As the owner of Personal Best Physiotherapy I try to regularly put myself in my patient’s shoes, to see if we are meeting our patients expectations. A question that comes up from patients quite often is “What do you think of chiropractors?” or “How is Physio different to an Osteopath?” With so many options available to help care for your body I imagine it can be a bit like standing in the muesli bar section of the supermarket —which one do you choose? And what do you base that decision on—Taste? Sugar content? Brand? Or something else . . .
I have not done any training in chiropractic or osteopathy so I cannot speak on behalf of those professions. But I have thought a lot about what a good physio does and how this might be different to the way other therapists work. So here are 3 reasons why I believe you should choose physio (and more specifically Personal Best Physio . . . ) when you have pain, stiffness or weakness in your body.
1. A Good Physio has a very good understanding of what happens when things go wrong inside muscles, tendons, joints and nerves. In medicine this field of study is called Pathology. Historically physio has been closely tied to medicine and so the study of pathology is a cornerstone of our profession. With this understanding we can advise you on just how much we are likely to help you, what to do and what not to do when you have a particular problem and which exercises are right for you. A good physio will never tell you something that has no scientific basis and will
always be thinking about what is going on inside your body.
2. A Good Physio is a scientist in action—we don’t assume things will or won’t happen but use good observation and measurement skills to look at cause and effect—when we do this exercise, does your range of movement improve? When we do this hands-on technique does your level of resting pain change? If you have been to one of our workshops you will have heard me talk about the Test-Treat-Retest formula and how important it is to use this every day to make sure our patients are improving. By holding ourselves accountable to this scientific process we know when treatment is working and when it isn’t, so we can change course quickly.
3. A Good Physio is adaptable: Only a naive physio thinks that they can fix everyone using just one method of treatment—what works for one person may not work for another. If I gave you an exercise and you found that it caused you too much pain, it is my responsibility to review what is going on and change direction, not just tell you to push on with it. This is where our team approach at Personal Best really shines—every fortnight we get together as a team of physios and nut out complex cases, share insights into what is working well for each of us and review what we have learnt at a recent course. This allows us to be adaptable and not get stuck when one line of treatment is not working.
If you know someone with pain, stiffness or weakness and they are not sure who to go to, share this article with them – it may help them decide what sort of professional they want to see to help them get back to normal, and back to the activities they love.