physiotherapists do for their patients and community.

The focus on this year’s World PT day is rehabilitation after COVID-19 and using telehealth to enable remote access to people in need.

In a statement, World Physiotherapy President, Emma Stokes said COVID-19 had impacted many people’s lives, and as the experts in functional movement, physiotherapists can help people recover from COVID-19.

“Physiotherapists have played a key role during the acute response phase of the pandemic, and this will continue in many parts of the world. A physiotherapist can help people understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 and work with them to support their recovery.”

While Physiotherapy can help in the direct treatment of recovery of COVID-19, there are also other areas where Physiotherapy is assisting people to achieve a greater balance of wellness during isolation.

Here are some of the more common situations people are starting to encounter because of the new lifestyle of being in a pandemic and how Physiotherapy is helping.

Working from home injuries

With more people working from home, Physiotherapists around the country are starting to see an increase in work-related injuries.

In addition to the more common neck and shoulder complaints, people are beginning to have signs of repetitive strain type injuries. People are sitting for long periods, and their workstation at home is often not set up properly for adequate neck and back support.

It’s critical that people stand up and walk away from their desk, move their body and have a light stretch every 30 minutes.

Setting up your home office with the keyboard, chair and computer monitor at the correct height is optimal for achieving better productivity and keeping your mind and body in the best shape possible.

For more tips on home-office safety, read more about working from home here.

Pandemic headaches

While social distancing has decreased clientele appointments in the early stages of the pandemic, Physiotherapists are starting to see a surge in people making enquiries about headaches and overall stress relating to pandemic-related lifestyle challenges.

Stress can be the most significant trigger with all of the uncertainty factors surrounding employment as well as managing new routines with working from home and home-schooling.

Through manual therapy techniques, postural correction, gentle exercises and ergonomic advice, physiotherapists can treat headache conditions with medication-free and non-invasive procedures.

The most common type of headache and one that generally responds well to physiotherapy treatment is called a cervicogenic headache. Stiff joints in the upper neck are the primary cause of cervicogenic headaches.

If you’re experiencing any of the following conditions with headaches you may benefit from Physiotherapy.

  • A constant dull ache
  • Headaches that last for days and weeks at a time
  • Stiffness or restricted movement of the neck
  • Pain is worse on one side, and sometimes refers down alongside the shoulder blades
  • Pain radiates from the back to the front of the head
  • Headache can be eased when pressure is applied at the base of the skull
  • Possible dizziness, light-headedness or nausea

Sleep problems

Sleep is something that we all love and need so we can be in optimal health. It’s been estimated that 1/3 of the adult population is affected by insomnia on occasion, and 9-12 per cent will experience insomnia on a more chronic basis.

Physiotherapists look at the body as a whole to determine why patients are not getting as restful a night as they need. Physiotherapists can examine a patient physically to make sure their posture isn’t hindering their rest.

It’s also a good idea to develop a ‘sleep routine’ – rather than turning the television off and going straight to bed, or worse – sitting in bed on your phone – you should start winding down about an hour before you intend to sleep.

Physiotherapists will also look into the nature of any chronic pain or depression issues and develop a plan for better sleeping positions, exercise and therapy that can improve your state of wellbeing to improve your sleeping patterns.

Sports Injuries

It’s expected an influx of hamstring, knee and ankle injuries as professional athletes and weekend warriors return to Australian sporting fields after enforced layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While thousands of competitors have run or cycled to keep fit during the closure of training facilities, the Australian Physiotherapy Association has warned that this is not a substitute for skills like tackling, kicking, sprinting and pivoting. 

Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck said in a statement that he urged sportsmen and women of all ages not to do themselves more harm than good.

“It’s critical that people who begin to play sport or exercise more — at the grassroots right through to elite sports — understand that the return to sport after a long break can lead to injuries,” he said.

For more information on how our dedicated physiotherapists and allied health professionals can improve your physical and mental health during the pandemic, call us today for a consultation.