Physiotherapists are movement specialists, and have a huge range of knowledge on how the body works. Yes we treat the spine, yes we treat feet and foot pain, yes we can refer you for and xray if needed.

So when is the right time to see a physio?

See which category you fall into below for the answer most appropriate to you

1) “I felt it happen”

If you’ve rolled your ankle, felt a sharp pain in your back or wrenched your neck, book in to see a physiotherapist within the first 48 hours. You body starts healing the injury within minutes of it happening, so your physiotherapist can teach you what to do, and what not to do, to get the best possible healing. Depending on the injury, you may need the injury taped or supported to allow healing to occur.

Often some gentle movement is necessary in the initial healing period, although this doesn’t apply to all injuries, so it’s important to get professional information for your specific situation. If you do need a scan for a severe injury, your physiotherapist can refer you directly for an xray, or will be able to determine if you need to see your doctor.

2) “I’m not quite sure when it started”

We commonly see these sorts of injuries in the clinic. When a niggle doesn’t go away, it’s time to seek help. If you notice something that may not be sore, or really hurt, but just doesn’t feel 100%, I suggest trying the basics yourself – rest it for a few days and take it easy. Perhaps try to gently stretch the area if you know how to do this. If that niggle hasn’t improved within 3-5 days, it’s time to book in to see a physio. Delaying any longer than 3-5 days allows time for your body to compensate and you could start developing secondary issues.

When this compensation process takes place, the original niggle becomes harder to treat, and your recovery time could become much longer. Once you see the physio, they will be able to explain what is causing the problem, and the best things you can do to help it get back to 100% as soon as possible,

3) “I feel fine, but I can’t do as well as I’d like to”

People of all ages come to us with concerns about something they like doing, but can’t do as well as they used to. For an athlete, they can’t quite reach their previous personal best performance, and it’s often because of a nagging old injury. They may not suffer pain anymore, but they aren’t able to jump as high, run as fast, or react as quickly as they used to.

For a grandparent, they might have trouble getting up from the floor after playing with grandkids. The physiotherapist can assess you to find out why you’re having this trouble, and then teach you how to go about overcoming the concern. Often this requires just a few visits to the physio, with some homework to complete in between.

If it’s so simple, why wouldn’t you investigate to see how you could move easier, feel better?

So when should I see a physio? This is a very common question. The answer is – it depends:

1) Acute injury – within 48 hours

2) Gradual onset concern – within 3-5 days

3) Restriction in function – as soon as you realise there’s something you’d like to be able to do but can’t

I hope that’s answered some of your questions, but I’d love to hear from you if you have anything more specific you’d like to know. Email me at sally@aspirephysiotherapysa.com.au or book in to see one of the great physios at Aspire by clicking here