A lot of people have been dealing with depression and anxiety during these Covid times. We’ve all had to slow down, smell the roses and as a result many have become more cognizant of the physical pain they have as it has been hard to distract ourselves when our social lives have diminished and workloads have changed so drastically. The uncertainty of when life will go back to normal and the times of planning trips or seeing loved ones seems so far in the future so it has been a true test on many individual’s mental health. Many people know to seek help in counselling with a licensed professional but many wouldn’t think to turn to their physiotherapist for additional help. Physiotherapists can actually be key sources for those who desire to return to a strong bill of mental health.
Aside from having possible chemical imbalances, mental health issues can be caused by various physical factors such as acute or chronic pain in one’s life, psychological effects of an injury or illness, and brain injuries. During your initial assessment your physiotherapist will of course determine the source of physical ailment at hand that is causing your physical pain but they will also take note of any possible mental health symptoms such as depression or anxiety.
Of course physiotherapists can assess and diagnose your injury and determine a treatment plan specifically designed to address your specific needs but the treatment of painful symptoms, such as diagnosed exercises can help to promote production of dopamine, and stress management techniques have both been proven to be effective in improving mental health. By getting their patients to move, physiotherapists help their patients to release dopamine and other brain chemicals that help to regulate your mood and promote higher serotonin levels in your body—which in turn boosts your mood. Within their scope of practice, physiotherapists are required to diagnose your physical issue as well as coming up with possible solutions to improve them but it should also be noted that physiotherapists are surprisingly effective in improving mental health issues indirectly.
The physiotherapist’s positive boost in the depression-related needs of a patient can also be seen in an improvement in anxiety-related disorders as well. Physiotherapy treatment can play a key role in the management of anxiety due to the fact that hands on treatment or massage can be effective in muscle tension reduction and a source for greater stress management. By treating the ailment, it helps to reduce the triggers of an anxiety-related episode.
Treatment of depression and anxiety in a physiotherapy clinic would not be the direct source for recommended treatment as one should seek help from a licensed professional for this but it has been well-researched that there are positive impacts when a physiotherapist is part of the treatment model of these disorders especially when acute or chronic pain, injury, illness or brain injuries are factors. Physiotherapists can play a key role in chipping away at the symptoms of depression and anxiety therefore if you’re suffering from depression, stress or anxiety that is related to an injury or disease, let us help to manage your symptoms which will in turn help to boost your mental health.
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