Participate in everyday, your way, with Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy (physical therapy) is a medical profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of physical disabilities, pain, and injury. It uses a range of techniques including exercise, manual therapy, and assistive technology to support clients regain strength, flexibility, and function, as well as manage pain.
Our physiotherapists are able to support people living with disability of all ages – kids, young people and adults, with a variety of conditions including musculoskeletal injuries like back and neck pain, neurological disorders such as Cerebral Palsy, and respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis.
If you would like information or free advice, speak to someone in our friendly team on 1300 668 482 or visit our Contact Us page for more ways to get in touch.
Physiotherapy is typically used for pain relief and management, to improve mobility and flexibility, to increase strength and endurance, and/or to reduce the risk of injury. But physiotherapy can also enhance physical function and quality of everyday life, facilitate faster rehabilitation and recovery from injury or surgery, improve balance and coordination, and/or reduce chronic pain.
Physiotherapy can be particularly beneficial for people living with disability, supporting them to manage symptoms, improve mobility, and increase overall physical function. Broadly speaking, some of the specific benefits of physiotherapy for people living with disability may include:
- Pain management: Physiotherapy can reduce pain and discomfort associated with a range of disabilities
- Improved mobility: Physiotherapy can increase range of motion, flexibility, and strength, which can improve overall mobility
- Reduced risk of secondary conditions: Physiotherapy can reduce the risk of secondary conditions such as joint contractures and pressure sores
- Improved posture: Physiotherapy can improve posture and alignment, reducing the risk of pain and injury
- Increased independence: Physiotherapy can support people living with disability to increase their independence and ability to perform everyday activities
- Better quality of life: Physiotherapy can improve overall quality of life for people living with disability by reducing pain and improving physical function
- Customised treatment plans: Physiotherapy treatment plans can be tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of each person living with disability
When do I or my kids need to see a physiotherapist?
Much like the general population, a person living with disability may need to see a physiotherapist if they are experiencing:
- Pain or discomfort in your musculoskeletal system – including your bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Chronic pain
- Pre- or post-surgical rehabilitation
- Strains or overuse of muscle injuries
- Neurological conditions – such as stroke, spinal cord injury, or multiple sclerosis
- Respiratory conditions – such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- You notice your kids move, walk, play, and/or participate in physical activity and sports in an unusual way
- Kids seems to be slow or delayed in hitting their mobility milestones
- Your baby or young kid is not tolerating certain positions
- You see a difference in the way you or your kids use the two sides of their body
- You’re experiencing clumsiness or an unusual walking pattern
- Changes observed in your kid(s) following a recent growth spurt
- You have a reduced range of motion or mobility issues – such as difficulty bending at the knees
- Muscle weakness or problems balancing – I.e., falling over sometimes
- Arthritis or other joint conditions
Of course, there are many other reasons to see a physiotherapist. You may want a physiotherapist to support you to achieve a specific goal, for example. While most therapy goals are unique, a physiotherapist can support with:
- Improving range of movement and strength to move more independently
- Improve positioning to sit more comfortably in a wheelchair or mobility device
- Optimise daily activity like reaching for something in a high cupboard
- Functional and skill specific advice such as a plan to use cutlery when eating dinner
- Progressing development and movement milestones in infants such as crawling, walking, and running
- Transfer and positioning support such as how to move from bed into a wheelchair or walker
- Learning now to use a new piece of assistive technology
Depending on the diagnosis, there may be specific therapy goals you are hoping to achieve which are not listed here. We’re confident we can support you to achieve amazing – no matter your goal! Reach out to us and we’ll book you into a welcome consult and begin creating your customised therapy program.
It’s never too early to start
Kids typically develop their movement skills in a particular order, but this development can be changed or delayed for a number of reasons. These reasons include sensory impairments which make it difficult to balance, neurological impairments which affect the way the brain tells the body to move, physical disability such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and/or muscle weakness and low ton which is often described as being ‘floppy.’ This is where we can offer support.
Our physiotherapists are highly trained in the latest movement and mobility therapies for kids aged 0-5 years old including babies who are born premature or discharged from the hospital later than normal. We work closely with you, your kid(s) and others in your support team, to provide an individualised program to support their development from health and happy kids to teens to adults. This often sees our therapists working on ‘early movement skills’ – such as not falling over when leaning to walk or using toys to increase physical movement (which can make therapy fun!) Our physiotherapists can also show parents and carers how to safely assist their kids to move and continue with their therapy program to ensure they don’t hurt themselves. Often, with a little bit of direction and a lot of hard work, kids who seem to be developing slower physically are able to catch up and even surpass their peers!
Connecting with your community
Physiotherapy promotes social inclusion by supporting kids, young people and adults living with disability to reach their physical goals which typically encourages participation in the community. Participation is, of course, dependent on a number of factors, which we can support you with too! This includes providing advice on and access to aids and equipment essential for function, assessments of different environments – including school, work, and home – to optimise your ability to access these spaces, as well as reviewing appropriate transport and how it might be modified to better suit your needs. Nothing is off limits. If you want to be able to travel independently to a pub or restaurant to share a meal with family and friends, for example, we can support you. From strengthen your muscles through to providing training on safely getting onto your mobility device and getting off again or transfering onto venue seat – our physiotherapy team are waiting to hear from you.
Beneficial in more ways than you might think
Physiotherapy isn’t just beneficial for people with sports injuries or tight muscles from working in an office. Nor is it simply of benefit to those living with a physical/neurological disability like cerebral palsy. Many of our clients living with intellectual disability including down syndrome, specific learning/attention deficit disorders, autism including asperger’s syndrome and younger kids with developmental delay see us for physiotherapy.
For example, your kid(s) may have difficulty focusing or physically participating at school – particularly in classes which require high-energy and movement abilities such as PE. Our physiotherapists and exercise physiologist are able to come into your school and work with teaching staff to ensure the environment your kid(s) are in is appropriate for them and discuss ways they can be included which are adapted to their physical abilities. Often this results in great out comes for your kid(s) physical health, in addition to their overall wellbeing as they engage with their peers and make new friends.
The experts in physiotherapy for disability since 1939
Novita has been supporting people living with disability to achieve amazing things every day, since 1939. We’re one of South Australia’s largest and most respected community-based disability service organisations and we specalise in a number of therapeutic supports, including physiotherapy. Our team takes a considered approach to the way we treat each of our clients, how we operate as a not-for-profit, and our interaction as an influential member of the disability community. We recognise each client as an individual, deserving a service that meets their unique therapeutic goals. By putting their needs first, it allows us to achieve their best outcomes for you.
Moving better to increase independence
Moving better can increase independence in a number of ways. Better movement allows for easier and more efficient completion of daily activities, such as dressing, grooming, reach stuff in a cupboard, getting out of bed into wheelchair, cooking, and so on. Improved movement can also reduce pain and discomfort, allowing for increased physical activity and independence. In addition, moving better can increase confidence and self-esteem, making it easier to tackle new challenges and maintain independence.
What’s more, better balance and stability can reduce the risk of falls and increase overall safety, allowing for greater independence. Improved movement can also lead to increased physical function, allowing for easier completion of tasks. For example, getting in and out of the car, climbing stairs, or learning to jump so you can participate at school. Improved physical function can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being as well, increasing independence and overall quality of life – allowing you to do more of the things you want to do, such as completing an exercise program, going to the gym with your sibling, or moving out of home. Overall, physiotherapy can support people living with disability to move better, reducing pain and discomfort, improving physical function, and increasing independence.
Get more movement out of limbs affected by Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders that affect body movement, posture, and coordination. The severity of cerebral palsy varies widely, and it affects each person differently. Treatment for cerebral palsy typically involves a combination of medical and therapeutic interventions, such as physiotherapy.
A common question we get asked is “how do I get more out of limbs affected by cerebral palsy?” While the answer to this question varies from person to person, a physiotherapist can support you improve strength, flexibility, and coordination in your affected limbs. They can also work with you to develop an individualised exercise program. Assistive devices, such as braces, canes, or crutches, can also support you move more easily and reduce the stress on your affected limbs which our physiotherapists can support you in trialing before making a decision on what to purchase.
Regular exercise can support you to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, and can also help manage associated symptoms such as ‘spasticity’ which is the tightening of muscles in your body. Our physiotherapy team are specialists in creating this kind of exercise program and can also recommend a regular stretching routine which can improve range of motion and reduce muscle tightness in your affected limbs.
Aquatic therapy is a great way to get more out of limbs effected by cerebral palsy as it can provide a low-impact, supportive environment for improving mobility and function. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to improve limb function and manage associated symptoms such as spasticity. It’s important to work closely with a physiotherapist and other healthcare professionals to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.
Recovery and rehabilitation
Physiotherapy can be a very effective form of rehabilitation. Physiotherapy can support people recover from injury or surgery, improve physical function, and manage chronic conditions. For example, physiotherapy can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with injury or surgery. Physiotherapy can also speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of complications. Physiotherapy treatment plans can be tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of each person in rehabilitation. This reduces the risk of re-injury by improving strength, flexibility, and coordination in a strategic and measured way. We also have experience with the Lifetime Support Authority and Return to Work SA and can work in seamlessly with their treatment plans and requirements.
Get more out of your muscles through a personalised exercise program
A personalised exercise program can help you get more out of your muscles. This can be designed by a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist, taking into account your specific needs, goals, and current fitness level. The benefits of a personalised exercise program can is that it can target specific muscle groups, improving strength and endurance. Most exercise programs will also include stretching and mobility exercises that can improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness. A personalised exercise program can support in ways you might not have thought of – such as reducing fatigue in your kids so they can participate more fully in school thanks to their increased endurance.
A personalised exercise program is also a great way to prevent injury by addressing muscle imbalances, weaknesses, and other factors that contribute to injury – something a generic, online exercise program won’t do. A personalised exercise program will also likely include endurance-building exercises which long-term will support you to perform physical activities for longer periods of time. An added bonus is that regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being, helping you to feel better overall!