Did you know that 18% of people in Australia live with a disability?
Furthermore, 1 in 3 of those people have a severe or profound disability, which means they need help with daily tasks.
There are several different kinds of disabilities affecting movement, sight, thought, learning, memory, communication, hearing, mental health and social abilities.
If you’re living with a disability of any kind, your disability may present challenges in completing everyday tasks independently and interacting with the world.
This is why, adults living with a disability engage in physical activity only half as much as those without. As a result, adults with disabilities are more likely to be obese and more likely to develop a chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes.
At Valens Care, our physiotherapists are passionate about empowering you to do the things you love. We develop treatment plans, tailored to your specific needs, aiming to enhance your mobility, strength and independence. We’ll work with you to help you overcome the obstacles posed by your disability and improve your overall quality of life.
Here we explore the role of physiotherapy in disability care and how Valens Care can help you.
What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists work with you to manage conditions affecting your bones, muscles, nerves, and other parts of your body. They use a combination of hands-on techniques, exercise prescriptions, and specialised equipment to help you improve your movement and mobility, increase flexibility and range of motion, manage pain, enhance your quality of life, and reach your full potential.
Disability physiotherapy begins with a thorough assessment of your condition, needs, and goals. Your physiotherapist will then tailor a treatment plan for you.
Some common treatment methods Valens Care physiotherapists use include:
- Exercise programs to help increase strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance.
- Muscle re-education to help with function and control.
- Manipulation and mobilisation of joints to help decrease pain and increase range of motion.
- Breathing exercises and airway clearance techniques.
- Massage, acupuncture, and dry needling to help reduce stiffness and decrease pain.
How can physiotherapy help you?
The physiotherapists at Valens Care will support you in managing the physical struggles posed by your disability. Our ultimate aim is to improve your health and help you live as independently as possible.
Here’s how we help:
1. Supporting participation in activities
By addressing your physical limitations, physiotherapy can help you engage in daily tasks and increase independence with activities of daily living.
Using your body, even if has physical limitations is important, not just for your physical health but for your mental and emotional health too. Physiotherapy can help you stretch and strengthen muscles, improve mobility, and enhance overall function so that you can do what you need to do and what you want to do.
You may like to play sports with your team, walk more comfortably, or bathe and get dressed independently, physiotherapy could help you achieve your goals.
2. Recover from injury
Whether you’ve been in an accident, had a fall, a prang on the sports field, or had a surgical procedure, physiotherapy may help you recover. Your physiotherapist can work with you to reduce pain and stiffness, improve mobility and safeguard as much as possible against further injury.
3. Boost confidence
Living with a disability can sometimes lead to a lack of confidence in abilities and low self-esteem. Physiotherapy could address these emotional difficulties. Disability physiotherapy may help you develop and improve your physical abilities, leading to a greater sense of independence and increased self-confidence.
Furthermore, by helping you to perform daily tasks more easily, physiotherapy could help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
4. Enhancing mental and social wellbeing
Physiotherapy also has effects beyond the physical, as interventions such as exercises, relaxation techniques, and manual therapy have been shown to have a positive impact on mental well-being, including mood enhancement and anxiety reduction.
Physical activity provides significant cognitive, emotional and social benefits to those with a disability.
By addressing the physical aspects of your disability, plus incorporating therapeutic techniques, physiotherapy promotes holistic well-being and may contribute to the overall improvement of your mental and emotional state.
Additionally, physiotherapy can involve group-based activities and social interaction which can foster friendships, a sense of belonging and support within the community.
The Valens Care difference
Valens Care provides a more individualised kind of NDIS-funded mobile physiotherapy service, for people with complex care needs. We aim to help you achieve a more independent kind of life.
We are problem-focused and client-centred. This means our treatment is tailored very specifically to you, your condition, and your goals.
Our team is eligible for Self-Managed and Plan-Managed NDIS clients and will soon be able to see NDIA-managed NDIS clients.
If you’re looking for extra disability support, contact the Valens Care team to see how the mobile physiotherapy team can help you.
* All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Valens Care can consult with you regarding your individual health needs.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). People with disability in Australia: In brief 2021. www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia/contents/people-with-disability/prevalence-of-disability
Australian Physiotherapy Association. (2023). What is Physiotherapy?
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Disability and Health: Overview. www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/disability.html
Physiopedia. (2021). Physical Activity in Individuals with Disabilities.
Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. (2023). Physiotherapy. www.sportingwheelies.org.au/exercise-therapy/physiotherapy/