Welcome to Vitalize Physiotherapy’s first blog. For those of you who are new to us we are an established Physiotherapy practice with clinics situated in Ashby De La Zouch and Swadlincote.
I’ve decided to write a blog to put my answers to these common questions out there for all to see. My aim is to develop a resource for people to dip into and hopefully learn something that can benefit their injury, training programme or every day activities. If you have a question that you’d like my opinion on please leave a comment below or email me on email@example.com
I’d like to introduce myself; my name is Simon and I’ve been qualified and working as a physiotherapist for +16yrs now in elite sport, private practice, education and hospitals. Over the past decade I’ve been asked a variety of interesting questions from a range of clients, athletes and students. The same questions often pop up over and over again, a few examples are:
- What’s the point of stretching and is there a best time to do it?
- What is a muscle knot and how do they happen?
- What’s the difference between a physio, osteopath and chiropractor?
- How do I push myself harder physically without my body breaking down?
- Why do I get knee pain every time I squat or run?
- How do I know when I’m ready to return to full activity?
- What actually is ‘core stability’?
So lets get going with my first topic:
What do i think makes a good therapist?
There are many different types of Physiotherapist out there. Each one will have different experiences, different ways of working and different philosophies. On top of that there are also other types of therapist such as Osteopaths, Chiropractors, massage therapists, sports therapists…. the list goes on and on.
The blog isn’t about what’s right and wrong because different ways work for different people. It’s about what I believe in and try to implement. For me, a good therapist is one that empowers the client by providing information that allows them to be in control of their recovery. This should start from the very first session, the assessment.
A good therapist should listen to the patient closely and let them tell their story. Once a diagnosis has been formed the therapist should ensure the client knows what’s going on, the different treatment options and what the pro’s and con’s are. The client and therapist should work together to form a plan that fits into their life. It’s a partnership. It has been shown that clients who have a good understanding of their condition and are involved in selecting treatment options improve more quickly.
I also believe a good therapist will teach the client how to self-manage their problem through a combination of exercises and lifestyle modifications. The ultimate aim of a Physiotherapist should be to help maximise an individuals physical potential so they reach a point where they do not need treatment. Some conditions will take longer than others to reach this point and in some cases a client may need to return for ‘top-up’ sessions.
Unfortunately, I’ve come across many people, including my friends and family, who have been seeing a therapist regularly for several years for the same condition and have become reliant on those appointments, meaning they are not in control. It really frustrates me when I ask them what work they’re doing to help themselves get better and they say “not been given anything really, just go back to see my therapist every month for the past year”. It also frustrates me because I don’t like seeing people throw money away.
There are of course other important traits that make a high-level therapist but for me the points above are key. If a therapist can combine this approach with a strong knowledge base and an approachable attitude then I would suggest they will have a positive affect and help maximise their client’s rehabilitation.
What do you look for in a therapist? What traits or actions really impress you and which ones just don’t do it for you? Please feel free to leave a comment below or pass this post onto others by ‘liking’ it.