Physiotherapy is often connected to treating the physical parts of the body, particularly the muscles, bones, and joints where injuries are common. However, in practice, patients of physiotherapy may also experience helpful effects on their mental health.
Numerous studies have shown that exercise—physical activity, in general—can improve mood and reduce stress, both of which can factor into a person’s emotional and mental condition. While physiotherapy primarily concerns itself with restoring bodily function and improving a patient’s overall well-being, the value of the practice increases when you consider the other secondary benefits you can get from taking physiotherapy.
Whether you are healing from an injury or merely seeking to improve your health, you can seek treatment at a hospital or a physiotherapy clinic Singapore patients trust. These institutions showcase a highly trained staff and quality service that aims to help people improve their physical wellbeing. Hence, you need to make sure that you will be setting up an appointment with a reputable establishment.
To learn more about how physiotherapy can help improve a patient’s mental health, consider the following points below.
1) Physical Activity and Mental Health
In recent years, research has shown how essential mental health is in the medical field. The effects of mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders extend beyond people’s feelings and affect their relationships and their jobs, resulting in a lower quality of life (QoL).
While there are mental conditions that do require medicinal help, struggling individuals can do a variety of things that can reduce their condition’s symptoms. Aside from counselling and eating healthily, exercise is one of the most recommended ways to address their mental health problems. Indeed, a growing number of studies have repeatedly shown that regular exercise can offer some relief to people with long-term conditions and improve their QoL.
How Does It Work?
The complete picture of how exercise can help improve mental health is still largely unseen. The general idea of how it works is that exercise and other forms of physical activity produce endorphins in the brain, which make you feel happier and act as natural painkillers.
Other research studies theorize that the increased blood circulation from exercise influences the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the brain. This part of the brain connects to several key areas linked to mental health. They include the hippocampus, amygdala, and the rest of the limbic system, which play roles in emotion, mood, and motivation.
While there is still much to learn on how exercise contributes to a person’s mental health, its positive effects are undeniable. Aside from increasing strength and endurance, some of the benefits linked to it include enhanced mood, a better quality of sleep, and improved self-esteem.
2) Physiotherapy and Mental Health
Considering that exercise is one of the primary forms of treatment in the field of physiotherapy, it is understandable that its benefits extend to this practice. Hence, patients taking physical therapy may reap exercise’s mental health benefits.
While physiotherapy may have positive effects on mental health, it is vital to understand, however, that physiotherapists are not trained to treat mental health. They cannot replace a licensed professional in that field. For mental illnesses, struggling individuals should seek proper medical care from a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who can prescribe them the proper treatment.
This article merely asserts that physiotherapy, through exercise, may offer additional benefits on mental health apart from its primary focus, which is healing and strengthening the physical body.
Potential Benefits of Physiotherapy on Mental Health
Here are some of the mental health benefits that physiotherapy can potentially offer to its patients.
- Reduced anxiety sensitivity — For people struggling with anxiety, it is not uncommon for them to think that normal signs of stress may escalate into something worse, like a panic attack or a life-threatening condition. Through a highly personalized exercise regimen, clinicians can help reduce anxiety sensitivity and assist in helping the patient cope with these bodily symptoms better.
- Help cope with depression — Some of the feelings associated with depression include passivity, tiredness, and negative self-beliefs. Doing exercises may help replace these feelings with more positive emotions, including improved mood, pleasure, and a sense of victory for what they have accomplished.
- Improved sleep — The importance of sleep cannot be overlooked. It is linked to a person’s mood, energy level, and overall recovery. Physiotherapy exercises may help improve your quality of sleep and let your body rest better for the night.
- Increased social interaction — Social withdrawal is a common symptom among individuals struggling with mental health problems. Doing physiotherapy may encourage them to develop connections with others, whether it is to their physical therapist or exercise group.
Overall, it becomes clear that physiotherapy has potential benefits beyond physical health. However, as mentioned earlier, physiotherapy can only offer so much for individuals struggling with mental illnesses. To get the best of both, work closely with a psychologist and a physiotherapist on developing a treatment plan. With proper guidance and care, you can live life to the fullest, physically and mentally healthy.