No matter what healthcare professional or practitioner you visit, they will always have their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, there is also a large spectrum of the really bad and the extremely good therapists in the physiotherapy industry. I am not saying I am the best (I am always looking to learn and improve!) but I can tell some stories of shocking physiotherapists and stories of GP’s and Chiropractors that make me cringe. In this blog I am outlining three basic things that you can look for in a physio particularly, but also other clinicians, that can make or break your recovery or improvement.
#1: Unnecessary Use of Electro-modalities
Going back 10-15 years, the use of an Ultrasound machine, a TENS machine or interferential machine was commonplace amongst most clinics. It was widely believed that using these modalities was the most effective way to reduce pain and/or improve function. You would walk into a clinic, whack on a few electrodes connected to a machine with a few buttons, feel some tingling or hear some noise and BANG, problem solved. Well, this is certainly not the case. With physiotherapy really pushing ‘evidence based practise’ (treating injuries according to quality research) it has resulted in many of these modalities being proven ineffective as long term treatment strategies. Whilst there is some evidence to suggest short term pain relief can be achieved from these modalities, they are only providing the ‘band-aid’ affect.
#2: Poor or No Home Exercise Prescription
Most injuries that indicate physiotherapy intervention will have an underlying bio-mechanical issue, some muscle imbalance or mobility dysfunction. Now I know we are good at getting the body moving and working through joints, muscles and nerves but all of these ‘hands on’ techniques need to be met with a handful of exercises at home or in the gym in order to make long lasting changes. They will also provide a great base for preventative measures into the future. I can’t count how many people say “I was going really well with my injury until I stopped those exercises you gave me…” You are basically giving us the answer to your problem!
#3: No Follow Up
Our job as a Physiotherapist is not done until you are out of the woods for good and tracking well with your body months down the track. I feel way better about my work when I know that I have made a long lasting impact. Not only does it give me peace of mind as a clinician knowing that you are managing your own body but it is a friendly reminder to stay on top of that exercise program I had prescribed you or a bit of a reminder to get back in to the clinic for some treatment if it is necessary… because hey, we all tighten up and get stiff and sore!
If any of these sound familiar and you don't think that you're getting the results you should be, then it might be time to re-evaluate your clinician or at least have a good chat about where you're going with your treatment. Your physio should genuinely care about your wellbeing and keeping you fit and firing so that you can achieve the things you want in life. If they aren’t meeting this criteria then it might be time to reassess.
Do you have a niggling ache or pain? Book in to see one of our physio's today - book online here or call us on (08) 9448 2994!