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There’s No Such Thing as Bad Posture—and 12 More Things Physiotherapists Want You to Know

To keep your muscles and joints healthy, make sure to follow these pain management tips from Canadian physiotherapists.

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Man holding shoulder in pain at deskPhoto: Shutterstock

Keep your blood flowing

Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to shoulder and back pain. Getting up once an hour for a stroll to the water cooler can make a difference.

Check out these other tips for relieving back pain.

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Woman doing pelvic exercisesPhoto: Shutterstock

Physio can help your pelvic-floor

Pelvic-floor disorders affect one in three women and can be associated with pain, incontinence, sexual difficulties and even prolapse. Pelvic-floor physiotherapists might help with targeted exercises. 

Find out why women’s pain is so often dismissed by doctors.

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Physiotherapist holding patient's kneePhoto: Shutterstock

Physio doesn’t have to break the bank

It’s possible to be reimbursed for physio under your private insurance plan without needing a referral. If you’re 65 or older, you may need a doctor’s okay to access government-funded physical therapy.

Make sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these serious health symptoms.

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Pain isn’t always a bad thing

Massages needn’t always feel relaxing. Physios are trained to manipulate muscles and joints to release tension and relieve pain. That said, a therapist shouldn’t cause intense discomfort.

Here’s what you need to know about delayed onset muscle soreness.

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Woman holding her neck in painPhoto: Shutterstock

Your mental health matters

Chronic neck pain is common in people who have depression, and vice versa. “Screening for mental health issues can help inform the way we manage the pain,” says Jasdeep Dhir, chair of the orthopaedic division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. 

Learn to spot the signs you may need a therapist.

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Man doing physiotherapy on exercise ballPhoto: Shutterstock

Severe pain doesn’t mean you can’t recover

Your capacity to recover from an injury isn’t tied to the severity of your pain. What researchers call your “pain self-efficacy”—your belief that you will fully regain your ability to do the things that are important to you—is a strong predictor of success. 

Avoid neck pain with these helpful tips from medical experts.

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Woman raising arm during physiotherapyPhoto: Shutterstock

Make a recovery plan

Sprained your ankle? A physiotherapist can assess you and determine whether you can manage recovery on your own. If you don’t heal from an injury properly, you may start to move your body differently, which could lead to pain in other areas.

Loosen up and relieve your pain with these relaxation tips.

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Man holding out weight during physiotherapyPhoto: Shutterstock

Ask before you get active

If you’ve been injured in the past, consult a pro before you try a new activity. “A physiotherapist can give you individualized advice on how to prevent injuries,” says Dhir.

These groundbreaking health studies will change the way you live.

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But don’t stay on the sideline

Don’t stay on the sideline. Even if you’ve hurt yourself, you can likely return to activities you enjoy, provided you receive proper care. “The goal of physio is to restore you to optimal function, whatever that means for you,” says Dhir.

Discover the absolute best way to build muscle, according to science.

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Person holding knee in painPhoto: Shutterstock

Physio can be a knee surgery alternative

Got bad knees? You don’t necessarily need surgery. A Harvard study from 2013 found that physiotherapy was just as effective for treating osteoarthritic knees.

Here’s everything you need to know about knee replacement surgery.

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Man holding out arm during physiotherapyPhoto: Shutterstock

Don’t stop before you’re ready

Just because your discomfort is gone, it doesn’t mean your injury has healed. The first six weeks after getting hurt are when scar tissue is “remodelled,” which, in many soft-tissue injuries, helps prevent reinjury. Cutting therapy short can put you at an increased risk of reinjury.

Fill up on these anti-inflammatory foods that reduce pain.

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Man touching his toes during physiotherapyPhoto: Shutterstock

Make time for physio at home

Physiotherapists will know if you haven’t done your homework. They design exercise plans for your body’s abilities and needs. If you don’t work on your body at home, you’ll likely be returning again and again for the same issues.

We’ve rounded up the medical reasons for your shoulder pain.

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Two images of woman sitting in chair, slouching and uprightPhoto: Shutterstock

Bad posture is a myth

Your mom may have nagged you to sit up straight, but physiotherapists believe there’s no such thing as bad posture—just posture that may indicate aspects of activity or injury that need to be addressed. “We’re realizing that people’s bodies take specific positions because of the requirements of their lifestyle,” says Dhir. “We look at what your functional needs are and how we can adapt your exercise routine to help.”

Listen to your soles—here’s what your feet want you to know.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada