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The Physiotherapy 4 Life Blog will give you some useful hints and tips for a healthy and happy lifestyle and keep you up to date with new findings and research.

Do you know anyone who suffers from long-term medical condition?

By Helen Brandreth, Jan 31 2014 11:48AM

If you suffer from diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders or mental ill-health, you could benefit from a structured exercise programme managed by a trained physiotherapist.

When speaking at a question and answer session at the 5th annual Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), Professor Peter Kay commented that, “physiotherapists could play a central role in encouraging people with long-term medical conditions to follow therapeutic exercise programmes”.

How could this benefit you or someone you care about?

It’s widely recognised that including structured exercise in the treatment of any long-term medical condition is a ‘big winner’. Additionally, it might also prevent some conditions from developing or worsening. ‘There is real potential to de-medicalise some conditions’. So, combining medical advice with physio-led structured exercise can sometimes result in a reduced reliance on prescribed medicines.

Patients forget that physiotherapists can provide advice and care about lots of diverse health problems. It’s not just about treating injuries, but developing patient-specific programmes that benefit each individual.

Sue Browning, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) pledged that the organisation would “put its weight behind any attempt to press for therapeutic exercise to be made more widely available”. This doesn’t mean people need to join a gym because physiotherapists can recommend safe, structured exercises to be done at home or outside, alone or with friends.

If proof is needed – just think of the Hairy Bikers, Si and Dave. Their TV series “Hairy Dieters” showed the food-loving guys creating tasty recipes whilst accepting that they needed to make lifestyle changes. So, they put their motorbikes in the garage and took up pedal power in an attempt to lose weight.

Though difficult at first, they persevered. As well as getting trimmer, they were honest about how their measured blood pressure lowered as they exercised on a regular basis. As the TV cooks would probably say, “the proof is in the pudding”. While the guys still love to eat, they combine it with regular exercise to maintain those health benefits.

If a managed exercise programme can work for those food-loving motorbikers, we’re confident we can devise a plan to help you too.

Please contact us if you have a long-term medical condition you’d like to discuss. We can work with your GP to devise an exercise programme that could help you.

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