What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an emotional condition that develops after somebody has experienced, or witnessed, a serious accident or traumatic event. If you have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, been part of violence or an attack, been physically injured, or have experienced the unexpected death of a family member or close friend, you may experience PTSD.

How does PTSD present?

There are different signs and symptoms on how PTSD can present, the most common ones are: having flashbacks, trouble sleeping, a numb or empty feeling, depression, lack of concentration and/or motivation.

What physical injuries can cause PTSD?

PTSD would normally present within the first 6 months after a life changing physical injury, such as: becoming an amputee, acquiring a brain injury, a spinal injury, having severe burns, or becoming disabled.

Who can support you?

A holistic approach is needed as part of PTSD treatment after a physical injury.

This may involve psychiatric care from a primary professional, consultants, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Multi-disciplinary team management support is vital; without this support your condition can worsen by increasing levels of pain, poor healing, reduced immune system, increased likelihood to acquire other illnesses, reduced mobility and/or functionality. All the practitioner’s approaches would be based on body-mind relation.

How Physiotherapy can help PTSD?

To start with, I strongly agree with Byron Katie when she says: “Work your mind and the body will follow; it doesn’t have a choice”.

How can Physiotherapy help PTSD?

Once a psychology or psychiatry program is in place, a Physiotherapist will assess the physical impairments and will identify the impact of those impairments on your life. A Physio will be able to guide and support your recovery process by putting in place specific programs such as:

  • Breathing controlled exercises to increase oxygen levels and reduce anxiety
  • Yoga based exercise programs; where body and mind are connected
  • Invites to exercises group therapy; where you can meet people with same physical conditions and relate to them
  • Provide hydrotherapy sessions, if suitable. These are proven to reduce pain, tension, stress and decreases brain overactivity
  • Therapy meetings to discuss expectations and set up realistic goals; all based on promoting functionality and independence
  • Work alongside your psychologist or psychiatrist and implement their recommendations during Physio sessions
  • Have regular team reviews to re-assess and prevent deterioration

Speak directly to your own health professional and do not be ashamed to ask for help. Physiotherapy is not only exercise and movement; it is functionality, independence and quality of life, that is why we must work together.

If you, or a loved one, his experiencing or experienced PTSD after a physical life-changing injury, strongly believe you are not alone. If you would like to get in contact to see how Physit help you, please send an email to info@physit.co.uk or call use on 07714244438.