The dictionary meaning of “nutrition” is the process of being nourished. However, for many people, their way of eating does little to nourish their bodies and more to promote illness and disease. We treat many patients who suffer from conditions such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and Type 2 diabetes which can all be brought on by poor nutritional habits.

Let us look at just a few of these conditions and how physiotherapy can help:

Cardiovascular disease – A diet high in saturated fats and sodium can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stroke. As well as seeking nutritional advice and changing your diet to one that promotes cardiovascular health. getting involved in a physiotherapy exercise programme tailored just for you can strengthen your muscles, improve circulation, improve your aerobic fitness and help combat your heart disease. Physiotherapy is also often recommended to patients recovering from heart surgery to help them regain strength and endurance.

Diabetes – A physiotherapy exercise programme can help you lower your blood sugar because exercise helps your body regulate insulin. Some people suffer from numbness, tingling and loss of sensation in their feet. As your physiotherapist, we will teach you how to examine your feet to make sure there are no blisters, and we’ll advise you on the right type of footwear and stockings to wear so you don’t get blisters. Also, exercising with your physiotherapist will ensure that the necessary precautions are taken in case your blood sugar levels drop during exercise. We are trained to monitor you for symptoms of low blood sugar levels and we will recommend ways to prevent it from happening so you can exercise with peace of mind under the care of a qualified health professional.

Stroke – Poor nutrition can lead to high blood pressure which in turn can lead to stroke. This is one of the many conditions that require physiotherapy. Paralysis on one side, lack of sensation, spasticity (stiffness) or flaccidity (floppiness) in the limbs may be present. A Physiotherapy programme is usually geared toward the neurological deficits the patient displays. We provide holistic rehabilitation exercise programmes for stroke patients to regain as much strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and motor control as possible, The patient may regain full or partial use of the limbs that were affected. If, as happens in some cases, very little recovery is made, we will teach the patient how to compensate for his deficits so he can be as independent as possible.

Obesity – It is a known fact that poor nutrition and lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which can trigger all of the illnesses listed above. By embarking on a physiotherapy exercise programme and by following a nutritionally well-balanced diet, a person can prevent obesity and its ill effects. Exercise increases energy, it improves muscle tone and burns fat, it promotes better sleep which reduces stress and anxiety and it releases natural hormones called endorphins which give you a sense of well-being.

Good nutrition is vital to good health. A well-balanced diet in combination with regular exercise which we can guide you through with an individual exercise programme tailored to your needs, physiotherapy can help to put you back on your feet and give you the tools to lead a better life. Give us a call or come in and see us today.

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