Physiotherapy is frequently used to treat physical conditions, and if you've suffered any kind of injury, there's a good chance you'll be referred to a physiotherapist as part of your recovery plan. With such a strong connection between physical movement and physical recovery, it's no surprise that this is what people tend to think of when they hear about physiotherapy.
A point that's often forgotten is that physiotherapy is a versatile treatment that can be used for a range of problems outside the obvious. One such problem for which physiotherapy is a useful tool is depression. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, here are the reasons physiotherapy could be a big help.
Tailored exercise helps you get started
Exercise has been shown to be of huge help with treating depression, in a number of different ways. One of the most significant is that, when you exercise, your brain releases so-called 'feel-good' chemicals that can really lift your mood. This is similar to the way anti-depressant medication works but without the need to take pills.
Depression is often accompanied by anxiety, and getting regular exercise improves your breathing ability. This, in turn, helps you regain control when you feel an anxiety attack coming on and breathing properly feels difficult.
For depressed people, starting an exercise regimen is difficult, so having a physiotherapist to help means you're more likely to get going and stick to it.
A routine is important
For many people, depression makes it difficult to stick to regular activities and keep up with appointments and engagements. Having regular physiotherapy sessions gives you a good reason to work on this, and the extra responsibility is one more way to start beating depression.
Depression has physical symptoms too
Although it's a mental illness, depression causes physical pain for some sufferers. This includes headaches, pain in the joints and limbs, and back pain. With physiotherapy, you can work on ways to improve these symptoms and stop them getting worse again. Simple exercises to do at home gives you something to focus on when you're not in a session.
It helps you get used to moving again
It's quite common for people with depression to feel almost paralysed at times, finding it difficult or impossible to get out of bed or move from the sofa. Any steps you can take towards feeling more motivated and making it easier to get going on the mornings are well worth it, and physiotherapy is an excellent starting point.