When and Why Should You See a Physiotherapist?
Today’s blog is not going to be about a specific injury or condition, but rather an informative insight into when and why you should come see us.
Whenever I see patients, the first question I always ask is “have you been to a physiotherapist before?”. Unsurprisingly, at least 20% of the time, the answer is “no” followed by a self-admission of either being nervous because they’ve heard we “manipulate” the body or acknowledge that they “think we just give a good massage”.
So what is a Physiotherapist?
A Physiotherapist is an expert in the human body and its movement. A physiotherapist works with all ages to diagnose and treat a broad range of health conditions including sports related injuries, musculoskeletal conditions and chronic health conditions. Physiotherapists are also highly trained and skilled in managing a broad range of chronic general, neurological and respiratory conditions such as obesity, stroke and COPD.
A physiotherapist studies either a 4 year university degree at Bachelor level or a 2-3 year degree at postgraduate or doctoral level.
So do you still just give a massage or manipulate the body?
In a private practice setting, physiotherapists have a variety of tools and treatment modalities that they can utilise to achieve a treatment effect. In our clinic, our physiotherapists are trained in manual therapy and exercise prescription. Our physiotherapists have also obtained extra qualifications to perform Dry Needling.
So yes, we do in a sense ‘manipulate’ the body, but through very fine controlled movements without the large ‘thrust’ and ‘click’ that you might be accustomed to hearing about.
Similarly, we do perform a range of different massage techniques depending on what is required for the particular injury/condition.
A list of the main treatment modalities that we offer are listed below:
- Manual therapy (joint mobilisations, soft/deep tissue massage, massage for swelling management)
- Condition-specific exercise prescription
- Acute and chronic injury management
- General strengthening programs
- Chronic disease management
- Dry Needling
- EMG muscle stimulation (if required)
If you have any questions about any of the treatment techniques we offer, please don’t hesitate to ask!
So will I leave the clinic with a diagnosis?
We pride ourselves on accurate diagnosis and suitable treatment dependent on that diagnosis. Sure enough, you will leave the clinic with an accurate and easy to understand message on what the problem is and what we need to do about it!
How do I know if I need to see a physiotherapist and not a GP?
Many people are referred to us by GP’s for ongoing management and we refer the other way. Whether you see a physiotherapist or a GP first, if the condition can be managed by a physiotherapist you will be referred to us!
Rest assured, if you haven’t seen a GP and you present to us first, if for whatever reason one of our physiotherapist’s feel that a medical opinion is necessary, we will certainly indicate that to you in your initial consultation! We are very transparent with our patients and if you indicate to us that you are experiencing any red flag symptoms (sudden weight loss, unremitting night pain, severe pain at rest, non-musculoskeletal patterning) we will refer you to the appropriate practitioner.
Do I need a referral to come see a physiotherapist?
No referral is required but if you have had any recent imaging to the area, please bring along the scan report and images so that it can form part of our physiotherapists clinical picture!
So there you have it, if you need us, you know where to find us! If you still have more questions or aren’t sure about whether to see a physiotherapist, please call the clinic and ask to speak to one of us!
Yours in Physiotherapy,