Despite physiotherapy being one of the most successful treatments for pain relief and injury rehabilitation, there are multiple myths surrounding the profession that could be doing more harm than good.
A Daily Mail article - 'The 5 Biggest Physio Myths Busted' - aims to resolve points that seem like common sense, but are proven to have no significant impact on your health.
The top 5 physio myths busted:
1. A specific mattress can prevent back pain
Special mattresses are not cheap and are actually seen as unnecessary by some physiotherapists.
However, research conducted by The National Sleep Foundation, as well as a study by Professors at Duke University, has shown that the type of mattress you sleep on can impact whether you get a good night's sleep and also on your back.
The study demonstrated that the amount of mattress support provided (soft, medium, firm) was linked to a good night's sleep and pain.
2. Stretching before & after exercise can prevent injury & soreness
There is also no evidence that stretching before and after exercise makes any difference in terms of preventing injuries and soreness in the muscles.
However, other measures can be taken that are more effective than stretching (which can actually reduce performance), such as active warm-ups, sport specific exercise and agility training.
3. If you have whiplash you should wear a neck brace
When it comes to treating whiplash, a neck brace is not the way to cure it. Neck braces are only completely necessary if you've suffered a spinal fracture, but unless there is a fracture a neck brace will do more harm than good.
Making sure that you remain active will help cure whiplash and prevent the long term problems that may occur from unnecessarily wearing a neck brace, such as joint stiffness, weakened neck muscles and hypersensitivity of neck joints, ligaments and muscles.
4. Ultrasound for ankle sprains
There is limiting evidence supporting the use of ultrasound for ankle sprains within a clinical environment. There is some evidence within a laboratory setting that ultrasound improves healing of ligament tissue.
5. Physiotherapy hurts
Finally, the myth that physiotherapy is more painful than treatments performed by chiropractors and osteopaths. This is not true. Depending on the injury, any treatment performed may be more painful than others.
Physiotherapy can incorporate different treatments including massage, manual therapy, acupuncture and exercise therapy. None are designed specifically to cause pain although there may be some discomfort depending on condition. If you have any concerns or issues please do not hesitate to speak to your physiotherapist.
All injuries should be treated by a trained, registered professional. If you're struggling with an injury or recurring pain, please come along to the UCLan Physiotherapy Clinic for an assessment.
The Clinic is run by professionally registered physiotherapists and sports therapists and is recognised by all major private health companies. For more details please click here or Tel: 01772 894902.