I thought I would start with this meme. There are a few that are similar, and pretty much all say the same thing! Physiotherapy is a strange thing though, as it is not easy to define; it's not just one treatment. Did you know for example that all physiotherapists are trained in respiratory physio. That means we have to train to be able to work on the wards, to listen to peoples chests with a stethoscope and clear it with different breathing exercises or even by putting a tube down the nose or throat! That's a long way from the bloke that runs on the football pitch with a 'magic sponge'.
Physiotherapist is just the name of the occupation, and does very little by way of telling anyone what we do, and that is why it is often not understood.
Often the title 'physiotherapist' is used by lots of people who treat injuries. But did you know that it's actually a protected title? This means, that unless you are on the health and care professions council (HCPC) which means you have to have undertaken a degree in physiotherapy you cannot be called a physiotherapist. You can check the register here if you wish by typing in the clinicians last name and selecting physiotherapist from the drop down menu.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) says that physiotherapy is; ' Physiotherapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle. At the core is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.' (reference).
Again, this doesn't really tell you very much, and if we are honest just adds to the confusion - it doesn't tell you what might happen to you when you walk into the physiotherapists room.
You have probably heard that physiotherapists give exercises, massage, click you, stick needles in you, stick bright tape on you, lecture you about your weight, and use all sorts of weird and wonderful machines with flashing lights, loud noises and variable amounts of pain!
Well physiotherapists may do all of these things. As mentioned before, physiotherapists may also work with people with breathing problems, or neurological problems like after a stroke too. The thing all physiotherapists have in common is that we are here to increase your activity levels or return you to the levels of activity you want/need to be at - we just use lots of different ways to do that.
The message here - PHYSIOTHERAPY IS NOT A TREATMENT, IT'S A PROFESSION.
What is physiotherapy at Reflex-18?
Well one thing I can tell you, is what you should expect from physiotherapy at Reflex-18. We have a certain way of doing things, and I will explain that to you.
Firstly, exercise and rehabilitation is at the center of what we do. The strongest scientific evidence within physiotherapy points to the use of exercises to change levels of pain and function. Since we are a science-based profession, this is at the center of what we do.
This means that you will always be given exercises when you come to Reflex-18 for physiotherapy treatment. These may be stretches, motor control exercises, or strengthening exercises but they will be specific to you, your issue, and your goals. We love rehab - it's the bit that we are most passionate and excited about.
Secondly, we will try to find a way of getting you to do the thing you are struggling with as soon as possible - usually right now. What we mean by this is that people come to us normally because they can't do something they love or need to do and we work with them to find a way of doing it.
As an example, if you are unable to run due to knee pain, we may change the way you run to allow you to continue. If you cannot sleep we may look at positioning to allow you to sleep better.
Then, we will use 'other physioy' stuff as an 'adjunct' to treatment. This is the stuff that you don't NEED to have, but may help in short term pain relief or help in your ability to complete your exercises. This is where things like massage, acupuncture, shockwave therapy, taping, or manipulations come in.
When you leave the clinic you will understand your pain better, have strategies to manage your pains and keep doing the things you love, and have some exercises to start to get you back to your competitive best.
I hope that gives you some clarity on what to expect from physiotherapy at Reflex-18.